Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tennessee: Laura Morris found guilty of animal cruelty, was running a puppy mill with nearly 100 dogs living in squalor

TENNESSEE -- A Gibson County woman accused of running a puppy mill in Humboldt went to trial on Tuesday. She was found guilty of cruelty to animals.
Laura Morris was facing 95 counts of cruelty to animals.

After being found guilty Tuesday, the judge reserved a decision on the number of counts until June 30.


Deputies arrested Morris in November 2014.

An animal rescue worker said they found nearly 100 animals on the property living in filth.

“They were living in their own feces and urine buildup,” Animal Rescue Corps President and Founder Scotlund Haisley said. “It was unsuitable for any human to be in there without protective gear.”

“You could feel the ammonia burning across your face,” Gibson County Sheriff Paul Thomas, whose office worked with ARC on the rescue, told a local ABC affiliate. “The feces, the urine, it’s horrible.”


Haisley helped remove the dogs from her Humboldt property and get them to a shelter. “I don’t know exactly how long it had been since there had been a good cleaning, but I would suggest that it was at least months,” he said.

A veterinarian testified the animals suffered from a variety of health issues including dehydration, dental disease, hair loss, matted fur, skin infections, glaucoma and more.


Lt. Dwayne Reynolds with the Gibson County Sheriff’s Office said the building where they found the dogs reeked of ammonia. “I really do feel like she really cared for the dogs, but I think she just got overwhelmed with it,” he said. “She got too many.”

Haisley told the judge he does not think the animals were maliciously tortured. “I believe that Miss Morris cared for these animals to a certain degree in her mind,” he said.

Haisley said Morris also agreed to surrender the animals.


(WBBJTV - May 23, 2017)


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