ROGERSVILLE — A Hawkins County woman reportedly found 19 dead rabbits at a home in the Clinch Valley community late last month after they were apparently abandoned a month ago by the most recent resident.
The Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office has launched an animal cruelty investigation into the incident.
As of Tuesday afternoon, however, no arrest had been made.
Shortly after 6 p.m. on Aug. 29, HCSO Deputy Michael Lipe was dispatched to an animal cruelty complaint at 2136 Clinch Valley Road, located in a rural area of Hawkins County north of Rogersville.
A neighbor of that address, Donna Hilton, reportedly told Lipe that the most recent occupant of the residence had moved away about a month earlier.
“Donna stated that she had noticed a foul odor coming from a building next to the residence,” Lipe stated in his report. “She looked through a window and saw what she thought were several dead rabbits.”
Hilton then entered the building and confirmed that there were both dead and living rabbits inside.
Lipe added, “I observed the foul odor coming from the building, and as I entered the building I observed several cages with dead and alive rabbits. I counted a total of 19 dead rabbits and six alive rabbits.”
Hilton stated that she would feed the surviving rabbits until other arrangements could be made.
HCSO Chief Deputy Tony Allen told the Times-News on Tuesday that the previous occupant of 2136 Clinch Valley Road has been identified.
Allen added, however, that his officers have not been able to make contact with the previous occupant and the investigation is continuing.