Memphis woman jailed on animal abuse charge - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis woman jailed on animal abuse charge

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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Memphis woman is behind bars on charges she neglected her dog so badly it had to be put to sleep.

Neighbors Shenisha McCraven and Vincent Northington couldn't believe Mariah Morris had it in her to neglect an animal to the point it had to be put down.

"I think it's crazy," Northington said Wednesday.

After an anonymous tip and a 10-day investigation, Memphis Police picked up Morris on two charges of aggravated animal cruelty.  The police report says a Memphis Animal Control officer responded to Morris' house on Gilmore Street to find her brown Pit Bull Terrier suffering from severe starvation.

"We all thought the dog was taken care of," McCraven said. "It seemed healthy the last time I saw it."

But McCraven hadn't seen the pit bull for two or three weeks.  Memphis Animal Services inspected the dog and found that in addition to starvation, it showed other signs of neglect, and had parasites.

"I think it's sad," Northington said. "Why have a dog and not take care of it?"

When we arrived at Morris' home on Wednesday, another mild-mannered dog was sitting in her front yard.  Morris' neighbors said they all pitch in to feed that dog daily.

"Dogs are like humans," McCravin said. "So, I guess they don't have a conscience."

The arrest ticket shows the dog was so sick it had to be euthanized.  Northington said he's disheartened, but not surprised.

"I see it every day," he said. "I see dogs just walking the street every day.  You see their ribs and everything, so it's not too surprising to me."

Shelby County Sheriff's Department records show a judge set Morris' bond at $15,000.

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