Rumors are circulating on social media that a rescue dog was killed after it was seen being mistreated during a news broadcast about the protests in Memphis, Tennessee. However, a local Memphis reporter has not been able to verify that the dog was stolen or killed. Memphis Animal Services also said that they can’t verify if the dog died or where it currently is. Officials are encouraging people to keep an eye out for the dog and to reach out to Memphis Animal Services with any information.
The Dog Was Seen in the Background of a News Broadcast Being Held By the Neck
During a news broadcast out of Memphis, a protester could be seen with a white dog that had a large black spot over its eye. At certain points during the broadcast, he appeared to hold the dog up by the neck for the camera. You can see the video below, shared on Twitter. The Twitter account writes that the dog was later killed, but there has been no evidence confirming that happened.
Reports on Twitter said the dog was stolen from a local rescue and that a rioter hung the dog and killed it. Proof for these statements has not been found.
Winnie Wright of Fox 13 in Memphis has investigated the claims and has not been able to verify that the dog was stolen or killed. She emphasized that this is important because people should continue looking for the dog if it’s still alive.
On Facebook she wrote:
For the last several hours I’ve pressed the people posting that this dog is dead for evidence. Not one of them is local. Two are in Miami, FL. They have refused, even in private message.
There is *no evidence* this dog is dead. That means it can still be saved. Don’t stop looking! And if you didn’t hear it from someone local, don’t believe it!”
Memphis Animal Services Has No Information About the Man or the Dog in the Video
Wright later updated her Facebook post and said she spoke with Memphis Animal Services and said they had also not been able to verify that the dog was stolen from a local rescue and killed. She wrote:
UPDATE: I’ve spoken to Memphis Animal Services. They, too have not been provided one shred of evidence that the dog was “stolen from rescue” and killed.
This all appears to be coming from people who do NOT live in Memphis.
That mean this dog can still be located and potentially saved. My advice: don’t listen to people not from this area.
Memphis Animal Rescue confirmed, posting on Facebook that anyone concerned about any dog in the area could reach out to them, but they have no information about the man or the dog in the video.
Memphis Animal Services wrote, in part:
All we have seen about the puppy being deceased are unsubstantiated claims on social media. No one has been able to share the source of that information or present any concrete evidence to indicate the puppy was killed. No one has made any reports to us (and we are animal control, the agency charged with investigating animal cruelty in Memphis) that a puppy or dog matching this description was found deceased.”
Winnie Wright of Fox 13 answered more questions in the comments below her Facebook post, noting that one source of the rumor was from Texas.
She wrote: “…one from Texas has been very accusatory toward me as though I’m acting like holding the puppy by the neck is ok. I’m clearly not. What I am saying is this: if people think the dog is dead, they won’t be looking for it to save it.”
She also wrote: “A woman from Miami is sharing on Facebook a lot of information, including that the dog is dead. HOWEVER, when I pressed her about where she got this information, she only said “a friend” and couldn’t provide any evidence.”
One man who was misidentified on social media as the person in the video was later revealed to not be the same person.
A petition is circulating about the dog that’s been signed by more than 80,000 people. The petition was started by a person named Bonnie Richardson.
The petition’s headline reads: “Maximum sentence for man who tortured dog on live news in Memphis Tn.” The petition reads, in part: “We demand Memphis Police and DA take immediate action arrest and enforce maximum penalty for this innocent, voiceless, dog. This is a horrible act from a dangerous man obviously without conscious. Show the country we will not tolerate animal abuse and we will stop it!”
As of June 4, the whereabouts of the dog and its current condition are not known. If you have any information about the dog, you can contact Memphis Animal Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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