ASPCA Assists Metro Animal Control in Removal of 41 Dogs from “Happy Endings Animal Rescue” Near Nashville

Dogs transported to temporary shelter to receive medical care
July 19, 2016

Madison, Tenn.—At the request of Metro Animal Care and Control, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today removed 41 dogs from Happy Endings Animal Rescue (HEAR), a self-described no-kill dog rescue eight miles north of Nashville, Tenn. The Nashville Police Department executed a warrant Tuesday morning for the removal of the dogs, and the owner was arrested on charges of animal cruelty.

The seizure is the result of numerous public complaints about conditions at HEAR, which has been operating for 19 years. HEAR’s website states it is “the largest privately run non-profit animal rescue in Nashville”.

The dogs—including Chow, Pit Bull, Shepherd mixes and other medium to large breed dogs—were living in feces and filth inside an overcrowded house and outdoor kennels. One room alone held 22 dogs, with feces covering the floor. The dogs were suffering from medical issues including emaciation, dental disease, and severe hair loss. Some were not spayed or neutered and had no access to food or water.

“What we found here is horrific,” said Kathryn Destreza, Investigations Director for the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team. “This facility claimed to be a safe place for animals, but the truth is these dogs were suffering greatly, both physically and emotionally. Our immediate goal is to get them much-needed medical attention at our temporary shelter.”

“We are glad to have the expertise and experience that the ASPCA brings to this case,” said Rebecca Morris spokesperson for Metro Animal Care and Control. “We are pleased that the animals will be receiving the necessary medical care and attention they deserve.”

The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team is removing and transporting the dogs to a temporary shelter in an undisclosed location, where they will receive medical exams and behavioral assessments. The ASPCA will continue to care for the dogs at the temporary shelter until their custody is determined by the court. They will also provide ongoing legal support until resolution of the criminal case.