Two local cases of animal cruelty have recently made state and national news headlines.
According to a Claiborne County police report, Kenneth Mark Holt, 45, of New Tazewell, repeatedly picked up and slammed his sister’s dog on the ground, then kicked it.
The dog was taken to the Claiborne Animal Shelter and was renamed Sparky.
“The dog’s leg was obviously broken and (the owner) didn’t have the money to take him to a vet, so she signed the dog over to us. We called the police and they went out and spoke with the woman, who pressed charges against her brother. The police actually charged him with animal cruelty,” said Claiborne Animal Shelter Executive Director Liza Martz.
The Claiborne Animal Shelter runs solely on donations, and with an $800 vet bill to pay for Sparky’s surgery and the pins in his leg, the shelter is looking for help.
That’s why they started “The Sparky Fund.” They received generous donations toward his medical bills.
Any money that’s left over will be saved to help other dogs needing extensive medical treatment. “If people only send us a dollar, it would help,” Martz said. “I think we’re probably going to make it.”
Sparky was adopted by a family in Lafollette and now has a forever home.
In an unrelated incident, the Bell County Animal Shelter was notified of a dog running loose in the Wallsend area that appeared to have a severe foot injury. Several days later, a witness reported that the dog had a new injury to her tail; in fact, it had been chopped off at the base. Shelter officers captured the dog and routed her to a rescue organization where she will undergo specialized medical treatment, including the amputation of her severely damaged leg. The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for this horrific act.
The connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented. Studies show a correlation between animal cruelty and all types of crimes including narcotics and firearms violations, to battery and sexual assault. Reporting animal cruelty to law enforcement is an essential step in protecting the community.
To report animal cruelty, you are encouraged to call 911.