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Passion for Pits animal rescue in Covington under fire for conditions of facility

COVINGTON, Tenn. — Passion for Pits is an animal rescue shelter that for the last few years has been run from the back of a Covington home on Bucksnort Road. But lately there have been a lot of questions about what exactly has been going on there.

More than 100 dogs were apparently kept by the Passion for Pits animal rescue. We don't know for sure because the owner isn't talking.

A man who drove up called the owner, Jeren Moore, to see if she would speak with us.

"News Channel 3 is here and you got a warrant for animal cruelty. She doesn't want to talk. She doesn't want to talk," the man told us.

We are told Moore was supposed to be in court May 26 on animal cruelty charges but never showed up. So a warrant was issued for her arrest.

The animal cruelty charges were for transporting a dog in a wire crate on a flat-bed trailer .

There have been problems with Passion for Pits before.

"We need help," says Laura Jean, one of the pet advocates who has complained about conditions at the shelter. "We believe it has gone past the point of hoarding and into a state of absolute chaos."

Memphis Animal Services has partnered with the facility in the past.

WREG obtained a January 2017 inspection letter sent to Passion for Pits from Memphis Animal Services. It outlined problems found in December 2016 when more than 100 dogs were believed to be in the shelter.

The report said the dogs' water buckets were empty. A week's worth of fecal build up was found in kennels. One dog had open wounds, and other dogs were found underweight and shivering.

We showed the man at Passion for Pits the report.

"It is easy to look at it if you are talking a lot of negative stuff. Yeah it's not that bad," he told us.

After the inspection, MAS suspended Passion for Pits as placement partners.

Even though we were told Passion for Pits is no longer sheltering dogs in Covington, we could clearly hear dogs barking from behind the fence Tuesday.

Late Tuesday, we were contacted by the Passion for Pits owner. She says they are moving out of Covington. We are told they have opened another rescue shelter in Mississippi.