Tethered dog found dead, Knoxville organization calling for change


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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – A dog died while being tethered in the backyard of a Knoxville home, unable to reach food or water, according to a police report obtained by WVLT News.

The police report also stated officers found another dog in the same yard, unable to get food and water, with a body temperature of 104.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The deceased dog’s temperature was recorded at 107.7 degrees Fahrenheit once arriving at Young Williams Animal Center.

Two residents of the home, identified as Darla Ailey, 32, and Jason Ailey, 36, were issued state citations for animal cruelty, one for each dog, according to the police report.

Co-founders Julia Roy and Kyle Lang of the Knoxville Animal Welfare Alliance told WVLT News they’re hoping the community will help strengthen laws against animal cruelty.

“We were deeply saddened, of course, to find that out but not surprised. This is the sixth dog that has died due to unsupervised tethering,” said Roy.

With the extreme heat the area has been experiencing lately, they want to change the minimum care standards for animals, especially when it comes to unsupervised chaining.

“Currently, the language does not contain many restrictions or guidance requirements on shelter, on temperature -basically minimum care standards and it also allows people to permanently chain or tether their dogs unsupervised and so what we are working to do is to revise that language to make it more forcible for our animal control officers that they can go in and ensure that the animals in that community. Are being provided the minimum care that they need to have,” shared Lang.

But in order to make a change, the alliance is calling on support from the community.

“We do have where you can write your council member. We also have where you can sign a petition letting your council members know that this is an issue in your community that you care about,” said Roy.

Community members can sign a petition against tethering and chaining dogs outside here, email council members on behalf of the Knoxville Animal Welfare Alliance here, or find out more information about the city’s current animal ordinances here.

Those with more information concerning the treatment of either of the dogs are asked to contact East Tennessee Valley Crime Stoppers at 865-215-7165 or by texting **TIPS. They can also call the Animal Control Office directly at 865-215-8639.

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