More than 130 animals rescued in Claiborne Co.

7:10 PM, Feb 16, 2013   |    comments
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Claiborne County authorities have confiscated more than 130 animals after a traffic stop early Saturday morning.

Two suspects, a man and woman, face 134 counts of animal cruelty after transporting chickens, peacocks, rabbits and dogs in a crammed horse trailer, according to the Claiborne County Judicial Center.

Claiborne Animal Shelter is housing them at this time.

According to Michael Barrett, with the board of directors for Claiborne Animal Shelter, Tazewell Police called him to check the animals.

Barrett said he found 100 chickens, 18 rabbits, nine peacocks, and seven dogs crammed in a horse trailer without food and water.

Among the animals, Barrett mentioned a young beagle squeezed into a small crate.

"I was really pretty upset over it. I felt for anybody to treat an animal like this was pretty bad, pretty bad," Barrett said.

Claiborne Animal Shelter is making shelters for the chickens; they transformed some puppy rooms into rabbit rooms.

"It was just appalling. They were all crammed into these little cages. They had no food or water. A lot of these rabbits have really bad ear infections," Executive Director Liza Martz said.

Veterinarian Mark Russell checked each animal.

He said the six puppies are up to 50 percent underweight.

"Even though they look nice and fluffy, they're quite thin when you put your fingers on them... you can feel all the individual ribs," Russell said.

Russell believes the animals will fully recover; however, a chicken died earlier in the day.

At this time, none of the animals can be adopted.

The shelter does need help providing for them.

Their needs include the following: rabbit food, rabbit bedding, chicken feed, and Purina Dog Chow.

More information can be found at:

According to the Claiborne County Judicial Center, the two suspects' names will be released when they are arraigned which will happen after Monday.

The two suspects face 134 counts of animal cruelty.

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