KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The Knox County Sheriff’s Office removed 31 dogs from a West Knox County dog breeder’s home Tuesday.
Sara Jane Tinker, 58, was cited for cruelty to animals.
Deputies say Tinker had been breeding dogs out of her home on Marshy Swamp Point and using a website to sell them.
Leah Littleton has been living right next door for eight years.
“I’m thrilled that they’re gone.” she said. “They jump up on the fence sometimes. I have small children and I went inside sometimes cause I thought I have to protect my kids.”
WATE 6 On Your Side spoke with another neighbor who didn’t want to go on camera. She said she was bitten twice by one of the dogs after it got out of the yard.
She says she also received a letter from Tinker last week saying you didn’t have to call animal control on me.
After multiple complaints of barking and a strong odor, officers obtained a search warrant. They entered the home and removed one Havanese, one Cockapoo, 23 standard poodles and six unweaned standard poodle puppies.
“Sometimes I could smell on my porch, couldn’t open my windows a lot because I could smell them,” said Littleton
There is a Facebook page allegedly run by Tinker called “East Tennessee Standard Poodles.” Photos were posted on both of six puppies up for sale. Deputies say of the 31 dogs that were seized, six were puppies.
“It’s just you have to take care of them, you need to have a clean environment for them and for yourself, she a really nice lady I wish her the best but that’s too many dogs for a residence,” said Littleton.
The Knox County Code Administration and Inspection Office deemed the home unfit for human occupation or use. The dogs were taken to Young-Williams Animal Center for evaluation.
As of right now the dogs are not up for adoption since the shelter doesn’t have legal ownership. They can get ownership if this incident goes to court or if the owner surrenders her rights.
Tinker has a criminal history in Knox County that includes resisting arrest, implied consent notice and driving under the influence.