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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Final count: 49 dogs taken from house

Sunday, August 4, 2013

(Photo)
Volunteer Alicia Holliman holds one of the dogs taken from the John and Sabrina Crowder home. The dogs are housed at Shelbyville's animal shelter.
(T-G Photo by David Melson) [Order this photo]
Fifty animals -- far more than the number originally expected -- were removed from a Shelbyville Mills Road home by Shelbyville animal control workers and volunteers Friday.

The city codes department declared the home of John and Sabrina Crowder as "unfit for human habitation" on Thursday after police, visiting the home on an unrelated matter, discovered an overpowering odor and 10 to 12 dogs inside.

"We found 49 dogs and one cat," said city animal control officer Randy McCullough.

"We're still bringing them in," McCullough said shortly before 2 p.m. Friday as animal control employees and volunteers scrambled to find and build spaces in the city animal shelter to keep the dogs.

More cages

"We're having to go buy temporary cages, there are so many," McCullough said. Workers were leaving at that point to purchase four extra metal pens.

The final count included nine to 10 pit bulls, McCullough said.

Extra help included city treasurer Jamey Owen, who helped place the dogs in pens.

Most of the animals were removed from inside the home and belonged to the Crowders.

Humane dogs

The family has provided temporary outdoor "foster homes" on an ongoing basis for dogs referred by the Shelbyville-Bedford County Humane Association.

Nine SBCHA dogs were in outdoor pens Friday and among those picked up by city animal control.

"She (Sabrina Crowder) was very sweet and cooperative in helping us." said city clerk Alicia Holliman, who is also involved in local animal welfare activity.

"The Crowders and SBCHA have cooperated fully with the city," SBCHA spokesperson Kimberly Warren said in an e-mailed statement Saturday.

(Photo)
This very active dog didn't seem happy about being caged.
(T-G Photo by David Melson) [Order this photo]
Health no issue

"The animals' health was never an issue in this case," Warren said.

"These animals are all of normal weight, all have been provided adequate food, water and shelter. The majority are spayed and neutered and have vaccinations.

"One with a skin problem is being treated and gets monthly Trifexis, which is only bought through a veterinary clinic or with a veterinary prescription, after an initial veterinary exam.

"As per SBCHA's protocol for all its animals, the nine SBCHA puppies that were at the Crowders' home have had all appropriate vaccinations for their age including boosters and have been dewormed."

Next stop

Dogs kept by the Crowders for the SBCHA are usually taken by the Rescue Waggin organization for adoption in other cities after a short time, Warren said.

City Manager Jay Johnson said the SBCHA would be allowed custody of the animals they had placed with the Crowders only after they were checked and inventoried, but no later than Monday.

The dogs were still at the city shelter Saturday afternoon, Warren said. City officials had allowed Warren to give needed shots to the SBCHA dogs Friday. She said it was unclear if SBCHA would be allowed to take custody of the Crowders' dogs.

Word dispute

Several SBCHA board members disagreed with the word "condemned" -- as quoted from a Shelbyville police officer's statement -- in Friday's T-G story, Warren said.

They refer to the International Property Maintenance Code in saying the Shelbyville Mills Road home was declared as a "structure unfit for human occupancy" rather than "condemned."