96 dogs rescued after raid at southern KY facility - WSMV News 4

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96 dogs rescued after raid at southern KY facility

Posted: Updated: Feb 15, 2012 03:15 PM
Shannon Lacewell Shannon Lacewell
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The race is on to save nearly 100 dogs rescued from a home in southern Kentucky. A rescue group found them in terrible conditions Tuesday at a nonprofit animal rescue.

The woman in charge, Shannon Lacewell, faces a single charge of animal cruelty.

A team of volunteers were working Wednesday to rehabilitate the dogs, most of whom have some serious health problems.

"Today is a day of celebration," said Scotlund Haisley, with the Animal Rescue Corps.

Four newborn puppies at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds act as a symbol of hope in a place desperate for it this week.

"We have not lost a life, which is surprising, considering the condition we found them in," Haisley said.

ARC is in the middle of "Operation Sweethearts," named for the potential for the rescued animals, not the reality.

"I've never seen anything like it before. I've seen farm animals in conditions like that, but I haven't seen dogs eating each other because they don't have food," said Ady Gil, rescue corps supporter.

Rescuers and deputies found 96 dogs in terrible conditions at the nonprofit animal rescue "Paws and Claws" in Wingo, KY, near Paducah.

"It was not at all a rescue organization. It wasn't a hoarder. It wasn't a puppy mill. It was a dog abuse case. These animals were abused significantly," Haisley said.

The owner, Shannon Lacewell, faces a single charge of second-degree animal cruelty, which is a misdemeanor. She surrendered most of her dogs to the nonprofit just in time.

"We've got a few that, had it been another day or two, I don't know, because they were so far gone nutritionally," said Veterinarian Dr. Heather Robertson.

This rescue is quickly getting expensive. It'll take between $40,000 and $50,000 to care for the dogs, nurse them back to health and prepare them for adoption.

"I suspect dogs will start leaving as early as today, and hopefully by the end of the weekend, you know, they will all be in safe places," Haisley said.

Just a day after their rescue, there are signs of progress. But a long road ahead and emotions only make this tougher.

"A lot of these dogs are older, too, and it's just sad because they should be, I don't know. I just think you want to cuddle them even more because they've had a long life," volunteer Beth Newman said.

Lacewell is out of jail on bond.

Volunteers can donate blankets directly at the fairgrounds. Or, to make a cash donation to ARC, visit their website: http://animalrescuecorps.org/

Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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