Teacher's aide charged after 84 dogs rescued from 'deplorable' home

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MAYNARDVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- According to the Union County Humane Society, more than 80 dogs were removed from a residence in Union County.

On May 29, deputies with the Union County Sheriff's Office responded to a report of animal hoarding at a home on Gilbert Lane in Maynardville. According to the deputies' report, they found "84 dogs at the residence in deplorable condition."

The owners of the animals were identified as Ricky and Dawn Dunaway. The Union County Public Schools superintendent said Dawn works as a teacher's assistant at Maynardville Elementary School.

Both were charged with two counts of animal cruelty and neglect, and were released on criminal citations.

Jim Ford, who lives just down the street, was shocked to hear of what happened.

"I knew they had some dogs back there, but I didn't know they had that many,"
Ford said.

Ford has lived on Gilbert Lane for about 30 years and said the Dunaways have been there for more than 10 years.

"How do you keep up with that many dogs,"
Ford asked.
"I have three here and can't keep up with them."

"Cases like these are very sad, and unfortunate,"
Union County Humane Society Executive Director Tammy Rouse said.
"And they're very preventable."

On June 1, vets from the University of Tennessee were on hand at the humane society to look over the animals after the Dunaways surrendered them. Rouse said the veterinarians gave physicals and shots, which are predominantly Jack Russell terrier and Chihuahua mixes.

"It's obviously a strain on staffing and already stretched resources, but we're always willing to work with our sheriff's department when they call,"
Rouse said.

At this time, the condition of the dogs is unknown. Once the animals are all vetted, Rouse said they will go up for adoption as soon as Monday. Until then, she asked the public to help the shelter out with any monetary donations or supplies they can give. Things like paper towels, Clorox, Clorox wipes, dog food and toys to keep the dogs occupied are among the items needed.