Another Shelter Fiasco

Angela Garrone

A three week investigation has been ongoing at the Memphis Animal Shelter in Memphis, Tennessee after authorities discovered deplorable conditions at the shelter.  Sheriff’s deputies raided the facility on October 27 2009 after receiving numerous reports of abuse at the shelter. (photo gallery from the shelter raid here)  Complaints about the conditions of the shelter have been thrown around at least since 2007.  In 2007, the state found that the shelter was out of compliance with the minimum standards established by the Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.  The state found various violations of record keeping concerning drug usage for euthanizations.

Memphis City Mayor A. C. Wharton fired  Memphis Animal Services supervisor Ernest Alexander nine days after law enforcement authorities raided and closed the shelter. (see City’s search warrant here)  Alexander previously oversaw a shelter in Albuquerque, NM until 2008 when he was hired after a nationwide search by former Mayor Willie Herenton.  Herenton was searching for a new administrator in response to long term complaints about the shelter from animal rights activists.  Three other shelter employees remain suspended with pay until the city finishes their investigation.

Continue reading

Memphis Police Department Commits More Resources to Combating Animal Cruelty

Fox News reported today that three officers of the Memphis Police Department (MPD) have gone through training to more effectively investigate animal cruelty cases. These officers will “take the case, gather evidence properly, do the interviews properly, just like any criminal matter, so when we get to court we have a good solid foundation.”

The MPD decided to adopt new measures to deal with animal cruelty cases after a sickening case of animal abuse fell apart because it hadn’t been properly documented by the investigating officer.  A local animal rights group – the Anti Cruelty Task Force of Memphis – is hopeful that the MPD’s renewed commitment to investigating animal cruelty will lead to the more effective prosecution of animal related offenses. More about it here

Luis Chiesa