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Bluff City woman facing animal cruelty charges

By Angela Yingling
Published On: Dec 31 2013 07:49:14 AM CST
Updated On: Dec 31 2013 05:40:51 PM CST

A Bluff City woman is facing 28 counts of animal cruelty after officers say numerous dogs and cats were not being properly cared for at her Turner Road home.

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. -

A Bluff City woman is facing 28 counts of animal cruelty after officers say numerous dogs and cats were not being properly cared for at her Turner Road home.

35 dogs and cats were taken from a home in Sullivan County after police say they were found in unlivable conditions.

58-year-old Kathy Sullivan is charged with 28 counts of cruelty to animals. According to the Sullivan County Sheriff's Department, 23 cats and 12 dogs were seized from a home on Turner Road in September. "During the search the detectives observed basically unlivable conditions. There were various animals, dogs and cats, in poor health. Some were malnourished, most were dehydrated, others had sores on them," says Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Leslie Earhart.

In the affidavit witnesses say it wasn't unusual to see dead cats on the property, and the fleas were 'out of control'.

A detective wrote some cats were kept in chicken coops. Trash and feces were found and all of the animals were dehydrated.

We’re told the heat was also an issue. "There was no air circulating inside the home. The windows were shut, and keep in mind this was in September, so it was extremely hot inside the home," adds Earhart.

After a visit to a local emergency vet clinic, the animals were taken to the SBK Animal Shelter, but bringing in 35 dogs and cats for care has had an impact. "That's maybe 20 percent of our capacity; we've had to set up a special room to quarantine the cats that have had some health issues," says SBK board president Tom Parham.

The animals have to remain at the shelter until the case goes to court. Kathy Sullivan is expected in court on Monday.

We're told Sullivan County Assistant District Attorney Julie Canter applied for and received a grant of nearly $7,000 to help pay for medical expenses and care of the animals taken from the home.

We did reach out to Kathy Sullivan, but she did not return our request for comment.