Fourteen animals were rescued last week from what appeared to be an abandoned horse trailer in Monteagle. The owner of the trailer says the ordeal is a misunderstanding, but animal rescue workers are concerned about the conditions in which the animals were found.
Animal Rescue Corps (ARC) assisted the Monteagle Police Department with rescuing the animals. Team members said they found nine dogs and five cats in makeshift pens and filthy cages. All of the animals showed signs of neglect, including runny eyes, overgrown nails and external parasites.
“The smell, it was all ammonia,” recalled Ada Dever with ARC. “The odor was unbearable.”
The trailer’s owner said later that he had left the trailer to close on a house as he and his family were in the process of moving to the area. When he returned, he thought someone had stolen his trailer with animals.
The owner admitted many of the animals have health issues, including tumors, but said it is due to old age and not neglect. He maintained the animals were well-cared for and loved. Some of the dogs belonged to his parents and had been passed down to his family.
The dogs and cats were receiving care at an ARC emergency shelter in Lebanon, where they will receive exams, and necessary medical treatment. ARC will provide daily care until the animals can be transferred to shelter and rescue organizations that will ultimately adopt them into loving homes.
The owner said he will continue to fight to get them back.