Metro Animal Control wants to know who tied up two dogs and left them to fend for themselves.
Thursday morning, animal control officers were called to a dwelling behind Nashville Vehicles in the 1900 block of Elm Hill Pike, after an anonymous call about a suspected dog fight.
Instead of a dog fight, officers found two dogs nearly bound together and desperate to get free from a tangled mess of chain and wire.
"The chain had got wrapped around the runner, and the poor dog couldn't move," said Metro Animal Control Field Supervisor Billy Biggs. "He couldn't get back to his dog house. He couldn't go anywhere."
Biggs told Nashville's News 2 the pit bull mixes are two to four years old and appear to be in good health. Despite one dog escaping the bind, the overall conditions were unacceptable.
"He was confined to that one little spot, and you know, you just can't do that," he said.
The owner, who has not yet been identified, is believed to live in the dwelling where the dogs were found. Attempts to find the owner were unsuccessful on Thursday. Animal cruelty charges are pending.
"Right now, the owner faces an environmental court citation. There's no jail time involved, but there is a fine and court costs if he's found guilty," said Biggs.
Guilty or not, the judge could allow the owner to get his dogs back. However, if the owner does not reclaim them, the dogs may not survive.
Due to concerns over safety and illegal activity, pit bull breeds cannot be adopted from animal control.
"We do make exceptions sometimes for animals," Biggs said. "These two appear to be really friendly. Hopefully, they would let us get 'em to a rescue."
Rescue groups must meet certain requirements to take over the care of animal control seized pit bulls.
Prior to Thursday's seizure of the dogs on Elm Hill Pike, there were no previous complaints about that location to Metro Animal Control.
Biggs also noted the department's efforts to educate animal owners who violate local laws. "We don't just give them a citation," he said. "We like to educate them and show them the proper way and give them a copy of the laws."
A court date for the case cannot be set until the owner is found.