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More than 70 Abused Animals One Step Closer to New Home--Mikayla Lewis

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LEBANON, Tenn.--More than 70 animals are one step closer to finding a permanent and better home than their last in Hamblen County. Today cats and dogs were released from their temporary home in Lebanon to placement partners to be adopted out.

Animal Rescue Corps' Michael Cunningham said , "Today is the day that we work for the dogs... toward a new life."

The ARC uses the fairgrounds building to hold and treat neglected animals they rescue like this time for Operation Mending Hearts.

Last week Hamblen County Animal Control found 73 dogs and two cats inside a Morristown, TN home.

The Hamblen Humane Society's Bobby Short said, " It was horrendous. I've  never seen anything this bad. The dogs were in deplorable condition. They had diseases that are contagious."

Short was one of the first officers on the scene. He helped bring the animals down to Lebanon with ARC and decided to volunteer the rest of the time.

Short explained, " We just don't want to bring them down, we want to jump right in and help because they jumped right in and helped us out."

Cunningham added, "You shut down emotionally when you're on scene and do the extraction...but then you get to have these amazing connections with animals and you just watch them come out of their shell that's what it's all about."

Throughout the week, a few more foster dogs came into the latest operation. Today all of the animals were taken into variety of placement groups' custody like Nashville PITTIE (Pit bull Initiative to Transform Image and Educate).

The group took in four pit bulls today.

Jana Mendes, Nashville PITTIE founder said, "Get them spade and neutered and make sure they are all good and healthy and we believe for the most part they are all healthy."

Nashville PITTIE is also looking for foster care for other dogs, and many other groups are in the same situation when receiving a high volume of animals like today.

ARC says that Tennessee is the top state for animal cruelty case operations such as this, but it is not a bad thing.

Cunningham explained, "Animal cruelty is everywhere. The difference with Tennessee is that they actually do something about it and are aware of the resources like us and are proactive in addressing these large scale cruelty cases."

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