Puppy custody case to be heard

Published 9:45 am Saturday, July 14, 2012

FRANKLIN—The waiting list for two shih tzu puppies seized by Franklin police is growing, while a legal battle over their ownership is brewing.

Roy Richards, animal control officer for the city, has received at least 35 calls and 10 visitors to the shelter from those interested in adopting the six-week-old male and female pups.

“There’s really nothing we can do until we have a court case,” Richards said.

Police on July 5 took three puppies from a Franklin man for allegedly selling them from the trunk of a car in the parking lot between Arby’s and Walmart when the heat index hit 110 degrees. One died; the two remaining are doing well, Richards said.

Carl Basnight, 26, of 376 N. College Drive, Apt. C, was charged with three counts of selling dogs before seven weeks of age and three counts of failing to provide proper care of animals. All are misdemeanors. Law requires that puppies be at least seven weeks old before they can be taken from their mothers.

Police said Basnight had no food or water for the puppies, which were taken to a veterinarian.

A hearing to determine who keeps the dogs until Basnight goes to court will be held 9 a.m. Monday, July 16, at Franklin General District Court, Richards said.

“We will see if we can, or if he can get them back,” Richards said. “The judge will determine where the puppies will go.”

Basnight has called the shelter and left messages asking when he could pick up the dogs, Richards said. Richards has been unable to reach Basnight.

If the city wins custody, a home can be found for the dogs.

“I’ve got a list of anybody that called,” Richards said. “The last couple of days, I’ve told people they are spoken for.”

The new owner would have to pay a $10 adoption fee per dog and agree to spay or neuter the animals.

Basnight will have a hearing on the charges at 9 a.m. Monday, July 30, in Franklin General District Court.