Police officers checking on an apparent Kingsport apartment fire located an “emaciated puppy,” according to an incident report, leading to the resident’s arrest on a charge of aggravated animal cruelty.
The incident occurred at approximately 8:45 Friday evening at Cloud Apartments, 1219 Reedy Place. Police were responding to a separate, unrelated domestic disturbance when a resident alerted them to an apartment that might be on fire.
Police report that a a pair of officers ran to Apartment 47, detecting an odor of smoke and hearing the smoke alarm activated inside. When a neighbor reported the resident, later identified as Samantha A. Stidham, 20
, might still be inside, officers forced entry through a back door.
Stidham was not located, but an approximately three-month-old puppy did crawl from beneath a bed. It then “stumbled down the stairs,” according to the officer’s report, displaying ribs, shoulders, hips and a spine that were “grossly protruding under her skin.” The dog also had four pink sores on her shoulders.
When removed from the residence and provided nourishment by neighbors, the puppy reportedly “gulped down the food and water in a desperate frenzy.” According to Kingsport Police Department Public Information Officer Tom Patton, the source of the smoke was found to be an oven left on by Stidham, who soon returned on foot from a convenience store.
A KPD incident reports states Stidham admitted to having no dog food in her home, saying that she couldn’t afford it. However, the reporting officer notes “a large television” and multiple DVDs were observed in her living room, while Stidham also owns a cell phone and admitted to smoking cigarettes.
Due to the puppy’s “emaciated condition” and multiple sores observed on its body, Stidham was determined to have “knowingly and intentionally caused a substantial risk of death to the young animal.”
She was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals and booked into the city jail. The puppy was turned over to the care of the Sullivan County/Bluff City/Kingsport Animal Center.
SBK Director Becky H. Birdwell says the puppy appears to be a boxer-pit bull mix. Other than what may be a case of mange, it was doing well on Monday morning.
Read more: Kingsport woman faces animal cruelty charge | Kingsport Times-News http://www.timesnews.net/article/9081183/kingsport-woman-faces-animal-cruelty-charge#ixzz3FESgTmGX
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KPD E-NEWS RELEASE: KINGSPORT POLICE OFFICERS RESCUE NEGLECTED PUPPY FROM APARTMENT FIRE/RESIDENT ARRESTED
Kingsport Police Department
200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660
ThomasMPatton • 423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)
SUBJECT: Kingsport Police Officers Rescue Neglected Puppy from Apartment Fire/Resident Arrested
DATE: September 29, 2014
On September 26, 2014 at approximately 8:45 PM, Kingsport Police Officers patrolling in the area of Cloud Apartments in Kingsport were alerted by a nearby resident that apartment #47, located at 1212 Robertson Street, was on fire. Officers Brooke Bowers, Craig Dunworth, and Jesse Griggs rushed to the scene. They heard a smoke alarm and smelled smoke emanating from the apartment. A neighbor told them she believed that the apartment resident, later identified as Samantha A. Stidham, might still be inside.
The officers forced open the door of the apartment and began to search the interior for potential victims of the fire. No people were found inside; however, a small gray and white puppy, believed to be approximately 2-3 months old, crawled out from underneath the bed in an upstairs bedroom and stumbled down the stairs. The puppy appeared emaciated, frightened, and neglected. Its ribs, shoulder and hip bones, and spine were all visibly protruding under its skin and there were pink sores on the puppy’s shoulders. A neighbor brought food and water, and the puppy desperately consumed it.
The source of the smoke turned out to be an oven that had been left on by Ms. Stidham. Kingsport Fire Fighters responded and extinguished the fire and rendered the apartment safe.
Shortly after the fire was extinguished, Ms. Stidham returned home from a trip to a convenience store. She confirmed that she was the resident of the apartment and the owner of the puppy. She told the officers that she did not have any food for the puppy, because she could not afford it; however, she did appear to own numerous non-essential items including a large television, DVD movies, a cell phone, and cigarettes.
Ms. Stidham was arrested for Aggravated Cruelty to Animals and was transported to the Kingsport City Jail. The puppy was turned over to SBK Animal Shelter for proper care and safekeeping.
Name Samantha A. Stidham
Age Date of Birth 3/21/1994
20 Years of Age
Residency Cloud Apartments
Charge(s) Aggravated Cruelty to Animals
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer
Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit
200 Shelby St.
Kingsport, TN 37660