PHOTO GALLERY: Neglected animals rescued from Hawkins residence after …

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Feb 21, 2014 in Rat News | Subscribe

Jeff Bobo
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Local News

February 20th, 2014 4:09 pm by Jeff Bobo

Hawkins County Humane Society volunteers said there was bird feed at the residence, but birds apparently hadn’t been fed for some time, and some had died. Photos courtesy of HCHS.

ROGERSVILLE — The Hawkins County Humane Society was still trying to round up animals Thursday at the home of a Hawkins County woman who was hospitalized Wednesday after being discovered in extremely unsanitary conditions.

Wednesday evening HCSO was dispatched to the residence of Margaret Agusti, 63, 115 Prices Road, north of Rogersville, after Agusti had reported several explosions taking place outside of her residence, as well as numerous individuals being around her home.

Deputies were unable to locate any signs of explosions or persons around Agusti’s residence, but they did observe a variety of animals residing in what appeared to be extremely unsanitary conditions within Agusti’s home.

Agusti was subsequently transported to a local hospital via ambulance in order to receive a mental evaluation.

Sheriff’s deputies contacted Agusti at the hospital seeking consent to go back to her home and remove the animals in order to see that the animals were cared for.

HCHS president Eddie McNally was then contacted to assist with the recovery and transport of the animals.

When deputies arrived back at the Agusti residence, approximately 40 animals were discovered in and around the residence, including birds, cats, dogs, lizards, fish, guinea pigs and rats.

HCHS volunteer Danny Alvis said he was shocked by what he found inside the residence.

“There were about six volunteers (from the HCHS), and the sheriff’s office had several officers out there, and words can’t properly describe what we found inside that house,” Alvis said. “There was feces, both human and animal, all throughout the house. She was going in bowls. I feel sorry for these people. I cannot imagine living this way. Obviously she has mental problems, and you can’t really fault her for the treatment of the animals because she was living the same way.”

The HCSO said several animals were deceased, including a guinea pig, a lizard and numerous birds.

One dog was missing a hind leg, which Alvis said appeared to have been “chewed off.” Another dog was suffering a serious skin condition which was being evaluated by a vet.

HCHS assistant manager Sandy Behnke said there was bird feed in the house, but it appeared the birds hadn’t been fed for quite some time, nor had their cages been cleaned. As a result, several bids were found dead in their cages.

“As we entered the residence, it was horrible, feces everywhere, dead animals in cages, and animals with no food or water,” Behnke said. “We took in 19 live birds, 15 dead animals, pet rats in cages, one guinea pig, one rabbit, two cats, and three dogs. Two others dogs we could not catch, and three more cats we could not catch.”

Behnke added, “We brought all of the animals back to the shelter, and fed and watered them. Today (Thursday) we went back to try and catch animals with no luck. Neighbors stated this has gone on for too long and were so happy we stepped in and will try and catch dogs and bring them to us.”

Alvis said there were cobwebs in and around an upstairs bedroom that looked like it hadn’t been entered in years.

“I don’t know where the lady slept other than on the floor,” he added. “There was a blanket lying on the floor. She’s committed somewhere and I hope she gets some help. It was very deplorable.”

All animals brought to the HCHS were receiving any needed medical treatment, and were being fed and watered.

The HCSO reported that an investigation is ongoing.

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