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Abandoned dogs


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Hawkins County Humane Society rescues abandoned dogs
Tuesday, December 17, 2002

By Jeff Bobo

GOSHEN VALLEY - Eight living dogs, five dead dogs and two dead cats were found in a Goshen Valley mobile home Saturday by officials who described the conditions inside the residence as putrid and beyond disgusting.

According to officials with the Hawkins County Humane Society and the sheriff's department, the dogs being kept in a mobile home at 1183 Goshen Valley Road belonged to an elderly man who is now a nursing home patient and a woman who has been incarcerated in the Hawkins County Jail for several months on DUI convictions.

The elderly man's son had been feeding the animals. Although the son apparently had agreed to feed and water the animals, he reportedly told Hawkins County Humane Society Director Wayne Poston he didn't bother to look too far inside the mobile home because of the smell.

Poston said the son hadn't been to care for the animals for about two weeks by the time they were rescued on Saturday.

"The conditions inside that house were unbelievable to say the least," Poston said. "The conditions inside the house tell me this has been the animals' living conditions for a couple of years. The feces and urine was two inches deep in some spots, and it would burn your eyes the odor was so strong."

At least two of the dead dogs had puppies right before they died, and most of the puppies died as well, Poston said. Some of the dead animals were in an advanced state of decomposition, he added.

Poston said the surviving dogs appeared malnourished, and they are being evaluated at the shelter. Dogs that need medical attention will be examined by a veterinarian over the next week or two.

All but one of the surviving dogs are friendly, Poston said, and if the vet gives them a good bill of health they will be offered for adoption by the Humane Society. Most of the dogs were "Yorkies" or similar little dogs, and there was one chow mix.

"The chow was actually the healthiest of the bunch, and it's going to the groomer tomorrow to remove some matted hair," Poston said. "The Yorkies are a little bit skinny, but that's not unusual when a dog has puppies. The condition of their toenails is what worries me.

"They're an inch and a half to two inches long and are turning back into the pad."

Because there is no animal control officer for unincorporated Hawkins County, police and the Humane Society had a hard time getting permission to investigate the Goshen Valley residence after complaints started coming in last week.

The major stumbling block was finding out who actually had permission to check on the dogs.

Although the dogs reportedly belong to the female jail inmate, the home apparently belongs to the elderly nursing home patient, whose son has been granted his power of attorney. Poston said he also learned that the elderly man actually paid for the dogs, which gave the son the ability to give authorities permission to take them.

Poston and Hawkins County Sheriff's Department Deputy Greg Larkin arrived at the residence about 11 a.m. Saturday, where they met the elderly man's grandson, who reportedly carried with him permission from the son to enter the residence and remove the dogs.

Hawkins County Sheriff Warren Rimer said Monday that this is an ideal example of where the county would benefit from an animal control officer. Rimer said his deputies do not carry with them the tools needed to handle animal complaints, particularly complaints of this magnitude.

Poston hauled the animals to the shelter in his pickup, and Mount Carmel Animal Control Officer Tim Dennis came to help with the one animal that was vicious.

During the administration of former Sheriff Wayne Clevinger, there were several attempts to secure budget funding for a county animal control officer. But due to the cost, that budget request never made it past the Hawkins County Commission.

:( :cry: :cry:

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Guest Anonymous

This is what disturbs me the most.....unless I'm reading it wrong...

"Poston said the surviving dogs appeared malnourished, and they are being evaluated at the shelter. Dogs that need medical attention will be examined by a veterinarian over the next week or two. "

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Well if you think about it they should be MORE likely to be seen by a vet in this SMALL city because the vets have less to do!

What bothered me was that the article focused more on the fact that there is no animal control officer than on WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE for not feeding them. The son was supposed to feed them, and he just didn't show up for a couple of weeks???? I would like to put him in a cage at the animal shelter and leave him there (no food/water) for 2 weeks. See how he likes it!

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