Animal Rescue Corps responded to an urgent call from Newton County officials for assistance with 70+ dogs found living in deplorable conditions on two properties in central Mississippi.
This dire situation came to light after law enforcement responded to a local tip that dogs living on a property had gone days in the grueling Mississippi July heat without anyone coming to provide food, water, or care.
Officers responded to the scene and were horrified by the grisly scene they found. Food and water were immediately given to the animals, contact was made with Animal Rescue Corps, and we quickly deployed to the scene with state-licensed veterinarians, equipment, and our skilled rescue team to manage the rescue and cruelty documentation.
Animal Rescue Corps reached out to our good friends BISSELL Pet Foundation who immediately agreed to partner in this rescue with us — an emergency rescue to save these dogs from their “rescuer.” Also supporting the rescue on site were Humane Society of South Mississippi (HSSM), Southern Pines Animal Shelter (SPAS), Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO), and In Defense of Animals.
Second Paw Dog Rescue of Newton, MS., a self-described rescue and nonprofit, had taken these dogs in. Natalie Fancher Patten, the proprietor, has been arrested this week and charged with animal cruelty, including felony charges. Her husband has also been arrested. We will be supporting prosecution at every step of the way.
The suffering that has happened in the months since they started operations is hard to fathom. On their 9-acre property, which they acquired in the fall of 2022, dogs ran loose, were tethered to trees, and were confined in small, hot cages.
The remains of at least 15 dead dogs were found, although the actual count is likely much higher given the number of loose bones scattered across the property. Some of the dogs’ remains lie rotted in small cages where they were put inside and left to die, telling a heartbreaking story.
On a separate property, dozens more dogs were loose inside and outside a trailer, among piles of garbage on urine-soaked and feces-covered floors. We’ve been told that the founder of Second Paw Dog Rescue was housesitting in this residence. During that time, she moved multiple dogs and puppies into the home. The ammonia levels in the trailer exceeded 117 ppm, several times the level that is considered dangerously toxic. Dozens of dogs were found suffering in unimaginable conditions.