MEMPHIS,TN - Memphis animal control officer and convicted felon, Demetria Hogan, remained on the run late Tuesday, July 12, 2011, hours after being charged in connection with a missing 11-year-old pit bull named Kapone.
It's a case that's captured the hearts and attention of animal lovers across the Mid-South, the U.S., even as far away as New Zealand.
Brooke Shoup last saw Kapone, and her other dog, Jersey, on June 24th. Shoup says she came home to find both dogs had escaped from the backyard of her Cordova home. Shoup says the fence in her backyard had been damaged during a Spring storm.
Shoup says witnesses told her both dogs had been picked up by Hogan. Shoup says knowing neither dog had tags or a collar, she went down to the shelter the next morning. She says she quickly found Jersey, but Kapone was nowhere to be found.
Shoup, feeling ignored by shelter workers and management, filed a police report, called the media and waited.
Nearly three weeks later, Memphis police confirm they are searching for Demetria Hogan, the animal control officer now charged with two counts of cruelty to animals.
abc24.com went to Hogan's house last week to ask her about the missing dog case. She says her home had recently been searched by police, and she insisted she did nothing wrong. According to court records, Hogan has had a number of previous run-ins with the law, including arrests for forgery and identity theft.
Hogan was not home when abc24.com stopped by to ask her about the warrants.
Hogan was set to appear for a "fact finding hearing" the same day the warrants were issued, but that was canceled because of the Memphis Police investigation. She's been suspended with pay from her shelter duties.
Demetria Hogan has been in the news before. In April 2010, abc24.com reported that Hogan was hired at the shelter under the City of Memphis' Second Chance Program for convicted felons. And in May 2010, Shelter Advisory Board members told us Hogan had a history of not showing up for court, causing animal cruelty cases to be thrown out.
A spokeswoman for Mayor A C Wharton says the mayor has no comment on the new developments in the latest scandal to rock the city's troubled pound.
A tipline for information regarding Kapone's disappearance has been set up. Anyone with information is asked to call: (901)528-0699. The reward to find Kapone is now $3,000.