Members of a Nashville animal rescue group could face criminal charges after prosecutors revealed Tuesday they have proof which reportedly shows the group lied when members said two Great Danes ran away while they were holding them for the local Humane Society.
“We have evidence to suggest they most likely misled us when they reported the dogs had gone missing,” prosecutor Josh Crain told General Sessions Judge Larry Ross during a hearing Tuesday, noting there are photographs which bring into question the sworn statement sent to the court by a representative from Dames for Danes.
Dames for Danes had two dogs placed in its protective custody after the canines were taken from a local family after members of the Warren County Humane Society seized the dogs from their property, claiming the animals were not being properly cared for.
When the case against the owners was brought to court, prosecutors asked the case to be dismissed saying Humane Society volunteers had violated the owners’ Fourth Amendment rights against illegal search and seizure. The criminal animal neglect charges were dropped and Judge Ross ordered the dogs returned immediately.
However, two weeks later, when the dogs had not been returned, Clay Lerch of the local Humane Society was hauled into court and asked why he did not follow the court order. It was then Dames for Danes sent a sworn statement saying the dogs had run away during a thunderstorm and only one had been recovered. The single dog was returned later that day while the second dog was not returned until a couple weeks later.
Thinking the missing dog claim was questionable, Judge Ross ordered leaders of Dames for Danes into court. However, to date they have not been served with a subpoena even though prosecutors say Davidson County authorities know where they live.
“Maybe we should call the Metro Sheriff. He may be interested to know his department can’t serve a subpoena even when they know where it should go,” Ross said, noting he wants members of Dames for Dames before him in court.
“We don’t intend to let this go and we are actively pursuing the Great Dane society,” Crain told the judge.
Ross suggested perjury charges may be in order given the apparent plan to defraud the court.
“This is a potential criminal case, possibly perjury,” Ross noted. “They’ve taken something little and made it something big. Sounds Members of a Nashville animal rescue group could face criminal charges after prosecutors revealed Tuesday they have proof which reportedly shows the group lied when members said two Great Danes ran away while they were holding them for the local Humane Society.