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The Great Smoky Mountain Journal

Staff, Wire Reports

Posted: Sunday, January 21, 2018 06:31 PM

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Sevier County Man Reports Abuse Of Donkey To TN Dept Of Agriculture

SEYMOUR, Tenn. (SOURCE: WVLT) -- A donkey in Sevier County is the center of attention after a man reported abuse when he noticed the animal's overgrown hooves.

Johnathan Rutherford said the donkey that grazes across from his aunt's house looked to be in pain every time he saw it.

"His back right hoof is at least six inches, and that's too much and too painful," said Rutherford.

Rutherford took several pictures and videos of the overgrown hooves and made a report to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

Assistant Commissioner of Public Affairs for TN Dept of Agriculture Corinne Gould said, "We only respond out to a property based on the request of local law enforcement. They will decide whether or not they want the Tennessee Department of Agriculture's animal health technician to accompany them to the property to evaluate the animals."

Local 8 News reached out to the owner of the donkey, who said he was aware the hooves were too long, and that he intends to take care of the problem.

The TN Dept. of Agriculture could not confirm if they would be investigating this specific complaint.

No charges have been filed. Rutherford said he was just concerned.

"Just for the animals, they don't have a voice, they can't come up to you and say, 'Hey, I'm in pain take me to the doctor.' It's not like a little kid saying, 'My ear hurts.' I just have a big heart for animals," said Rutherford.