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Scotlund's Blog

Operation Tennessee Waltz Parts One and Two

(Written early hours August 23rd)


14051657_1297930766906909_5429405311720079282_nI’m writing this note from Animal Rescue Corps’ mobile command center. It’s 4:30 am, we left Operation Tennessee Waltz Part Two over two hours ago and we have another two and a half hours until we reach our emergency animal shelter. The team and I have been up for nearly 24 hours, conducting two rescues in Tennessee, hundreds of miles apart – – Operation Tennessee Waltz Parts One and Two. (See video of Part One here.) Our hearts were made heavy with the unimaginable suffering we witnessed on these two cases but now, 68 precious souls are safe in ARC’s arms of compassion. We are exhausted, beat up, and a few team members sustained minor injuries. Needless to say, the high temperature and heavy work load quickly drained our strength. Even as exhaustion set in, no one complained or thought of stopping, because ARC is made up of a team of extraordinary individuals. Back at the emergency shelter a team of selfless and dedicated volunteers is working equally as hard receiving and beginning the care and rehabilitation of the dogs and cats that we pulled from amongst the worst conditions we have ever witnessed.

14045782_1298671003499552_2970480754981349740_nCase #1 – A case where the perpetrator was a Chihuahua breeder, but also posing as a rescue group. While residing in Maine, years ago, she was investigated by authorities for animal cruelty but she fled the state before charges were filed. Just 18 hours ago, ARC working in conjunction with the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department and Animal Services, broke this cycle of abuse. We found animals suffering from a plethora of medical conditions and injuries including: tumors, eye and ear infections, mange, malnutrition, internal and external parasites and other untreated injuries and illnesses. The perpetrator was arrested and charged with animal cruelty and 26 dogs, 5 cats, 10 chickens, 2 horses, were seized and given the promise they will never suffer again.

14034742_1299423486757637_9060030567207563642_nCase #2 – A case of animal hoarding and extreme neglect. Over the weekend a property owner in Grundy County, TN was hospitalized and the City of Tracy,TN Police Department was made aware of the extreme suffering on this property. They contacted ARC for assistance and being in the region, we were fortunately able to plan an immediate response. Even having seen photos and video of the property, we were not prepared for the desperation and despair we witnessed. A scene of suffering so surreal, it is nearly impossible to describe. Dogs existing in isolation, confined in rat infested, dilapidated structures, pieced together by scraps of tin, broken boards, and chicken-wire fencing. The dogs suffering from extreme mange and starvation, as well as other 14045595_1299423626757623_3640668222229425218_nsevere medical conditions. The cats suffered equally in a similar maze of misery, locked in a building that is simply indescribable. In my 26 years of professionally protecting animals, I have never seen anything like it. Their medical conditions range from upper respiratory infections to severe malnutrition and dehydration. All the animals were barely surviving in the extreme filth and months, if not years, of their own waste, with no food or clean water to be found. A team of veterinarians is currently preparing to triage the animals as they arrive in the next few hours.

14039998_1298672260166093_6047364717571925377_nARC has conducted three large scale rescue operations over the past two weeks in Mississippi and Tennessee – rescuing more than 300 animals during Operation Dog Days of Summer and Operation Tennessee Waltz Parts 1 & 2. I recognize how difficult this work can be and I know that our staff and volunteers often suffer with physical and emotional fatigue. I know it is also often difficult too for our donors, supporters, and partners to be reminded that such suffering exists, hidden but widespread, all around us.    Together, we must vow to take care of ourselves and each other, so that we can work through our fatigue and achieve even more than we thought we could.  We must not stop until every cry is heard and addressed, until every wound is healed, until they suffer no more.

The animals we saved today are broken, physically and emotionally but together we will heal them and be rewarded by the pictures and stories of their new lives, and we will in turn be healed and inspired by their extraordinary resilience. Please continue to stand with ARC.  I know that with your help, together, we can forever change the way animals are treated in this country and beyond.

Thank you for continuing to amaze and inspire me with your compassion!

For the animals,

Scotlund Haisley

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