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Authorities arrested a Rossville woman Wednesday and now have seized about 35 dogs from her home.
The Catoosa County Animal Shelter responded to a complaint about a large number of animals in unsanitary conditions at Williams home at 162 East Stateline Road.
According to Sheriff Phil Summers, Betty Guice Williams, 67, was charged with multiple counts of cruelty to animals.
Summers said there was one dead cat and one dead dog found on the property. There were holes in the floor and walls of the home and dogs were living under the house and in walls.
There was also animal feces all over the house, he said. Williams family did not know she was living in such conditions, Summers said.
(Situations like this) are rare cases to discover, said Catoosa County Animal Shelter director Darla Proctor.
She added that the public often hesitates to report animal hoarding.
If you think there is a problem you need to go ahead and act upon it, she said.
The shelter was able to pick up the dogs on Thursday with a search warrant. Proctor said most of the dogs are Chihuahuas.
She said the house was in total disarray.
The dogs were treated for flea infestation at the shelter. Proctor is unsure if the dogs have diseases, but the animals show no signs.
Williams had been giving the dogs vaccinations herself, Proctor said.
Proctor said she spoke to Williams over the phone and she was very concerned for the animals and wanted to make sure they were taken care of.
She said most animal hoarders are in a mental state that prevents them from realizing the harm they are doing to the animals.
They dont see it as bad as what we see it, she said.
None of the animals are housebroken or have been around any people other than Williams, she said.
Because the dogs are not socially oriented they will be handed over to rescue organizations next week, which are better able to handle these issues.
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