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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. – Moulton Police Chief Lyndon McWhorter called the situation at the Lawrence County Animal Shelter “worse than we ever could have imagined it might be” after investigators served a search warrant there Monday.

Investigators served a search warrant at the Lawrence County Animal Shelter Monday evening. Last week, shelter director Bobbie Taylor told authorities, as well as WHNT News 19, that there were 83 dogs on the property.

Monday night, investigators say they have counted around 250 dogs. They say the property is so filthy, they have to use air masks and safety equipment from the Department of Homeland Security.

Police say they expect to be at the property all night and throughout the day tomorrow. They served the search warrant following a police complaint from a volunteer who claimed dogs were being mistreated at the shelter.

On Friday, the Lawrence County Commission terminated its contract with Taylor. At that time, police cautioned Taylor not to remove any of the dogs from the facility until their investigation was completed.

Animal rights activists were camped out on the road outside the shelter Monday. One woman is trying to build a database of missing animals to compare to those at the shelter.

Katie Toro says they’re building the database because of many complaints of people not allowed to go through the shelter to look for their missing pet.

If you feel as though one of your missing dogs could be in the shelter, you should call Moulton Police. They will take down your information and compare it to the animals being removed from the shelter. The phone number to Moulton Police is (256) 974-3961.

A group of protesters plans to march along Hwy 157 in Moulton tomorrow. The demonstrators say they want to show support of Taylor and her on-going efforts to create a no-kill animal shelter in Lawrence County.

WHNT News 19 is following this story closely. We will update you on-air, online, and on social media when we uncover more information.