Man arrested for cutting off puppy’s ears, police say

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis police were serving a drug warrant when they discovered a puppy who had been abused.

When police arrived at a home on Delta Road, they encountered Nakial Betts, 45 sitting in a 1996 Ford Taurus.

Betts had a black-and-white pitbull puppy in the car with him.

Detectives detained Betts and a woman who was with him while they searched the residence.

Betts asked the detectives to bring the puppy in the house.

Detectives then noticed the puppy’s ears had been cut off, causing serious physical injury.

Betts told detectives he had cut the puppy’s ears with some scissors.

Betts said he sterilized the scissors and used peroxide and Neosporin on the puppy’s ears.

“They called us immediately. Our officers rushed to the scene, and what we found and what the owner admitted to was that he had in fact about 4 or 5 days ago done a home ear cropping job using scissors on this puppy.” Alexis Pugh, Memphis Animal Service Director told FOX13.

They issued Betts a city summons for animal cruelty and other violations.

The summons is set for Wednesday.

MAS officers took custody of the puppy, along with two other dogs that were in the backyard.

Betts gave detectives permission to search his other home on King Avenue.

Detectives found a white bottle with brown liquid inside a refrigerator Betts said he used for antibiotics, as well as three empty syringes on top of a hot water tank.

Detectives said two dogs found at the second property appeared to be healthy.

“It’s sad to see anything get abused," Bincent Turner, a neighbor said, "A dog is meant to be man’s best friend.”

Alexis Pugh says they plan to release the puppy to someone as a medical transfer with a veterinary reference letter in hopes to find the injured pup a new home.

Betts was taken to jail and charged with aggravated cruelty to animals.