Suspect Arrested for Hoarding over 100 Animals on Tennessee Property

A woman was accused of animal cruelty Thursday after officials discovered more than 100 animals at her property in Frankewing, Tennessee.

Officials said they found dogs, horses, donkeys, sheep, geese, ducks, exotic birds, turtles, and other animals on suspect Laura Lifer’s property during a hoarding investigation, according to WAFF.

Sadly, some of the animals were dead, the report noted.

Thursday, Lincoln County Sheriff Murray Blackwelder said Lifer was also allegedly running a puppy mill, adding that there had been previous complaints and deputies were finally able to obtain a search warrant.

In addition to the animals confiscated from the Frankewing property, officials also seized 26 dogs at Lifer’s Aunt Laura’s Boarding and Grooming business in Pulaski, according to WHNT.

“Horse Plus Humane Society, the Nashville Humane Association and Giles County Animal Shelter are also helping with the rescued animals, who officials said are all safe and receiving veterinary care,” the report noted.

Giles County Animal Shelter Director Morgan Sutton said her team was working to treat the dogs’ medical needs and find out if any of them had owners in the area.

“Several of them have conditions, anywhere from skin conditions to heart failure. I’m not saying any of that in particular was on her, the owner, but they need to be addressed,” she explained.

Recent studies found that attachment disorders in conjunction with personality disorders, paranoia, delusional thinking, depression, and other mental illnesses may be the cause of animal hoarding, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

“Some animal hoarders began collecting after a traumatic event or loss, while others see themselves as ‘rescuers’ who save animals from lives on the street,” the nonprofit’s website read.

In 2009, Lifer was sentenced to two years probation and a $100 fine after pleading guilty to two counts of animal cruelty, the WAFF report said.

“The plea agreement stated she could own no more than one cat and one dog, and no large animals,” the article noted.

Following her arrest Thursday, Lifer was charged with 18 counts of animal cruelty and later released from the Lincoln County Jail on a $36,000 bond.

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