• FOX13 takes a closer look at dog-fighting and animal abuse in Memphis

    By: Tom Dees

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Memphis was near the top in the country in abuse of animals like dogs or cats. 

    According to the Humane Society of America, the concerning thing they told FOX13 is people that abuse animals will often commit other crimes. 

    Cindy Marx-Sanders, with the Humane Society of the United States, is in Memphis to train officers on what to look for in animal abuse and dog fighting cases.

    "Seventy percent of people who will abuse an animal will also abuse a human and that is huge," Marx-Sanders said. "It is rampant in Memphis and Shelby County. Since 2008, I have attended 4,000 cases," Sanders added.

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    Things to look for in animal abuse cases include: 
    - lack of adequate shelter 
    - left unattended without food or water 
    - outside during the hottest and coldest part of the day 

    Marx-Sanders told FOX13 new cases of animal abuse come in daily. Among the things people need to look for are dogs chained up outside alone for days in extreme heat and cold without shelter.

    "If they don't see anyone coming to and from the house if the house is vacated to feed the animals," Marx-Sanders said. 

    FOX13 is still working to learn the exact number of reported dog fighting cases in Memphis, but Humane Society's Eric Swafford said the city has one of the highest number of animal cruelty cases in the country.

    "When we see people that abuse animals, we know that they go on to commit other crimes. Whether that is elder abuse or domestic violence," Swafford said.

    The City of Memphis, we found out, has seen several cases of trunk fighting. A disturbing trend as of late where dogs are locked in the trunk of a car to fight it out. 

    If you suspect animal abuse is taking place, call the non-emergency number of MPD's Organized Crime Unit at 901-528-2338.

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