‘Disturbing Trend’: Sullivan County Animal Shelter sees increase in abandoned, neglected hunting dogs

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BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — The Sullivan County Animal Shelter is dealing with what one shelter official is calling a “disturbing trend.”

The facility has seen an increased number of hunting dogs come through its doors in recent weeks.

“We’ve had kind of a disturbing trend, an uptick of these hounds that are coming in,” said Executive Director Cindy Holmes. “They’re being found either running at large by good Samaritan citizens, injured, or just being abandoned here at the shelter. We’ve had a few brought in by our animal control officers as well.”

Holmes says the shelter has been getting around two to four dogs a week. She believes many of them were abandoned during hunts.

Many have also come in with “substantial injuries,” ranging from severe infection to missing pieces of their ears. Some have required surgery and it appears many have never had veterinary care, she said.

“Just general poor treatment,” she said. “And it is very disturbing to see these numbers continue to rise in our region.”

The shelter is working on getting the dogs healthy and ready for adoption.

“These are wonderful pets, these animals that we have, they’re very welcoming to attention from people,” Holmes said. “The social skills that we are teaching them in training with them, they are very open, very quick to receive that. They usually, very graciously, allow us to treat their wounds, trim their nails.”

If you are interested in adopting, you can call the animal shelter at 423-279-2741 or stop by at 380 Massengill Road in Blountville.

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