Animals rescued from Sequatchie County hoarder almost ready for - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Animals rescued from Sequatchie County hoarder almost ready for adoption

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -  Many animals rescued from a home in Sequatchie County will soon be ready for adoption.

"This is one of those times where things seem to be turning out well," said Dr. John Mullins of the Animal Care Center of Ooltewah, who has helped nurse 18 of the 80 animals rescued back to health.

Just four are still at the animal hospital. Gandolf is one of them.

"He was just about not here when we got him," Mullins said. "But luckily we didn't lose any."

The biggest dog of the bunch, Gandolf has now gained 50 percent of his weight back.

Dr. Mullins said he's just about healthy enough to find a new home, and when shown some love -- "They respond well," he said.

"Some of them are progressing actually better than we hoped for," said Bob Citrullo, Humane Educational Society Executive Director.

Forty-two of the animals were brought to HES late last week.

Citrullo said the animals were split between HES, McKamey and Dr. Mullins' office. Many of them were never socialized. It's a work in progress, he said.

"They're not used to the grass, they're not used to flooring or tile. They walk and they freeze because they don't know what it is, so we're teaching them that," Citrullo said.

Some have rotten teeth. Dental work can help fix that. Citrullo expects several to be on the adoption floor within a few weeks.

While some are still bony and timid -- "We're working with them. And we are seeing some slow improvement with them, but we have a long way to go with those animals."

Others are close to finding their new homes.

"Now they're getting used to food, water and clean environment," Mullins said. "We want to maintain that for them... I'm really happy they responded so well."

Geoffrey Peterson is already charged with several counts of animal cruelty.

McKamey officials say they are seeking to press additional charges in Hamilton County after seven additional animals -- one which was dead -- were found at Peterson's family's home in Hixson. Officials expect to know more later this week.
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