MEMPHIS, Tenn. — What started out as a drug investigation quickly turned into an animal abuse case after undercover detectives found a puppy with missing ears.
According to the police report, the Memphis Police Department's Organized Crime Unit recently served a narcotics search warrant at Nakial Betts' southwest Memphis home.
While officers were searching the residence, Betts asked if they could bring his black and white puppy into the house. The small dog was reportedly wrapped in a towel and that's when detectives realized his ears were missing.
Betts reportedly told them that he had sterilized a pair of scissors and then cut off the dog's ears. He then put peroxide and neosporin on the wound.
The dog, named Bruno, and two others inside the residence were taken by Memphis Animal Services.
Betts was arrested and charged with aggravated cruelty to animals.
Memphis Animal Services Director Alexis Pugh says although she doesn't think dog's ears should be cropped, if it is done proper veterinary care is crucial.
"The fact that people are so insistent on having their pets look a certain way that they would ignore the obvious pain that this is going to put their pet through and do that themselves with scissors, it is despicable," Pugh said.
The other two dogs removed, Mama and Hitman, are now at the shelter and looking for a new life. Little Bruno is listed as a medical transfer.
"Which means that we're not going to adopt to just anyone," Pugh said. "We need someone to provide a veterinary letter of reference stating they've already talked to a vet about what kind of care this pet is going to need."