2 rescue workers charged with dog cruelty

GAMALIEL, Ark. — Two owners of an animal-rescue operation were arrested after hundreds of dogs, some rescued from Hurricane Katrina, were found on the couple's property groveling for food among urine and feces, authorities said Saturday.

Among the stench, sheriff's deputies found one dead dog, another with a broken leg and many with sores, said Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery.

Between 400 and 500 dogs were on the two-acre lot, including 50 pit bulls rescued from Louisiana after the hurricane, Montgomery said. About 75 dogs were running loose, he said.

Some of the dogs appeared to be aggressive; others sat nervously in small metal cages.

"It's very sad that people depend on this shelter to take care of their animals and you get here and see that the conditions are just unbelievable," Montgomery said.

William Hanson, 41, and his wife, Tammy Hanson, 38, were charged Friday with animal cruelty and released on $1,000 bond each. Messages left with the couple Saturday seeking comment were not immediately returned.

Volunteers and a veterinarian were tending to the animals at E.D.N.A.H. Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, or Every Dog Needs A Home. Montgomery said the dogs might be sent to other shelters or rescue groups.