HORN LAKE, MS (abc24.com) - Is a Horn Lake police officer, who is sworn to uphold the law, directing city employees to break the law? A former shelter employee says the officer ordered a dog at the city's animal shelter to be purposely starved for days. When she refused, the employee says she was forced to resign.
The Horn Lake police officer at the center of this says he was not acting on behalf of the city, only as a private person. Either way, workers at the shelter were following his orders.
"I can't even consider not feeding a dog," said Adriana Montoya. "It's inhumane and is cruel."
But Montoya says that's what happened at the Horn Lake Animal Shelter. Bentley, a German shepherd mix, has been kept unfed with a cover over its cage since Wednesday, October 10. Shelter Director Francis Williams says Officer Lynn Brown told her to do it to break the dog of his aggressive behavior.
"I'm trusting Officer Brown - Officer Lynn Brown - and his method," she said.
Williams admits she was told to stop feeding the dog, and he was given a little food on October 15.
"The dog is not starving, the dog is very healthy, he's not thin," said Williams. "Dogs, from what I understand, can survive several - 2, 3, 4 weeks without food."
Brown said while he wasn't a certified trainer, he has trained hundreds of dogs for police agencies and the military.
"There was no cruelty because the dog was being monitored, still had water, still had shelter and was being watched. And he was fat anyway."
According to Mississippi state law and Horn Lake city law, dogs must be fed and can't be deprived of food. Montoya says bottom line, Horn Lake is breaking the law.
"It's a double standard and they are breaking the law," Montoya said. "Starving the dog for 8 days is breaking the law and I am not gonna stand for breaking the law, I'm not gonna be a part of it."
The Horn Lake Police Chief said he plans to take a closer look at the situation to see if not feeding the animals does, in fact, break state and city law.