(WBIR, WRCB) A Bradley County woman, found with nearly 250 dogs at her home, was charged with one count of animal cruelty.
Deputies and rescuers said they found 247 dogs living in dirty and cramped conditions at Rebecca Van Meter's farm in Bradley County on Wednesday. Since then, Van Meter is free after posting a $500 bond.
A call to police led officials to Van Meter's farm. The Human Society of the United States has now stepped in to help Bradley County's SPCA rescue the animals. One of the dogs has died since the rescue.
The SPCA said it wants to squash reports that the alleged dog breeders are hoarders.
"A hording situation is a different situation altogether - this was a business enterprise," Bradley County's SPCA communications director Beth Foster told WRCB.
"This is a puppy mill, an enterprise set up to profit to breed dogs and sell them," said Foster.
On Thursday night, of the 247 dogs discovered on the property, more than 110 remained at the farm. Animal welfare workers said the dogs are under the care of monitors. The dogs were left there because of their facility has a limited amount of space. The SPCA said it hopes to open what used to be the old Dollar General Store in Charleston, Tenn. to house the rescued dogs.