Crimetracker: 41 dogs rescued from Sweetwater puppy mill

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SWEETWATER, Tenn. (WVLT) -- They're safe now, but until recently 14 puppies and 27 adult dogs were living a much different life at Libby Moses' home in Sweetwater.

"The cages that they were in had not been cleaned in quite some time, the wire cages, you could see the feces in the bottom of the cages, dog food that had been turned over and just left, blankets that were not clean inside the cages - those kinds of things," said Chuck Whited, assistant code enforcement officer for the city of Sweetwater.

In all, code enforcement officers rescued 41 dogs, which shelter workers are nursing back to health. Most have worms and fleas, and some are in much worse condition.

"One with some disformity on her front legs - she's one of the pregnant ones that should not have been bred. And then there's another one that has some back and neurological issues, also pregnant that should not have been bred," said Claire Moxim, a Monroe County Friends of Animals board member.

The shelter said Moses was using the dogs to make a living, breeding daucshunds and chihuahas without a license.

"She was selling these puppies for a lot of money - very, very poorly bred puppies for hundreds of dollars," said Moxim.

Moses said she did absolutely nothing wrong. She said the dogs were all looked after and cared for, and said that only some of those dogs are hers. Moses said the rest belong to her daughter, who only recently moved in.

But code enforcement officers slapped her with 161 charges, including animal cruelty, not having rabies vaccinations, keeping the dogs in unsanitary conditions without enough food and water, and not having a kennel license.

Moses is due in court Friday morning.

The Monroe County Friends of Animals shelter said most of the dogs should be adoptable.

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