A Rogersville man has been charged in Hawkins County for keeping seven dogs in a filth ridden shed without light for two years.

Paul Douglas Ellis, Jr., 41, Meadowview Road, is facing charges of cruelty to animals after Deputy Dustin Winter, of the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office, interviewed Ellis and Crystal Rosenbaum Saturday about animals that Ellis had kept in a shed.

Ellis told Winter that he wanted to get rid of the seven dogs, but no animal shelter would come and get them.

The dogs were in poor living conditions and were poorly cared for. The animals were kept in a four feet by eight feet building. The floor was covered by eight to 12 inches of feces. The floor base couldn’t be seen due to the feces. A strong ammonia odor came from the shed and the animals displayed rashes on their stomachs. The dogs also had cuts and lacerations on their faces and their fur was severely matted with feces.

During further investigation, the dogs were found to have a severe cough and were wheezing.

Two dogs were spitting up blood and vomiting.

The dogs also had overgrown claws and had trouble walking.

Rosenbaum told authorities the dogs had been confined to the shed with no source of light for approximately two years.

Winter told Ellis that he had to either give up the dogs to a shelter or clean the shed he was keeping them in. Ellis told Winter that he would have them taken care of the next day and that he had taken off work to do so.

When Winter returned on Sunday the dogs were still there. The Hawkins County Humane Society was contacted and Ellis voluntarily gave up the dogs.