More than 50 dogs recovered from a Troup County home

Published 5:52 pm Wednesday, May 6, 2020

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More than 50 dogs were recovered from a Troup County home Tuesday and taken to the LaGrange Animal Shelter.

According to Troup County Chief Marshal Lonza Edmondson, at about 11 a.m. animal services office received a call about several dogs barking. Deputies went to Chase Road in unincorporated Troup County and found 55 animals at the residence that were not adequately cared for. Edmondson said there were about 17 to 18 dogs outside with insufficient shelter, and the rest were inside the home with feces covering the floor.

The homeowner, Cynthia Sims, willingly gave up the animals after being cited with inhumane care of animals and nuisance. Edmondson said if she didn’t surrender the animals, she could have faced additional charges.

Edmondson said several of the animals at the home were covered in fleas, and deputies found one deceased animal in a wooden dog house in the backyard.

“This is nothing that we see often,” Edmondson said.

The Marshall’s Office called the LaGrange Animal Shelter to assist in removing the animals and transporting them back to the shelter. Edmondson said there are still two animals that have not been recovered.

LaGrange Animal Services Supervisor Chris Bussey said Wednesday the shelter had to close its doors at noon on Tuesday to care for the influx of animals. He said most of the day consisted of cleaning the animals and giving them appropriate shots.

Now, the shelter is calling for donations of used towels, washcloths and canned puppy food to help care for the large number of dogs and puppies.

Those wanting to drop off a donation can place it on the front bench at the building and call the shelter at (706) 298-3606. Due to COVID-19, the building is closed to the public. The LaGrange Animal Services building is at 1390 Orchard Hill Road in LaGrange.

Bussey said none of the animals recovered Tuesday are available for adoption yet as many of them need socialization skills, such as walking on a leash and just learning how to be around humans.

“Just learning to walk with a leash could be an adventure for some,” Bussey said.

Natalie Johnson, animal services officer, spends several hours walking and socializing with the animals to help them recover those skills.

Bussey said most of the animals were healthy after they were initially examined. He said the homeowner was feeding the animals properly and keeping them nourished.

Bussey said he was a little surprised to hear the homeowner willingly gave up the animals.

“It not abnormal to have a hoarding case of this many animals,” he said. “It is abnormal to see this many given up willingly.”

Several animals will eventually go into the Puppy Pipeline, a non-profit organization that transports puppies, kittens, dogs, and cats to the northeast, upper Midwest and Canada to no-kill shelters that will find them forever homes.

Bussey said some would go into the pipeline next week, and others will have to go later, depending on how fast a veterinarian can sign off on it.

The pipeline goes to Pennsylvania, Canada, Boston, New York and Ohio.

“We are happy there will be a happy resolution to this, and these animals will go to a good home,” Bussey said.