Dump but not abandoned

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A crate packed with 14 puppies was discovered by Tommy Killough in front of his home on Tammye Lane. Residents of the home cared for the dogs for two to three weeks until calling animal control on Tuesday.

“I discovered them at the end of the driveway in a crate at about 1:30 a.m.,” said Killough. “At first, I thought they were pigs because of the way they were crying. We kept them in our home for about two weeks before someone called animal control.”

Madisonville Animal Control Officer Ellie Haynes arrived on scene Tuesday to retrieve the dogs and take them to the veterinarian. Killough stated that he kept one of the dogs and the rest were taken to the Madisonville Animal Shelter.

“There were so many of them that the crate was not sufficient for the amount in there,” said Haynes. “They ended up putting them in a fenced area behind their house. They waited to call to ask around or see if someone had made a mistake.”

According to Haynes, the dogs appeared to be Labradors or border collie mixes. Almost all of them were completely black, but some had white markings as well. There were some concerns, but the dogs were described as healthy for the most part. Some of them were missing patches of fur and were wormy and anemic, which they were medicated for.

“As far as right now, we are not too worried in terms of their survival,” said Haynes. “I do not think they could have been in the crate too long, they must have been discovered pretty quickly. I do not think all of them would have survived otherwise.”

The incident compliments a greater problem in Madisonville as well as the county itself. Haynes is the only Animal Control Officer in the City of Madisonville and tends to the shelter herself.

While she has no jurisdiction outside of the City of Madisonville, Haynes receives calls from throughout the county relating to animals who are in trouble and need new homes. Rufus Refuge also works tirelessly to assist the growing abandoned pet population in the county.

“We have 47 dogs right now and more cats as well,” said Dawn Knight of Rufus Refuge. “We have one foster with 19 dogs and another with 22. We get at least a couple of calls a day regarding dumped animals. I have 13 cats and a feral dog. We are all overwhelmed and I hope and pray that the county will step up and help.”

Knight also stated how grateful they are for Officer Haynes and the job she does for animals in the community.

Dierdre Smith contributed to this article

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