MEDIA RELEASE: Attala County Woman Fined for Chaining Dog Without Shelter in Freezing Cold
Attala County, Miss. (February 12, 2021) – In Defense of Animals, an international animal protection organization that operates Hope Animal Sanctuary and the Justice for Animals Campaign in Carroll County, was the affiant in the trial of an Attalla County resident who was found guilty of cruelty for chaining her dog in rain and freezing temperatures without shelter. In Defense of Animals is also promoting Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week in an effort to raise awareness about the cruelty and dangers of chaining dogs, and encourage more people to reconsider this practice.
In Defense of Animals received a plea for help for a dog who was chained without access to shelter and was visibly thin and suffering hair loss. Doll Stanley, In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Campaign Director, investigated the complaint on January 13, and was joined by Deputy Scott Chunne, who had a seizure order in hand to remove the dog. The dog, now named Charlie, was taken for veterinary care. His guardian, Turnisa Tower, was given five business days to appeal the seizure and failed to do so.
Charlie has been placed with a rescue for rehabilitation and is available for adoption with a loving family.
“The conditions that Charlie was kept in were vile,” said Stanley. “There is no excuse for failing to provide your animals with the necessities of life. In Defense of Animals works with animal guardians to aid them in understanding the needs of their animals but when it is clear that an animal or animals will not be cared for then legal intervention is the only option.”
Stanley was the affiant in the court case against Tower. She gave testimony of Charlie’s neglect and submitted evidence to the court to substantiate her charge of animal cruelty. Tower was charged with cruelty under the Mississippi Dog and Cat Pet Protection Law of 2011, which makes it a misdemeanor to “intentionally or with criminal negligence wound, deprive of adequate food, water, or shelter, or carry or confine in a cruel manner, any domesticated dog or cat,” which is punishable with a fine of up to $1000 and/or up-to six months in jail.
The Honorable Justice Court Judge Rosie Sample found Tower guilty of neglect, fined her $425 and ordered her not to possess a dog for the two-year period that the Justice Court has jurisdiction.
In Defense of Animals understands that Judge Sample took Tower’s ability to pay a fine into consideration when not fining Tower the maximum sentence under the law and hopes that the case will be a deterrent for Tower and community members not to harm animals.
In Defense of Animals is this week celebrating 28 years of serving animals and communities in the Deep South. The organization carries out educational initiatives and directly rescues and rehomes abused, neglected, and homeless animals through its Hope Animal Sanctuary in Carroll County, Mississippi. Its Justice for Animals campaign aids law enforcement and courts to prevent, investigate and prosecute animal cruelty, and works with legislators to both create and improve animal protection laws.