KNOXVILLE -- On January 31, Young-Williams Animal Center took in 18 small-breed dogs from among the approximately 140 abused dogs that were seized from the back of a U-Haul truck and an accompanying minivan traveling on I-40 in Tennessee last week.
A West Tennessee Drug Task Force agent found the animals during a stop on I-40 in Fayette County, about 40 miles east of Memphis. The dogs were found packed four or five to a crate and were "living in squalor," according to the American Humane Association. They had been in the truck for days without food, water or ventilation.
News reports indicate that the two women transporting the dogs owned an animal rescue operation in California and were traveling to Virginia to hold dog auctions. The women have been charged with felony animal cruelty.
On the afternoon of January 31, 18 of the rescued dogs arrived at Young-Williams Animal Center at 3201 Division St. in Knoxville. All of the dogs have been spayed or neutered and have received medical evaluations. Young-Williams Animal Center plans to place the dogs with local rescue groups.
"We're very happy to work with the American Humane Association to help place these animals with local rescue groups that will find them loving homes," said Dr. Michael Blackwell, administrator of Young-Williams Animal Center.
Animal shelters and rescue groups across the nation are taking in the remainder of the rescued dogs in order to find them homes. Area organizations that are helping include Small Breed Rescue of East Tennessee, Carolina Poodle Rescue, Mid-Atlantic Pug Rescue and Animal Rescue and Foster Program in Greensboro, N.C.