HCSO: Church Hill man charged after deputies find 8 emaciated dogs, 1 dog dead

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CHURCH HILL, Tenn. (WJHL) – A man has been charged with nine counts of animal cruelty after authorities found eight dogs living in their own feces and one dog dead.

The dead dog was found still chained to its dog house.

“There was also one that was deceased that was still on his chain, and had been decomposing for a good amount of time,” Second Chance Rescue co-founder, Brittany Tunnel said.

The emaciated dogs were taken to the Hawkins County Humane Society for treatment after Second Chance Rescue arrived on the scene on Friday.

According to a report from the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office, Benjamin Reece was charged on Friday following a welfare check on the dogs that neighbors were concerned about.

“For somebody to just take off and leave eight animals. You know, there’s no excuse for it, but we do everything in our power to help animals in need, like this,” Tunnel said. “This is the worst that we’ve had so far.”

The dogs were found behind Reece’s home in different cages, on Payne Ridge Road in Church Hill.

One of the eight dogs found was a pregnant blue female pit bull. The other dogs were two male pit bulls, a male and female German Shepherd, an Anatolian Shepherd and two small pugs.

Authorities report all of the dogs were extremely emaciated and living in their own feces with no food in the cages.

Some of the cages also apparently had filthy water with a green tint to it.

The dead dog was found still chained to its dog house.

The emaciated dogs were taken to the Hawkins County Humane Society for treatment after Second Chance Rescue arrived on the scene.

Authorities report all of the dogs were extremely emaciated and living in their own feces with no food in the cages. Some of the dogs had several scratches and scars around their bodies.

Tunnel said, “I believe that this has happened over fighting over food because they were just starving.”

Some of the cages also apparently had filthy water with a green tint to it.

“We have to kind of restrict their feeding just because you can’t just stick out a big bunch of food because it will make them sick. They get fed several times a day. Small meals,” Tunnel said.

Other dogs needed more than just nutrients.

Tunnel explained, “Vet care is expensive and that’s something that we’re hoping that the community will step up and try and help with donations.”

“We have three of the dogs in our possession, and we had other individuals that helped us with the rescue that were fostering the others. There are two that are at the Hawkins County animal shelter that we are going to get in our care within the next couple of days, once we can get some kennels setup and have proper shelter and everything for them, she said.

The shelter is asking for donations to help these dogs have a smooth recovery. There is an account set up at Mountain Empire Small Animal, under the name, ‘Second Chance.’

A warrant has been issued for Benjamin Reece, since he has not been yet located.

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