West Virginia– Animal Rescue Corps (ARC), a national animal protection nonprofit, rescued more than 20 dogs from neglectful conditions at a property in Powhatan yesterday in McDowell County, one of the most impoverished counties in W.Va., about twenty miles northwest of Bluefield. All of the dogs were surrendered and taken to ARC’s Rescue Center in Gallatin, Tenn.

When ARC responders arrived at the rural property they found fourteen large dogs running loose on a steep hillside and overgrown woods and seven four-week-old puppies seeking shelter under a dilapidated back porch on the property. Many of the dogs were suffering from untreated medical conditions including obvious skin and eye ailments. The property owner said the house belonged to his late mother and that unaltered dogs had been dumped there and quickly bore litters only to have most of the puppies die in the woods. He had reached out to every animal rescue group he could find and none were able to help until ARC sent a team to the rural location to assist.

“Many houses in these rural West Virginian coal towns are vacant and falling down,” said Tim Woodward, ARC’s Executive Director. “There are absolutely no animal services or resources available to these communities. This man has put his life on hold for months trying to do right by these dogs after his mother died and I commend him for that commitment.”

The planning for this rescue, dubbed Operation Mountain Misery, began when ARC was contacted by the property owner who had inherited the property from his late mother. ARC assembled tactical equipment and a field team and set off on a two-day long deployment to the rural W.Va. town. Animal Rescue Corps managed the safe extraction of the dogs and puppies, their assessment, and documentation, and will manage placement with trusted shelter partners. 

ARC transported the dogs to ARC’s Rescue Center in Gallatin, Tenn., about 30 minutes east of Nashville. Each dog will receive a thorough veterinary exam, appropriate vaccinations, and any necessary medical treatments before they will be matched and transported to trusted shelter and rescue partner organizations that will ultimately adopt them into loving homes.

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ABOUT: Since 2010, Animal Rescue Corps (ARC), a national animal protection nonprofit, has provided large-scale animal rescue for communities that lack resources to address abuse In addition to emergency rescue, ARC offers education and shelter relief. ARC’s mission is to end animal suffering through direct and compassionate action and to inspire the highest ethical standards of humanity towards animals. To learn more about Animal Rescue Corps, visit: