Recent coverage of the Memphis Animal Shelter

Things continue to move in what seems to be a positive manner with resolving issues at Memphis Animal Services. Here’s a link to a recent Commercial Appeal story about a report of the conditions at the shelter and some of the positive changes made.

Updates about Memphis Animal Shelter

Chris Peck wrote an important editorial in The Commercial Appeal today. He describes the need for responsible pet owners – people who don’t merely view animals as objects to be bought and discarded at will. He points to the responsibility of the public for the more than 13,000 annual euthanasia’s at the shelter. He reminds us of the poor city management that couldn’t properly run the Memphis Sexual Assault Resource Center … and how that same management was responsible for the animal shelter.

Peck reminds us of these important points:

Feed your dog. Care for your dog. Spay or neuter your dog because we don’t need more puppies.
And cheer on the new mayor as he takes on Job 1 in City Hall — cleaning up the mess.

Take time to have a look at the letters to the editor about the animal shelter situation. Today’s Hot Button reader responses were interesting.

Please convey your continuing concern to the Mayor, Sheriff, and District Attorney (contact information for each of these people in an earlier blog post).

Thank you for reading and caring about the situation of defenseless animals at the Memphis Animal Shelter.

Mayor Wharton Makes Major Changes at Memphis Animal Shelter

Ernest Alexander, Animal Services Director, is OUT. YAY!

Darrell Eldridge will be a temporary facilities manager.

Lucy Shaw, prior CEO at The Regional Medical Center at Memphis, is a consultant.

Mayor Wharton says that the level of care at the shelter will be comparable to the care given at hospitals.

High level of care AND high level of oversight is promised. The Mayor has communicated with members of the city council, especially around a need to reinstitute funding for an operations manager that had been cut from the budget.

The Mayor says he is very hands on, he loves pets, and he loves details. He says this is the difference in why things will improve with his administration versus in the efforts of other administrations.

The Mayor describes how he had never received a threatening telephone call during any of his court cases – until he defended a person charged with animal abuse (he never had phone calls when defending murderers, assault cases, etc.).

Links to coverage of Mayor Wharton’s press conference:

Want to see the live cameras at the Memphis Animal Shelter? Here’s the link!

Thank you, Mayor Wharton, for your actions on behalf of our vulnerable animals.

Updates on Memphis Animal Shelter

Last evening many of the Good Dog Rescue volunteers participated in the candlelight vigil at the Memphis Animal Shelter. Pictures are never good at dark with a phone, but we’ve got a couple below. Attending (that I saw) for Good Dog Rescue was founder Lisa Trenthem, along with volunteers Julie Clark, Vivian Lowder, Julie Russnogle, Anna Russnogle, Cheryl Kent, Sylvia Cox, & Cindy Russell (no doubt more were there, but it was dark!).

Reports vary from 100 to 200 to 300 participants at the vigil. Many people brought memorials that were left at the door to the shelter. The crowd made a loud statement that conditions at the shelter MUST change.

Here is some of the local coverage about the vigil (stories, videos, pictures):

We have aggregated our stories and you can easily follow updates by using this URL: – please share this with others.

Do you have updates we’ve not yet posted? If so, please comment to this story and let us know.

Memphis Animal Shelter Update

There will be a candlelight vigil Thursday, November 5th, 6 PM in front of the Memphis Animal Shelter.

In light of the news today we feel that some kind of statement needs to be made.

Search warrant photos show starvation at Memphis Animal Shelter (NOTE: be aware that the photo at the link is horrific) –

The meeting time was changed to 6PM in order to give more people time to get there after work.

Please join us and bring friends!

Link to map of Memphis Animal Shelter, located at 3456 Tchulahoma Road, Memphis, TN. It’s near the Memphis International Airport.


Sheriff Deputies Raid Memphis Animal Shelter to Investigate Reports of Abuse

Today, October 27, 2009, was a great day for the animals located in the Memphis Animal Shelter, as Sheriff’s deputies raided the facility at 3456 Tchulahoma Road, closed the doors to animals coming in or going out, and brought in trained investigators from the ASPCA and emergency responders from the American Humane Association. The securing of the facility, pursuant to the issuance of a search warrant, was part of an investigation into alleged animal abuse and cruelty.

For those of us who are passionate about the need for a more humane society, one where animals are not treated as objects to be disposed of on a whim, this is long overdue. For the shelter volunteers, who have had to witness the inhumane treatment of these poor animals by “humans” at the shelter, we thank you for your tireless efforts and your ongoing concern on behalf of the animals.

For Good Dog Rescue Founder, Lisa Trenthem, today is a great day. Lisa commented:

God Bless Sheriff Luttrell, Bill Gibbons and A.C. Wharton for DOING something about the abuse at Memphis Animal Services. Thanks to all the behind the scenes people who reported the abuse and would not stop trying to expose it. Sadly the shelter mismanagement has been no secret for years but NOTHING could be done as long as a corrupt mayor was in office.

I am ELATED at the news of this action and hopeful that new leadership can come to our shelter. If we could just choose the best person for that job based on their talent and experience, not corrupt politics, we could have an operational facility worth taxpayers money.
Please thank our new mayor and the sheriff’s office for having the guts to do a dirty job.

Please take a few moments to call or send a letter to our elected officials who are spearheading this initiative.

Here is the contact information – please take a few moments and use your voice to speak for those who are unable to speak for themselves – thank our officials who have listened to the citizens and volunteers of the shelter.

Mayor A C Wharton, Jr.
City Hall
125 N. Main St. Room 700
Memphis, Tn 38103
Phone: 901-576-6000

Sheriff Mark H. Luttrell, Jr.
Shelby County Sheriff
201 Poplar Avenue – Ninth Floor
Memphis, Tennessee 38103
Phone: 901-545-5500 OR 901-545-5686
Fax: 901-545-3310

Shelby County District Attorney General William L. Gibbons
201 Poplar Avenue – Third Floor
Memphis, Tennessee 38103
Phone: 901-545-5900

Here’s a list of current and related coverage about the Memphis Animal Shelter.

Shelby County Sheriff Office Press Release

Action News 5 by Kontji Anthony
Deputies execute search warrant at Memphis Animal Shelter
Posted 10/27/09 @ 6:42am // Updated 10/27/09 @ 5:46pm

News Channel 3 by Eric Lipford
Memphis Animal Shelter Raided – reports of unsanitary conditions, overcrowding, sick & vicious animals
Posted 10/27/09 @ 5:43pm

My Fox Memphis
Animal Shelter Raid Reveals Abuse
Posted 10/27/09 @ 4:58pm // Updated 10/27/09 @ 5:30pm

Older, related coverage

Action News 5 by Jason Miles
City employee keeps job after alleged animal shelter blunder
Posted 9/29/09 @ 9:19pm // Update 9/30/09 @ 11:12am

Action News 5
Outrage over animal shelter euthanization numbers
Posted 7/15/09 @ 3:32pm // Updated 7/16/09 @ 11:57am

News Channel 3
Audit of the Memphis Animal Shelter
dated July 13, 2009 // a 25 page document
The bottom line objectives and findings …

  • Objective 1: Determine if all revenues are properly recorded in Oracle
    • Finding 1: Overall, we noted taht revenues were properly recorded in Oracle and the process to record revenue to the general ledger was satisfactory (p. 2)
    • 3 recommendations for objective 1
  • Objective 2: Determine if safeguarding and accountability for revenues are adequate
    • Finding 2: Overall, safeguarding and accountability or revenues needs improvement (p. 4)
    • 11 recommendations for objective 2
  • Objective 3: Determine if safeguards and accountability over pharmaceuticals are adequate
    • Finding 3: Overall, safeguarding and accountability of pharmaceuticals needs improvement (p. 8)
    • 4 recommendations for objective 3
  • Objective 4: Determine compliance of transactions with the City’s purchasing policy
    • Finding 4: Overall, compliance with city purchasing guidelines was satisfactory (p. 10)
    • 2 recommendations for objective 4
  • Objective 5: Determine the reliability of computer generated data
    • Finding 5: Overall, data generated (reports) by the animal management system is reliable (p. 12)
    • 3 recommendations for objective 5
  • Objective 6: Determine compliance with revenue contracts/agreements
    • Finding 6: Overall, compliance with terms and conditions revenue contract needs improvement (p. 14)
    • 2 recommendations for objective 6

We will continue to post relevant updates as we receive them. We look forward to the outcome of the investigation. Let us know if you have comments.