Sheriff’s deputies respond to dog-in-distress call Thursday, find malnourished dogs

Published 12:06 am Friday, January 18, 2019


NATCHEZ — Adams County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a dog-in-distress call in the Broadmoor area Thursday morning, officials said.

“What got us to the call was somebody spotted a dog in a ditch,” said Jerry Brown, chief deputy Adams County Sheriff’s Office.

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When officers arrived they found the dog in the ditch to be malnourished and slightly wounded, so they transported the dog to the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society, Brown said.

While investigating the dog call, however, Brown said, deputies noticed several dogs on an adjacent property.

Upon further inspection, Brown said, deputies found three of the eight dogs on the property to be malnourished. Also on the property, Brown said, was the carcass of a puppy.

Brown said the owner of the property allowed deputies to search the house.

“We did do a search of the house for indicators of training dogs for fighting and didn’t find anything to indicate that,” Brown said, adding the owner was not charged with anything.

Brown said deputies gave the owner two weeks to get the dogs back into healthy conditions and said deputies would be monitoring the situation.

Brown said no evidence indicated the resident had anything to do with the deceased puppy on the property or what might have caused the puppy’s death.

Also, no evidence indicated the dog in the ditch belonged to the nearby resident, Brown said.

Meanwhile, the dog transported to the humane society shelter is doing fine, said Lena McKnight, humane society director.

“The dog had multiple lacerations on his face and mouth,” McKnight said, adding the dog weighs 25 pounds and should weigh 45 pounds. “He is super sweet, showed no aggression.”

McKnight said she speculates the dog was perhaps used as a “bait dog” for dogfight training or someone tried to fight him, and he did not fight so they discarded him.

McKnight said she posted pictures of the dog on social media to raise awareness.

“This is proof they are still out there fighting them even if we aren’t catching them,” McKnight said. “I put it on (social media) to let them know it’s still out there and to bring awareness to what we see here. People don’t get to see the ugly side of what we see. People need to be aware dogfighting is still a big issue here.”

Last year, the state Legislature passed an enhanced dogfighting measure, introduced by Sen. Bob Dearing, D-Natchez, after a dogfighting ring was discovered in Adams County in 2017.

Under the previous law, offenders could receive between a $1,000 and $5,000 fine or one to three years in jail while spectators could receive between $500 to $5,000 in fines or one year in jail.

The new law states that people who promote, stage or bet on dogfights, own a dog with intent to enter it into a fight or own dogfighting paraphernalia may face between one and five years in jail, and repeat offenders are punishable by fines of $5,000 to $10,000 or prison sentences of three to 10 years.

So far, this year, McKnight said the humane society has taken in 33 animals, including 12 cats and 21 dogs.

The shelter also on Thursday released figures for efforts in the past year, including:

  • In December the shelter took in 60 animals, including 54 dogs and 6 cats. Of those, 50 were adopted, including 30 dogs and 20 cats. None were returned to owners and one dog was transported to a shelter in another part of the country where it is more likely to be adopted.
  • In 2018, the shelter took in 876 animals and 401 were adopted, 12 returned to owners and 27 were transferred.

The Humane Society’s 2019 membership drive is coming up in March. Memberships are $25 for individuals 18 and older; $50 for a family membership; or $10 for individual youth membership.

The shelter also is always looking for volunteers and donations, McKnight said. Needs include dry dog food, dry and wet puppy food, dry and wet kitten food, cat litter, paper towels, newspapers, toys, new or gently used linens, Dawn dish detergent, bleach, sanitizing wipes, scrub sponges and Walmart gift cards.

The NACHS is located at 475 Liberty Road, Natchez, MS 39121
and can be reached at 601-442-4001.