When Michael Cunningham of Animal Rescue Corps (ARC) got a call from a local sheriff's office in Union County Mississippi, he knew he had to head from the organization's base in Washington, D.C., to Mississippi immediately.
Cunningham and his team drove overnight and when they arrived at the destination, they found over 100 animals - dogs, cats, horses, and donkeys - living in terrible conditions without food and water, covered in parasites, and scorching in the heat.
Cunningham said he had never seen a case where dogs had so many ticks.
"It was unbelievable," he said. "Some of them had 100 ticks between their toes on one paw - their paws were so swollen their toes didn't even touch."
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He said that the animals were found on two properties owned by the same family.
When the owners brought one of their dogs to a local vet, the vet reached out to the Union County Sheriff's Department. When the Sheriff's Department arrived on the scene and saw how many animals there were, they called the ARC for help.
The ARC drove overnight immediately to come to the rescue. The team and volunteers started extraction right away.
It was one of the hottest days of the year with a heat index of 109 degrees and the group of approximately 20 spent 18 hours on the rescue.
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The animals were removed from the property and taken to an emergency shelter in Tunica.
Cunningham stays at the shelter with the animals. He said they are getting used to their surroundings and have finally started sleeping through the night. All of the animals have received proper veterinary care and vaccinations.
The ARC are accepting donations to help the costs of care for the animals.
Information about how to adopt one of these animals can be found on the Animal Rescue Corps' website.