|On September 26, 2014 at approximately 8:45 PM, Kingsport Police Officers patrolling in the area of Cloud Apartments in Kingsport were alerted by a nearby resident that apartment #47, located at 1212 Robertson Street, was on fire. Officers Brooke Bowers, Craig Dunworth, and Jesse Griggs rushed to the scene. They heard a smoke alarm and smelled smoke emanating from the apartment. A neighbor told them she believed that the apartment resident, later identified as Samantha A. Stidham, might still be inside.
The officers forced open the door of the apartment and began to search the interior for potential victims of the fire. No people were found inside; however, a small gray and white puppy, believed to be approximately 2-3 months old, crawled out from underneath the bed in an upstairs bedroom and stumbled down the stairs. The puppy appeared emaciated, frightened, and neglected. Its ribs, shoulder and hip bones, and spine were all visibly protruding under its skin and there were pink sores on the puppy’s shoulders. A neighbor brought food and water, and the puppy desperately consumed it.
The source of the smoke turned out to be an oven that had been left on by Ms. Stidham. Kingsport Fire Fighters responded and extinguished the fire and rendered the apartment safe.
Shortly after the fire was extinguished, Ms. Stidham returned home from a trip to a convenience store. She confirmed that she was the resident of the apartment and the owner of the puppy. She told the officers that she did not have any food for the puppy, because she could not afford it; however, she did appear to own numerous non-essential items including a large television, DVD movies, a cell phone, and cigarettes.
Ms. Stidham was arrested for Aggravated Cruelty to Animals and was transported to the Kingsport City Jail. The puppy was turned over to SBK Animal Shelter for proper care and safekeeping.
|Name||Samantha A. Stidham|
|Age||Date of Birth 3/21/1994
20 Years of Age
1212 Robertson Street, Apt. #47
|Charge(s)||Aggravated Cruelty to Animals|
|Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer
Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit