Shelter conditions lead to firing in Memphis
This photo helped authorities in Shelby County, Tennessee get the search warrant that was used in a predawn raid that led to the temporary closure of the Memphis Animal Shelter two weeks ago.
The raid followed allegations of mismanagement, mistreatment of animals and improper euthanizations.
The mayor of Memphis, A C Wharton, fired Animal Services Director Ernest Alexander Friday — a day after residents held a candlelight vigil at the facility.
“I am not an expert on (animal shelters), but I tell you what, I can walk in here and tell you whether it is clean or dirty,” Wharton said Friday during a news conference at the shelter. “I can tell you the difference between a pet that has been fed and cared for and loved and not loved.”
Wharton’s decision to fire Alexander came after shelter employees improperly euthanized a dog and preliminary results of a city investigation showed the facility had been mismanaged, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported.
In addition to Alexander’s termination, three other shelter employees remain suspended with pay until the city investigation is complete.
Last week, Wharton established a committee to review the shelter’s operations and installed surveillance cameras that the public can access online. Members of the committee will monitor the shelter daily.
Public pressure for Wharton to take action at the shelter — long criticized by animal rights activists — has been building since Shelby County sheriff’s deputies raided the facility last week.
The puppy in the photo was admitted to the Memphis Animal Shelter Aug. 18, and died Sept. 4. A necropsy showed the dog hadn’t eaten in at least 72 hours.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 9th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
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