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Officials find about 100 dogs in alleged puppy mill

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By The Staff

By DAVID DOONAN

ddoonan@roanecounty.com

Officers from Roane County Animal Control and the Ninth Judicial District executed a search warrant at an alleged puppy mill near Harriman Wednesday night.

Roane County Animal Control Director John Griffin said the warrant was the culmination of a one-and-a-half-year investigation into an alleged puppy mill at the 446 Poland Hollow Road home of Margery Dodd.

Investigators found three shed-like buildings holding about 100 dogs of different breeds, such as Chihuahuas, pugs, Pomeranians and poodles.

The buildings reeked of an ammonia odor so intense from large amounts of urine and feces that a bio engineer from the University of Tennessee was brought in to test levels. The results of testing determined that the amount of the gas was at unsafe levels.

The animals were examined by an area veterinarian, and it was determined that 28 of the dogs had to be removed from the premises.

Animal control officers, with help from UT Extension agent Grant Palmer, removed the dogs to be housed at the animal shelter in Rockwood.

“Unfortunately, due to limited space, we took the worst of the worst,” Griffin responded when asked why only 28 dogs were removed. "We will work with the district attorney's office to confiscate the rest at a later date.”

Dodd was charged with six counts of failure to have rabies vaccines and six counts of animal cruelty.

She is scheduled to go before Judge Jeff Wicks on Dec. 14 to answer to these charges.