Dead horse, dogs litter area home

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
James Willis Crosslin
Bedford County Jail photo

A Bedford County man has been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals after a report of a dead horse outside a Sims Road home led to a even more gruesome discovery.

"We found the remains of eight dead dogs, one dead horse and several animals we believe were rabbits or birds," Bedford County Animal Control officer Jack Cooper said.

Six dogs and one horse were alive, Cooper said. They have been removed to a safe shelter.

James Willis Crosslin, 50, has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty, which is a felony under state law. Crosslin posted $5,000 bond.

"He gave no reason for letting the animals get into that condition," Cooper said.

Cooper said he visited the home Friday to check on the dead horse. Some of the other animals on the property were "plainly visible," Cooper said, leading to a search warrant being issued.

Helping hands

A veterinarian from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture's animal welfare unit joined BCAC staff, representatives of the C.G. Freck Foundation animal rescue group, Bedford County deputies and Shelbyville police in an all-night rescue operation Friday into Saturday morning at the Crosslin home on the 2700 block of Sims Road. The animals and remains were both inside and outside the home, Cooper said.

"Most of the dogs were beagles but a couple were other breeds," Cooper said. The outside animals were chained. tethered or in cages, according to Cooper.

The surviving animals are being cared for by BCAC. They are not available for adoption at this time as their conditions are still being evaluated, Cooper said.