MEMPHIS – A northeast Memphis man has been indicted on four counts of aggravated animal cruelty after four injured or mistreated dogs were found chained in his backyard, Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich said Wednesday.
The pit bulls in the backyard of Joshua Whitfield, 23, in the 3200 block of Given were in poor condition and most showed signs of having been used in dogfighting when investigators arrived on Jan. 22, 2013.
One female dog was bleeding from wounds to her face, neck, legs and chest, while a brown adult male dog bore large scars on its legs and chest.
A malnourished brown-and-white female puppy chained to the house had no food, water or shelter and was shivering in the 37-degree temperature.
Investigators said the puppy's backbone and ribs were clearly visible.
A fourth dog chained near a doghouse had no visible injuries, but its food bowl was empty.
Aggravated cruelty to animals is a low-level felony that carries punishment of one to six years in prison.