Dustin and Staci Tallent signed over 10 animals to the Humane Educational Society, all of them are still recovering and one of them is in critical condition.
Officers discovered much more when they responded to a request for a welfare check at a home in Soddy Daisy. Inside they found nearly two dozen animals, half of them were dead in a freezer.
Now, Bob Citrullo and the team at HES is desperately working to save the ones that survived.
"They're very thin, their eye are not shiny, they are very lethargic, we are starting to see that improve though,” Citrullo.
HES is treating four dogs, three cats, 1 rabbit, a python, and a bearded dragon. Many of them are fighting internal and external parasites. They are also malnourished, Citrullo speculates some haven’t ate in a month. One dog is in such bad shape her stomach is filled with fluid. Overnight, doctors performed a blood transfusion to save her life.
"In another day or two she would have passed away. We intervened; we had to do a blood transfusion. We did that last evening, and this morning I’ve checked in on her and she is still critical but she's improving,” Citrullo said.
They all have a long road to recovery after coming from a traumatic experience. HES hopes they can recover and find a new home.
"For some animals it can be really really hard. for some it takes a couple of days of know that they're going to get a new meal, knowing that the hands that are touching them won't hurt them and we just want to pet and love on them,” Sarah Tryon with HES said.
Citrullo credits the concerned neighbor who called police. He said if no one reported the couple, things could've ended much worse.
"Let us know if you see something, you can be anonymous. We need to intervene because let's face it how many animals we're already deceased, how many more would've died?” Citrullo said.
The animals are not quite ready for adoption, HES estimates it will take at least two more weeks until the animals are fully recovered.
Two turtles and a fish were also found at the home, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency recovered them and are checking them out.