More than 40 dogs removed from Greenup County rescue

Published: Aug. 9, 2017 at 6:37 PM EDT
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FLATWOODS, Ky. (WSAZ) -- More than 40 dogs have been taken from a non-profit rescue.

It started last Wednesday when volunteers say they took seven dogs from the home and five more the next day.

On Friday, 30 dogs were rescued and taken to the Guardian Animal Medical Clinic for care.

Volunteers say they found the dogs in poor conditions with feces in cages, dogs in small kennels, dead rats, flies, issues with food and dogs with parasites.

"As we made our way up the hill, then we saw kennels with the dead rats and the water bucket with the dead rats, and that's when we really knew that it was going to be urgent," Angel Pope, owner and founder of Backroads Animal Rescue, told WSAZ.

She says the owner asked for help with moving the dogs but Pope didn't anticipate how much help was needed.

The owner declined an interview but did tell WSAZ that she knew things were starting to get out of hand and she was desperate. She says she took so many of the dogs in because she was saving them from bad situations or other places that didn't have room. She said if she's guilty of anything, she's "guilty of a big heart."

We are not sharing her name because Greenup County Emergency Management Director Dennis Bass says she will not be facing charges.

He says they have worked with the Humane Society and do not see anything that would result in charges.

Volunteers and rescue groups say that's, in part, because there aren't strong animal neglect laws in Kentucky.

Bass says the owner will not be taking in anymore animals and will be closing the rescue.

Guardian Animal Medical Clinic is in desperate need of donations to help with the rescued dogs they've taken in.

"To take in 30 dogs in 30 minutes is somewhat overwhelming," Dr. MJ Wixsom said.

Specific items the clinic needs are listed in the sidebar story here.

The clinic can also use volunteers. They will have to fill out an application and undergo a background check. Dogs are walked at 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

To donate online you can go to The site does not take any fees from donations, so all the money goes directly to the animals.

Choose Kentucky and then Guardian Animal Medical Clinic. All donations that come in through the website will currently be going to the 30 dogs.

 Donations need for Guardian Medical Clinic

  • Collars
  • Chew toys
  • Old towels
  • Brooms
  • Dust pans
  • Mops 
  • Volunteers