HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – A Rogersville man was charged with cruelty to animals on Sunday after deputies allegedly discovered seven dogs in a cage with no visible floor due to the amount of feces.
According to a report from the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office, Paul Ellis Jr., 40, was arrested Sunday after deputies returned to a home in the 200 block of Meadowview Road to check on some dogs on the property.
The report says deputies had first spoken to Ellis Jr. on January 29 after he and a woman had been in an argument over the dogs. Ellis Jr. had told deputies that he wanted to get rid of the dogs, but no shelters would come and get them from the home.
Deputies saw in January that the dogs were living in poor conditions and told Ellis Jr. he had to give them to a shelter or clean the shed they were in.
Ellis Jr. told deputies that he would take care of it by the next day and was told a follow-up would be conducted.
On Sunday, deputies returned to check on the dogs and found the seven of them in a cage that was four feet by eight feet.
Deputies report the floor of the shed had about eight to 12 inches of feces covering the floor, making the actual floor invisible.
The report says a strong smell of ammonia was coming from the shed, and the dogs had rashes on their stomachs.
Deputies report that the dogs had cuts and lacerations on their heads and bodies, fur matted with feces and severe coughs with wheezing.
Two of the dogs were allegedly spitting up blood and throwing up. The dogs had overgrown claws and difficulty walking.
A woman at the home told deputies that the dogs had been kept in the shed with no light source for about two years.
The dogs were rescued by the Hawkins County Humane Society.