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Newport Animal Shelter is asking for your help! We are in desperate need of supplies.

NEWPORT (WATE) - Two suspected animal hoarders in Cocke County are facing 40 counts of animal cruelty.

Donnie Webb and Virginia Daniels were arraigned in court Friday. Both asked for public defenders.

The sheriff says Webb was also charged with assault on a police officer for attacking a deputy who responded to the home.

Authorities say the couple was keeping dozens of dogs inside their Newport home. The conditions were so bad, officers say they put Vicks Vapor Rub under their noses during the animal rescue.

The dogs are now in the county's only animal shelter, which was already overcrowded with hundreds of homeless animals.

Most of the 41 rescued dogs are mixed breed Chihuahuas and one Great Pyrenees. Several chickens were also confiscated.

Newport Animal Control Director Lisa Layman said it is the worst case of hoarding she has ever seen.

"There was feces everywhere, urine everywhere," she recalled. "The smell was overbearing. You could not get your breath within the home. There was trash, debris. It was very bad conditions."

Layman said all the dogs were infested with fleas. One dog was even found dead in the living room floor.

Still, the survivors are in amazingly good health, but can't yet leave the Newport Animal Shelter.

"We'll have to wait until the court system decides what they're going to do," explained Layman. "As soon as the animals are released, we'll place them up for adoption."

While the rescued dogs are not available for adoption, there were already 309 animals in need of homes before they arrived. They try to save them all, but it is not a no kill shelter.

"No, we have to euthanize, but we have a rolling rescue program in place that takes puppies and some adults to different states to be placed in adoptive homes," added Layman.

The shelter is now jam packed with nearly 350 dogs, and they need help to survive.

"What we need the public to do is to try to send donations of any kind that they can. We would more than welcome it," said Layman. "Monetary donations, any supplies like newspapers, shredded paper, anything of that sort we'd be very happy to have."

They also need more volunteers to take on the extra work. If you can help, just call the Newport Animal Shelter at (423) 623-1010.
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