Animal welfare advocates are holding a candlelight vigil at Memphis Animal Services (3456 Tchulahoma Rd.) at 6 p.m. in response to the recent news of abuse and neglect at the city-run shelter.
Last week, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at the shelter after a tip came into District Attorney Bill Gibbons’ office alleging abuse. Deputies found malnourished animals (like the one pictured) starved to the point of euthanasia, as well as dogs with rabies placed in cages with healthy dogs. Gibbons said criminal charges are likely.
Mayor AC Wharton has assembled a task force to look into the problem, and cameras have been installed at the shelter. He’s suspended euthanasia at the shelter until the city wraps up a investigation tomorrow. Wharton is expected to further address the problem at a press conference to be held Friday morning.
Those advocates may be getting their wish now. That is, if the authorities can locate former Memphis Animal Services director Ernie Alexander. District Attorney Bill Gibbons announced the former director’s indictment for animal cruelty charges this morning, but authorities believe he may be on the run. The Shelby County Sheriff’s office is asking for the public’s help in locating Alexander.