A 64-year-old woman was charged with 10 counts of animal cruelty after it was discovered she was keeping 97 dogs in tiny cages in her barn. The animals lived in horrific conditions next to rotting corpses in the windowless barn which remained pitch black at all times.
The Huffington Post reports that Caroline Irby from Coffee County, Tennessee, was arrested on animal cruelty charges after nearly 100 emaciated dogs were found in her care. The dogs were living in deplorable conditions inside of a windowless barn on Irby’s property. The dogs were said to be living in rusty cages, some next to corpses of other deceased dogs.
The Animal Rescue Corps was responsible for the rescue and says that the animals were numb to emotion with many of the dogs unrecognizable through matted hair.
“They were statues. They were shut down and ready to die. They had been suffering a very long time. I saw little to no emotion, and when I did see an emotion, I saw fear.”
It was also noted that some of the dogs had acid burns from their urine filled cages. The cages could be seen filled with feces, urine, and trash. A wheel barrel was also found that contained the bodies of dogs that had passed away. The cause of death was apparent starvation.
According to the Daily Mail, the dogs were treated by a number of veterinarians before being moved to a shelter that could house the neglected dogs. The dogs will need to be cared for until they have a complete recovery. The veterinarians note that the dogs suffered from starvation and incredible filth; however, they also suffered from side effects of extreme light deprivation. The lack of light caused heart problems and infections in the poor pups.
When discussing the state of the dogs with Irby, Sergeant Ferrell said that the woman claimed she had become overwhelmed with the dogs and couldn’t provide proper care. Neighbors say they had no idea the woman was hoarding dogs on the property. In fact, many didn’t know there were dogs in the barn at all.
One former colleague of Irby says that she was a “dedicated employee” and that she volunteered with the humane society for years. Those who knew Irby seemed shocked by the allegations note that she seemed like “a nice lady.”
Do you think 10 counts of animal cruelty are enough for the case involving the death of at least 10 dogs and the severe neglect of 97 others?
[Image Credit: Facebook/ Animal Rescue Corps]