UPDATE: Rescue efforts continued Friday to pick up the more than 100 dogs that weren't able to be removed from a Pikeville home the previous day.

Caroline Adkins has been charged with animal cruelty.

Officials say that more than 200 animals were in the one house; 166 dogs and more than 40 cats.

Bledsoe County Sheriff Jimmy Morris says the conditions inside the home were shocking, and he's never seen anything like it.

"There are just dogs walking on top of dogs, 40-plus dogs in a house, it's just truly amazing how the animals are being treated," Morris said Friday.

Morris said the animals were walking and being kept in up to six inches of their own feces, with cages on top of cages.

These conditions led to Caroline Adkins' arrest and charges of animal cruelty.

"It was just – my gosh, look at all the dogs, it was very shocking," Morris explained.

They've been working this case since Monday. One of the biggest challenges was finding a place for 166 dogs and upwards of 40 cats to go.

"The first thing we did was contact Rhea County Sheriff's Department and they sent some people out to assist us that has dealt with this before," said Morris.

Agencies from Rhea County, Wilson County Humane Society, and Dayton city all came out to help on Thursday. Wilson County took all of the cats, and 15 dogs last night.

Friday, McKamey Animal Center, the Atlanta Humane Society, the Chattanooga Humane Educational Society, New Leash On Life, Cashiers Highlands Humane Society, and the Humane Society of Tulsa all came out to help rescue the more than 100 dogs that were left.

Pets rescued from Pikeville home arrive at McKamey Animal Center in Chattanooga. Photo by WRCB staff

They also called in a veterinarian to assist.

"Well, we called a veterinarian service; Rhea County Medical Dr. Matt Sachs, and he came out and he said in his 20 years of experience this is the worst case he's ever seen."

Morris thanked all of the animal shelters who came out to help rescue the cats and dogs, and says that all of these animals will be put up for adoption. 

Janet Gregg who lives nearby the home said she understand the challenge law enforcement was facing. 

"We wanted it done like two days ago but with something of this magnitude, I mean it's not just going in an picking up a couple of dogs, I mean there has got to be a lot of organization to it, you need the resources the funding, where are you going to take the dogs? The vets lined up because they're going to need immediate vet care," said Gregg. 

She's relieved these animals have been taken from horrific conditions. 

"Now that I'm here and I see what's happening with McKamey coming out, I'm just ecstatic that these dogs are finally going to get the lives that they deserve," said Gregg.

 


PREVIOUS STORY: Officials say that 166 dogs were found in a Bledsoe County home on Poplar Road near Pikeville Wednesday. More than 40 cats have also been recovered and were removed Thursday night, bringing the total number of rescued animals to more than 200.

The Bledsoe County Sheriff's office requested assistance from the U.S. Humane Society with the placement of the over 200 animals.

Dr. Matt Sachs with Rhea County Medical tells Channel 3 it's "the worst case he’s ever seen."

Caroline Adkins was arrested and charged with animal cruelty in the case.

Pictures show the conditions the animals were kept in on the property.

Other groups that are assisting in the efforts include Chattanooga's McKamey Animal Center, New Leash on Life (TN), Humane Educational Society (TN), Atlanta Humane Society (GA), Humane Society of Tulsa (OK) and Cashiers Highlands Humane Society (NC).

Karen McMeekin, with A Time 4 Paws Rescue in Crossville, TN, says she found out about a possible animal cruelty case Monday.

"I received a call on my anonymous animal cruelty hotline, and I also received phone calls from people in the community who know my organization," McMeekin told Channel 3 Thursday.

Detective George Hodge with the Bledsoe County Sheriff's Office says they've been working nonstop since Monday, including getting a veterinarian to come out and assess the animals.

The vet's recommendation was to take all of the animals off property.

Their work resulted in the arrest of Caroline Adkins with animal cruelty on Wednesday night.

Humane Society said in a statement, "We would like to thank our shelter and rescue partners for opening their doors as well as Bledsoe County Sheriff’s Office for answering the call to help these animals."

Bledsoe County doesn't have an animal shelter.

Channel 3 did speak with Adkins' husband who declined to do an interview but he says that this county needs an animal shelter.