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Tennessee dog rescue charged with egregious neglect of dozens of dogs

Officials found "horrendous suffering" of dogs, cats, and tropical fish at the Hamblen County home based rescue.
Officials found "horrendous suffering" of dogs, cats, and tropical fish at the Hamblen County home based rescue.
Animal Rescue Corps

The Animal Rescue Corps spent all of Saturday night rescuing 73 dogs and two cats after responding to an emergency call for help from the Morristown-Hamblen Humane Society and the Hamblen County Sheriff's Office reported Animal Rescue Corp News.

Authorities responded to complaints on Valentine's Day about dogs living in horrendous conditions at the home based rescue organization of The Puppy Patch. According to the rescue's website:

"The Puppy Patch is a small group of dedicated animal lovers committed to saving animals from high kill shelters and placing them in loving forever homes."

The dogs had been deprived of basic care including food, water, and veterinary care. Cages were stacked one upon another as the dogs lived in their own feces and urine. Several dogs were pregnant, some were underweight, and many exhibited respiratory illness symptoms as well as internal and external parasites. Animal Rescue Corps President Scotlund Haisley stated:

“These animals have been living in a house of horrors, with an overwhelming stench of ammonia and an unbelievable build up of feces all over. These animals have endured tremendous suffering and it ends today.”

On Sunday, the animals will be examined by a team of veterinarians and will eventually head to area rescues and be prepared for adoption.

Melissa Turner, one of the two property owners listed on the organization's website, was arrested on Friday evening and now faces 63 counts of animal cruelty. An arrest warrant has been issued for the other partner.

According to Facebook page of The Puppy Patch, a small dog was shown rescued in the nick of time as recently as Valentine's Day from being euthanized. A plea for a foster home was posted. Questions were posed as to missing dogs. Neither principal of the rescue has responded.

"Animal Rescue Corps performed this rescue, dubbed Operation Mending Hearts, in conjunction with New Leash on Life (a shelter partner based in Lebanon, TN who provided transport vehicles), the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department, the Morristown Hamblen Humane Society, and Dr. Daniel Parks of Five Rivers Mobile Veterinary Service. ARC would also like to thank the Floyd family of Lebanon, TN and Patterson Veterinary Supplies for their support."

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