More than five dozen dogs have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving after authorities from an international animal protection organization rescued them from a suspected dog fighting operation.
Members of the Animal Rescue Corps (ARC) descended on a residence in Ashland City, Tennessee on Thursday after being notified of the alleged dog fighting operation.
Firefighters with the Ashland City and Pleasant View Fire Departments received a call regarding a brush fire near the Buckeye Road residence in Ashland City. When they arrived, they found numerous dogs chained with no access to food or water in various locations around the residence. Fire department authorities contacted Cheatham County Animal Control (CCAC), who called in ARC to assist with the rescue.
CCAC Director, TJ Jordi, told WPSD:
"I quickly realized that Cheatham County Animal Control needed support in immediately addressing this situation. The Animal Rescue Corps team was on the ground in less than 24 hours to support this rescue operation."
Animal Rescue Corps?Facebook
One of the dogs rescued by Animal Rescue Corps from a suspected Ashland City, TN dog fighting operation.
Rescuers located 65 dogs, primarily pit bull terriers and beagles. The dogs were transported to an emergency shelter in Lebanon, TN after the owner agreed to surrender the animals. CCAC rescuers also located dogfighting equipment such as a treadmill, fighting pen, and a spring pole used for strengthening dogs' jaws. The dogs were emaciated, had sores covering their bodies, and showed signs of internal parasites.
New Leash on Life and Agape Animal Rescue also assisted with the rescue operation, named Operation Broken Chain.
One of the rescuers from New Leash on Life, who asked that she only be identified as "D", told Digital Journal:
"These poor animals had no bedding and many had nothing more than plastic barrels as shelter. They were basically nothing more than skin and bones. With the temperatures dropping below freezing, I am fairly certain some of them would have died of hypothermia if they had not been rescued when they were."
ARC President, Scotlund Haisley, issued a statement saying:
“We believe this is the largest dog fighting rescue in Tennessee history. The conditions Animal Rescue Corps found on this property are the worst I have ever seen at a dog fighting operation in my 22-year career in animal protection.”