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Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008County: Shelby
Case Images: 7 files available
Suspect(s) Unknown - We need your help!
A 4 month-old shepherd mix was found barely alive, inside a plastic bag, in a North Memphis driveway with a steak knife sticking out of its back Tuesday, April 22, 2008. The puppy's face had also been spray-painted with red paint. The puppy is still alive, but in critical condition at a local veterinarian's office.
Investigators do not have any suspects in this case of animal abuse, but say they believe the attack may be gang-related because of the red spray-paint on the dog's face.
Two girls found the puppy and called 911 when they realized the dog had been stabbed.
"He was just laying there... he wasn't moving, he was suffering," said Mercedes Kimbrough, one of the dog's rescuers.
Animal cruelty investigator Calvin Walker says he does not know who hurt the dog, but says gang members do pretty cruel things to animals in Shelby County.
"Sometimes they maim them, cut their leg or tail off, suffocate them," Walker said.
The x-ray image taken of the puppy's wounds show how deep the knife was plunged into the dog. The blade is about four inches long and only its handle could be seen sticking out of the puppy's back. The puppy underwent surgery on Wednesday and many are praying he pulls through.
"It was very close to the heart. If he makes it out, it's a miracle...he's a miracle puppy," Walker said.
Investigators say the puppy was a stray, after they went door to door and no claimed ownership. The dog was not wearing any ID tags when it was found. No one lives in the home where the dog was found in the driveway.
Investigators say animal abuse it not uncommon in the Mid-South. They say they have seen dogs stabbed before, and witnesses even worse injuries.
"Kids will do that. They think it's funny to set a cat or dog on fire," said Walker.
Psychologists say animal abusers could become more violent, which is why investigators are taking this case very seriously.
"It can lead to domestic violence, murder, the gang violence... we need to pay attention to that," said Ginger Morgan of the Memphis Humane Society.
Animal abuse is considered a felony in the state of Tennessee. If convicted of animal abuse, a person can face up to nine months in jail. In Arkansas, animal abuse is a Class A misdemeanor. If found guilty, a judge could take the animal away from its owner. In Mississippi, animal abuse is also a misdemeanor and the abuser could be sent to counseling.
- Eyewitness News - April 24, 2008
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