One man living life in the wild for the past 16 years wouldn't accept help for himself without first making sure his dogs were OK — and there were 31 of them.

The stray dogs had found a home with the rogue outdoorsman in Natchez Trace State Park, just over 100 miles outside Memphis, Tennessee. The dogs lived in packs and braved the elements together with their human.

But many of them suffered various discomforts and diseases.

And some had serious afflictions: Three of the dogs appeared to have serious leg injuries and some had broken teeth and lacerations, according to Animal Rescue Corps (ARC).

The local community finally convinced the man that he and his dogs needed help to stay healthy and happy in the long run.

"There are several men that have known this man for years," a representative for ARC told The Dodo. "They have provided support to him at different times over the years — along with other people who have at times helped with the dogs. After many attempts to convince him to accept a home and medical help — he has finally agreed on the condition that all the dogs could be provided a home."

"Members of the community have been working with this man to improve his way of life and this rescue is part of it," said ARC President Scotlund Haisley. "He wasn't going to abandon the dogs and accept the help for himself without first finding a group to take the dogs. We are very glad to be able to assist."

This weekend, the ARC transported the dogs to an emergency shelter to receive medical care and vaccinations.

The rescue is part of a larger effort by ARC across the state of Tennessee to rescue animals from neglect — the organization boasts the rescue of 130 animals in just three days.

ARC plans to provide daily care for the dogs until the animals are placed with shelter and rescue organizations who will try to find forever homes for the animals.

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