Animal Advocates Protest Recent Events at Memphis Animal Services

Animal Advocates Protest Recent Events at Memphis Animal Services

Problems at Memphis Animal Services have been well documented for years, but continuing problems prompted a peaceful demonstration Sunday in east Memphis.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Problems at Memphis Animal Services have been well documented for years, but continuing problems prompted a peaceful demonstration Sunday in east Memphis.

The "Save our Shelter" organization cites mistreatment and neglect of animals among its complaints.

Several gathered for the demonstration at Poplar and Highland with picket signs to get across their message.

"The mayor says it's getting better, but it's not getting any better," said Sylvia Cox with Save our Shelter. "Mayor Wharton promised three years ago that he would turn the shelter around---and while a few things may be better, recent events have proven that nothing really has changed."

She was referring to events like those documented in official reports, such as a Great Dane left muzzled in a cage for eight hours with no food or water. And, shelter employee Darrell Hudson, who euthanized a dog because he didn't follow shelter policy.

Animal lover Rita Bartlett felt compelled to join the demonstration.

"You see what's happening, you walk around the shelter a few minutes and look in all the cages and see what's going on; there's no excuses," she said.

Some picket signs called for the firing of head veterinarian Rebecca Coleman, who is cited in official reports for cruel and inhumane behavior.

"The veterinarian allowed a dog with an embedded collar to sit in a cage for three days without treating it," said Cox.

Memphis City Councilman Shea Flinn admits, "Can we do a better job? Absolutely. But if you look at the volume of dogs there's going to be mistakes made."

That's why the Save our Shelter organization is pushing for better training of employees.

"They're making good money," said Bartlett, "They're being paid good salaries and they need to be held accountable."

Unlike Ceion Carruther, who according to the official report, told a supervisor "I'm not here to work, just collect a damn paycheck."

Cox stated, "We're asking the mayor to fulfill his promise that he made over three years ago, to turn around Memphis Animal Services and bring it from worst to first."

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