An elderly man in Macon County, Tennessee, realized he needed to stop breeding dogs after nearly four decades.
He reached out to local animal control and Animal Rescue Corps (ARC) for help managing the dogs he still had. ARC has been trying to work with him to finally surrender all the dogs he had left and he finally agreed.
When the rescuers were allowed onto his property, they found 13 dogs living in dilapidated shacks in the man’s yard. The temperatures were low and their water bowls were frozen. The dogs looked eager to be rescued from behind chain-link fences.
“We started working this case over a year ago, but when there aren’t any laws being violated, you have to convince them that what you’re offering is the best for everyone,” Scotlund Haisley, president of ARC, said in a statement. “We offered them assistance when they were ready to do the right thing, and now these lucky 13 dogs will finally know what it’s like to be a loved member of a family.”
Rescuers call the dogs “The Lucky Thirteen.” There were mostly Chihuahuas and small dogs, ranging in age from 7 to 15 years old and all showed signs of health issues. They had eye and skin infections, rotting teeth and matted fur.
“They’ve been living in a puppy mill for years and years and many serious medical conditions are not expressed externally,” Kim Rezac, director of animal welfare at ARC, said in a statement. “I’m sure we’ll find more medical issues once all of the dogs are thoroughly examined by our veterinarians.”
It was evident the man had been trying to do the best he could to give the dogs what he thought they needed, given his advanced age. The dogs all had recent veterinary records and access to food, water, and shelter.
The Lucky Thirteen all had medical exams and are warming up in a temporary shelter at ARC while staff finds rescue organizations willing to adopt the dogs out of the homes they deserve.
The future is already looking a bit brighter for them as the dogs snuggle into their new soft bedding at ARC. All thanks to the breeder who decided to do the right thing.
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