ONLINE ONLY - Animal rescue

A Lebanon animal rescue facility has taken in nearly 700 animals — including 56 dogs and 10 rabbits — from a home in Henry County with extreme living conditions.

The Animal Rescue Corps Rescue Operation Center, located in the old Floyd and Baxter Amusement facility along Maple Hill Road, has dozens of volunteers caring for the animals rescued from the rural West Tennessee property.

Animal Rescue Corps shelter director Michael Cunningham said the rescue was the largest in the organization’s 10-year history, and included 531 mice, rats and hamsters; 86 chickens and roosters; 56 dogs, 10 rabbits, and eight snakes.

The animals were transported to the Animal Rescue Corps Rescue Operation Center, which routinely serves as a first-step rehabilitation center for animals before they are transferred to local animal shelters. Animal Rescue Corps assists law enforcement agencies with the extraction of animals in extreme animal abuse cases.

Veterinarian Alexa Ferrari, an Animal Rescue Corps volunteer, said there were a wide range of health and physical issues found with the animals.

“Common issues that we’re seeing with these guys was emaciation, internal and external parasites. We have a lot that are pregnant. A lot of the dogs have extremely overgrown toenails,” Ferrari said. “They have germ issues or eye issues either from scratches or from infection from ammonia.”

Ferrari said many of the rats have bite wounds, which indicates overcrowding and lack of food.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said there were dozens of pens and kennels outside of the property, as well as waist-high grass that authorities were forced to weave through to enter the trailer.

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