A dog is doing fine after it was taken away from its owner, who was accused of choking it and trying to slit its throat with a knife.
Frederick Lamar Madden, 50, choked his 45-pound pit-bull mix with a chain leash and threatened to cut its throat while saying, "You going to learn to fight," according to a Chattanooga Police Department report.
Police charged Madden with aggravated cruelty to animals - a felony.
The dog appeared uninjured from the knife, according to the report.
The dog was given to McKamey Animal Care and Adoption Center, which each year takes in 10 to 15 dogs wounded in dogfighting bouts, Executive Director Karen Walsh said.
There are two types of dogs that are seen in illegal dog fights, she said, the ones who are aggressive and fight and "bait" dogs, the mild-mannered ones used for the others to attack. Bait dogs - often torn up, bleeding, sometimes near death - often are dumped out on the streets after they've been attacked, she said. To a dogfighter, such dogs aren't worth anything because they don't make money through fights, she said.
"We see quite a few bait dogs," Walsh said.
The dogs are in such bad shape, some people bring them to McKamey, thinking they've been hit by a car, she said.
It's unclear whether Madden's pit-bull was used in fighting.
"Pit bulls are either very loved or maligned because of their reputation," Walsh said.
Madden, who posted a $5,000 bond, could not be reached for comment Thursday, and no one answered the door at his home at 1407 Wheeler Ave. in East Chattanooga.
He was arrested after a woman contacted police when she witnessed the incident, which took place in his front yard, the report stated. When officers arrived, a knife was found near Madden, who said he did not have a knife, according to the report.
Madden's dog, which is about 2 years old, was examined for signs of neglect and abuse at Riverside Veterinary Emergency Clinic, Walsh said. She couldn't divulge details of the dog's health because it's a pending court case, she said.
A judge will determine whether Madden gets the dog back. Another option is for Madden to relinquish ownership of the dog, Walsh said.
Madden's next court date is set for March 23 before General Sessions Court Judge Ronald Durby.