NASHVILE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Metro police lieutenant is still under investigation after her decision-making was called into question.
But Metro police are now clarifying the sequence of events, correcting earlier reports that Lt. Morgan Ford “ordered” her officers into a secured building to take seven puppies and their mom.
According to police, the two officers on the scene broke into the house on their own then called the lieutenant to report what they had done.
Metro police spokesperson Don Aaron said the story begins Jan. 13 when the police officers were searching for a missing 12-year-old on Brick Church Pike around 1:30 a.m.
A rookie officer and field training officer stumbled upon seven puppies and their mother inside a home, which was empty, locked and appeared dirty.
The officers thought the animals could be in trouble and called Metro Animal Control. The agency refused to come until the next day because the situation was not considered an emergency.
“These officers look in the house, at the conditions; they thought were deplorable with feces, etc., and made decision after animal control did not respond to take the animals out,” Aaron explained.
According to Metro police, once Lt. Ford learned what her officers did, she failed to contact her captain or go to the scene.
According to Aaron, Lt. Ford reportedly ordered the dogs be taken to the Madison precinct where she was. Police say Ford then ordered the dogs taken to the Nashville emergency clinic in Rivergate where the vets said the dogs were in good condition.
The mother dog and five puppies were then taken to Metro Animal Control while Lt. Ford and the field training officer each took one to their respective homes.
The dog’s owner, Delbet Porter, wasn’t happy.
“I was very upset someone came into my home. When I found out it was police even more upset,” Porter told News 2.
Two days later on Jan. 15, Metro Animal Control brought all eight dogs back to Porter.
That’s when police began investigating.
“The whole totality of circumstances the decision made and the supervision exercised are under investigation,” spokesman Aaron told News 2.
Meanwhile, Porter says his home was destroyed in last August’s floods and that’s why it’s a mess. He said his dogs are well-cared for.
Lt. Ford and the field training officer took a puppy to their respective homes because of apparent concern the puppies would be euthanized because of their breed, shepherd and pit bull mix.
High ranking sources at the Metro Animal Control told News 2 there is a policy that’s been in place for about a year that calls for pit bulls to be placed for adoption or to seek other viable options before euthanizing takes place.
The Metro police source said the two officers were inside the residence when the lieutenant found out, but her lack of supervision and decision-making coupled with her failure to come to the scene contributed to the situation.
Metro officials also now confirm that the field training officer who brought the puppy home is under investigation but has not been decommissioned at this time.
News 2 reached out to Lt. Ford for comment but did not immediately hear back.