ONLY ON 3: First look at Sequatchie Co. rescue dogs, update on a - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

ONLY ON 3: First look at Sequatchie Co. rescue dogs, update on animal cruelty case

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One of the dogs rescued from the Sequatchie County home. WRCBtv.com photo One of the dogs rescued from the Sequatchie County home. WRCBtv.com photo
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

During the past 2 weeks, animal cruelty investigators have rescued more than 80 animals from two different locations connected to Geoffrey Peterson.
           
Animals were rescued from deplorable conditions and several dogs were found dead.
          
Peterson is facing aggravated animal cruelty charges, but investigators say the case is far from over.

READ MORE | Sixty dogs rescued from Dunlap home in “absolute filth”

One local veterinarian is caring for the dogs in need of the most critical care. Dr. John Mullins became emotional when asked about their journey back to health.

Dr. Mullins of the Animal Care Center is still caring for 14 dogs rescued from the Sequatchie County home.
    
They were found, on average, at only one quarter of their normal body weight.

"I was surprised some of them even lived," Dr. Mullins said.

All 59 rescue dogs from Sequatchie County survived.
     
Now, they are bathed and eating four meals a day.

"They were afraid to be on leash, they were afraid to be outside, they were afraid to be examined," Dr. Mullins said, "Now they're calming down."
    
Since the Sequatchie County rescue, the McKamey Animal Shelter rescued 10 more dogs are two locations connected to Geoffrey Peterson.

And investigators have plans to search at least one more location.

"As recently as yesterday we got another tip on another location," said Executive Director Jamie McAloon Lampman, "So we're still looking into those other locations to verify whether or not there are animals at those locations."
    
People are not only calling in with more tips, but they are sending in pictures of their lost pets in the Hixson and Chattanooga areas.

"And it's sad to see all these people that are missing their animals that are fearful that they ended up in these conditions."    
Peterson is not yet facing any new charges, but the case is far from over.

"I think the charges we're going to be bringing to the prosecutor are going to include additional people at this time," Lampman said, "I'm not willing to say who but there will be additional people in our complaint."
    
But all of the dogs rescued alive have shown improvement and are getting the care they need.

"They get really excited when it's food time," said Dr. Mullins, "They get exuberant, they get excited, they're really happy to see the food."

The 59 dogs, 10 cats, pigeon and goat found at the Sequatchie County home are still evidence in the animal cruelty case against Peterson.
    
If the court orders Peterson to give up his rights as owner, Dr. Mullins believes all of the animals would be fit for adoption.

Peterson is due back at the Sequatchie County Justice Center on Jan. 6, 1 p.m. Central time for a preliminary hearing.

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