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Memphis Animal Services Director Alexis Pugh leaving for new opportunity

In a statement, the city said Pugh was leaving for a “new wonderful opportunity” and it would be effective June 2, 2023.
Credit: WATN
Alexis Pugh

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Animal Services Director Alexis Pugh is leaving her post next month, the City of Memphis announced Thursday.

In a statement, the city said Pugh was leaving for a “new wonderful opportunity” and it would be effective June 2, 2023.

Pugh has been with MAS since 2016. The city said under her leadership, the save rate has improved consistently, ending 2022 at 86%. They said she also helped create Memphis’ first Pet Resource Center, which helps families keep their pets when in need, by providing food, medical care, spay/neuter, and other supplies.

City officials said Chief Chandell Ryan will work with the MAS staff during the transition. They did not say who, if anyone, will be taking over the director position.

MAS sent out the following email to supporters: 

"Today, Memphis Animal Services must share the bittersweet news that our director of nearly 7 years, Alexis Pugh, is leaving the organization. She has a wonderful opportunity outside of the city with a national animal welfare organization, and we are excited to see the impact she will continue to have on pets and people.

Alexis shared the news in person with our team this morning. For those who couldn’t make it in person, she sent an email, and we would like to share a few words from that email:

“To say this is bittersweet is an understatement. I am incredibly sad to leave you all, but I feel so good knowing this is the best team in the business, and you all will continue to exceed expectations and work every day to achieve the lofty goals we have set for ourselves over the years.

1. Because of you, people and pets in Memphis are better off, and for that I am eternally grateful.
2. For your positive attitudes, compassionate spirits, and never-ending drive to be better today than yesterday, I am eternally grateful.
3. For the sacrifices you have made mentally, emotionally, and physically for this job, I am eternally grateful.

Thank you all for making these 7 years a time in my life I will never forget; when we did what everyone said wasn’t possible in Memphis, TN. I am so proud to say I worked here with each and every one of you.”

City leadership is actively working on replacing Alexis as Director, and as soon as we have information about who is selected, we will share it with you."

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