150 Animals Rescued from Atwood Home
ATWOOD — Animal Rescue Corps (ARC) assisted the Carroll County Sheriff ’s Office on Sunday in the rescue of approximately 150 animals of various species, found living in extremely neglectful conditions on a property in Atwood, Tenn. All of the animals were seized by the Carroll County Sheriff ’s Office.
Scotlund Haisley, president and founder of Animal Rescue Corps, said all of the seized animals were either dead or in various stages of dying. ARC, Carroll County Sheriff ’s Department, and the Redemption Road Rescue worked to assess the status of each animal, and transport the living animals to rescue centers.
Approximately 43 large and medium breed dogs, including puppies, 37 cats, including litters of newborn kittens, 17 rabbits, 10 geese, eight chickens, six ducks, six goats, five sheep, five chinchillas, four ferrets, and two alpacas were found without adequate food or water. Several dead animals were found around the property including a zebra, a cat, a duck, and the remains of rabbits. There were live animals and dead animals in the same cage. Animals were found running loose and in cages around the property, inside a barn, and in the property owner’s house and garage. The animals were all extremely dirty and suffering from heavy infestations of internal and external parasites, broken bones, extreme matting, eye and ear infections, and respiratory issues caused by the extremely high ammonia levels inside the house and garage which was among the highest ARC has ever recorded, according to a news release from ARC. Many of the animals were suffering from malnutrition and no food for the animals was found on the property.
Haisley said veterinarians were on site to assess the animals.
Property owner Tara Neutzler said ARC and the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department arrived around 7:45 a.m., prior to the morning feeding time. Neutzler, who purchased the property just a few months earlier for $320,000, according to tax records, said the invasion was a violation of her civil rights and she will meet them in court.
“This is extreme animal cruelty,” said ARC President Scotlund Haisley. “I have never experienced ammonia levels this high. These animals were not living here; they were dying here. The operators of this mass breeding mill chose greed over compassion.”
The planning for this rescue began when ARC received a tip from a concerned citizen and reached out to the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department. Upon serving a search warrant, they found several cruelty code violations and immediately engaged ARC for assistance with removing and documenting the animals.
“This county takes all cases of abuse and cruelty very seriously,” said Carroll County Sheriff Andy Dickson, “The law was being violated and these animals desperately needed help, so we didn’t hesitate to take action.”
Animal cages lined the front lawn awaiting the transport of the animals to shelters. Large trailers were on site to relocate the large animals.
ARC is documenting the property and the animals and is safely transporting them to their Rescue Operations Center in Lebanon Tenn.. This rescue, dubbed Operation Noah’s Ark is ARC’s third rescue operation in the past two months in Tennessee and Louisiana.
Each animal will receive a thorough veterinary exam, appropriate vaccinations, and any necessary medical treatment. ARC will provide daily care until legal custody of the animals is determined and the animals can be placed with shelter and rescue organizations that will ultimately adopt them into loving homes. Redemption Road Rescue assisted and will be caring for and placing all of the farm animals and fowl. For people wishing to foster or adopt, ARC will publish its list of shelter and rescue placement partners on its Facebook page once the animals are transferred to these groups.
Animal Rescue Corps performed Operation Noah’s Ark in conjunction with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, and Redemption Road Rescue, who provided equine care and transport.
For more information about Animal Rescue Corps, please visit www.animalrescuecorps.org.
Story written by Joel Washburn, The McKenzie Banner and the ARC report.