Animal Rescue Corps - a nationwide nonprofit specializing in large-scale, logistically complex rescues - was called in by Tennessee authorities over the weekend to assist in the rescue of 60 dogs used in a suspected dog fighting operation.
Fire departments in Ashland City and Pleasant View, Tn., about 25 miles west of Nashville, responded to a brush fire and discovered a large number of dogs chained up on the property while fires raged around them. County Animal Control found 60 dogs, mostly American Pit Bull Terriers and some Beagles, all requiring medical attention, underweight, with no access to food or water.
Recognizing that local authorities needed help, ARC was called in, and trained volunteers were deployed in less than 24 hours. All the animals found on the property were transported to a temporary shelter outside of Nashville, with ARC volunteers attending to their daily care and medical needs until they are assessed for placement and transferred to shelter and rescue partners around the country.
The dogs appear to have been used for breeding and training based on paraphernalia found on the property such as a treadmill, fighting pen, and a spring pole used for strengthening dogs' jaws, officials said. ARC president Scotlund Haisley said, "Conditions were the worst I've ever seen at a dog fighting operation in my 22-year career in animal protection and rescue. "
He has led 15-20 dog fighting rescues as well as two raids and is one of probably five or six people in the world who have personally witnessed and this many operations, it was stated.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations is investigating the operation.