MORRISTOWN (WATE) - Almost all of the animals recovered from a suspected dogfighting training area near Mooresburg were recovering Tuesday.
Seven of the 21 dogs were taken to Morristown Hamblen Humane Society after they were removed from the remote area where the sheriff's office said there was no food or water.
"When we first got there, they were bringing the adult dogs down first with the big chains around their necks. Next, they came down with these little puppies that were found up there," said Andrea MacDonald of the Morristown-Hamblen Humane Society.
Four of the puppies went to the vet for examination. The other three went straight to the Morristown shelter.
"They're pretty good for the first part, except for the wounds the four had. They just had burn marks or scars, scarring form either being beaten up by other dogs or, one actually has a tear going down his leg, which is healing now," said MacDonald.
All seven puppies that made their way to Morristown are now doing well. Unfortunately, one of the other dogs had to be euthanized as a result of its injuries.
"The animals were not aggressive toward humans. We were able to put our hands on them, pick them up. But whenever we would get the dogs out, they would show aggression towards each other," said Hamblen County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Tony Allen.
The Hawkins County Sheriff's Office said this was not a dogfighting operation and that there was not an elaborate viewing area.
"The wounds are consistent to dogfighting. Not every single animal up there did have wounds to it, but a large majority of the animals did have scarring tissue around it," Chief Deputy Allen added.
The sheriff's office hopes to prosecute the case to its fullest extent.
The suspect, Charvez Nelson Francisco, faces multiple charges in the case, including four counts of cruelty to animals.