Charges are pending against the owners of more than 40 starving dogs including 37 Chihuahuas that were rescued from a feces- and urine-filled mobile home Tuesday near Church Hill.
Shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday, Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Kenny Lunsford Jr. and Sgt. Nathan Simpson responded to an animal welfare complaint at 352 Payne Ridge Road, Lot 2, near Church Hill.
The resident, Aaron James Smith, 21, said he owned 15 to 20 Chihuahuas and gave consent to view his animals.
“I first looked at the three boxer breed dogs in a pen behind the home and found them to show signs of extreme malnutrition,” Lunsford stated in his report. “I could see their ribs, and they were eating their own feces while I was there. I did not find any food or water in the pen or adequate room for these dogs to walk freely or exercise.”
Lunsford said that when he was brought inside the residence by Smith, he was “surrounded” by starving Chihuahuas.
There was feces and urine on the floor in every room in the residence, and no food or water available for the animals.
Many of the Chihuahuas were in very poor health, and all were infested with fleas. One was missing an eye, and one was dragging itself with its front legs and appeared to have been chewing on its rear legs.
Smith reportedly stated he had no car, job, money or way to care for the animals.
Abandoned Angels animal rescue was summoned and took all the animals out of the residence with the help of Bright Hope Rescue from Greeneville.
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