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Thursday, Mar 1, 2012County: Walker
Alleged: Sandra Hayes
More than 20 animals are removed from "deplorable" conditions inside a mobile home. Animal control stepped into the Fairlane Oaks mobile home park at 601 James Road in Rossville.
Walker County Animal Control Chief Curtis Patterson said the 22 dogs were living in filth and feces, without proper care.
There was so much filth inside the #84 mobile home, officers literally couldn't find all the dogs until mid to late afternoon.
All 22 dogs, identified as chihuahuas, were found alive and Patterson said they looked okay on initial inspection.
Animal control officers took extra precautions to deal with the amount of filth inside this mobile home.
That included gearing up in zip-up suits and a fresh supply of oxygen. Chief Patterson said, "We got a few that's going in there, that's got regular masks on but they're just in there for like a minute and then are right back out. If you go in for any length of time, you are going to have oxygen or something in there because the odor is just overwhelming."
The chief believes the owner, Sandra Hayes, couldn't have possibly lived in the conditions he called "deplorable."
He believes she was stopping by to feed and water the dogs. Patterson said food and water was found but "not in the best of conditions."
The news traveled fast through Fairlane Oaks. Benny Ezell lives several trailers away. "It's really sad because me and my wife's animal lovers."
Ezell wondered about the dogs. "It ain't too good, what can you do? You can't save them all but if you go down there can you get one? I doubt it and what kind of shape are they going to be in, what kind of disease are they going to be carrying? You just don't know."
Chief Patterson said the dogs, which are now at the Walker County Animal Shelter, are doing well, all things considered.
That's difficult to believe based on what investigative pictures from the inside show. They show very large piles of feces on the table and counter tops. Furniture is chewed up, dishes are piled high and buckets are filled with feces. Torn open food bags are also visible.
Patterson said it's clearly one of the worst cases he's ever seen. "Just the sheer amount of what's in there. The dogs have been in there for some time. I think the lady they said had been there for four years and some of this may go back that far."
He and animal control officers continue to search for Hayes, animal cruelty charges are pending.
Officers took the dogs to the animal shelter where they'll be quarantined for "a few days."
Patterson said the shelter will determine if they're suitable for adoption.
- newschannel9.com - Mar 15, 2012
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