Memphis shelter had ties with dogfighters
Some staff members of the troubled city-run animal shelter in Memphis have had ties with dogfighting rings, an outside study of the shelter concludes.
The review of operations at the Memphis Animal Shelter, conducted by a Rotary Club committee, concludes that the city has an “attitude that animals are disposable,” that employees have operated outside the rules, that record-keeping is poor, and that little screening of potential adopters takes place.
It names no names, but the report does seem to infer that some employees at the shelter served to supply dogfighting operations with pit bulls:
“The vast majority of dogs brought in to the shelter are pit bulls. Therefore, the potential for criminal activity is very real, and the checks for criminal background must be made. There should be a record of this with each adoption, available for audit,” said the report.
Among employees, the report said, “there remains the clear understanding … that certain individuals are exempt from the rules … The employees at every level, while not willing to say so on the record, will readily volunteer that there has been a relationship between certain individuals and the illicit dogfighting rings in the community.”
The 22-page report was delivered this week to Mayor AC Wharton, according to the Memphis Commercial-Appeal.
The committee also plans to turn the report over to the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office for further investigation.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office raided the shelter in October of 2009, and found abused or neglected animals. Three dogs, including the one pictured atop this post, were so starved and emaciated they didn’t survive.
The shelter’s director Ernest Alexander was fired and, along with veterinarian Angela Middleton and administrative supervisor Tina Quattlebaum, indicted on charges of aggravated cruelty to animals.
This year, another Memphis Animal Services officer was fired after a dog died of heat stroke during the two hours the officer took to pick the dog up and return to the shelter.
The city closed its old shelter this month, and opened the new Memphis Animal Services shelter this week. It’s already full, officials report.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 18th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, abused, adoptions, animal services, animal shelter, committee, dogfighting, employees, investigation, memphis, neglect, neglected, pit bulls, rescues, review, rings, rotary club, screening, shelters, staff, starved, study, tennessee