MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis woman visited by Memphis Animal Services multiple times in the past several weeks was arrested on Tuesday.
According to the police report, MAS was investigating a complaint of animal cruelty in the 1800 block of Cedarhurst in Frayser when a dog was discovered dead inside a home. A second dog was “highly emaciated” with several bones showing and died soon after arriving at the shelter.
A third dog was also removed from the home.
Neighbors told WREG’s Melissa Moon a couple had been squatting at the home for months. They saw Marcia Darling being taken away but had no idea what officers found inside.
“I’ve seen some dogs out there in the yard in a little pen out there in the front,” said one woman.
She didn’t want to be identified but said she complained to her neighbors about the couple keeping a smaller dog and her two puppies in the kennel outside.
“In the pouring rain. No shelter. No nothing.”
According to MAS, their team had been called to the home three times before Tuesday. The first was on September 3 when the owner was told they needed to provide housing for the animals and get them a rabies vaccine as well as spay/neuter.
The animals were in good condition when they left and again when they responded on September 12.
On October 11, the owner was issued a summons after the care had still not been provided, MAS said. They were warned they needed to take action and were even offered resources to help them for free.
When MAS returned on Tuesday, things had taken a turn for the worse as one dog was dead and a second deathly ill. Tests confirmed all three had parvo, a disease that often results in death within 72 hours of symptoms appearing.
When questioned by police, Darling said she did own the dogs at one point. She claimed to have accepted the citation to help out someone else. Police also questioned a man at the home, but charges have not been filed against him.
Darling was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals.
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