Thursday, July 9, 2015

Suspension Overturned For Animal Services Director

Posted By on Thu, Jul 9, 2015 at 8:10 AM

click to enlarge This dog was mistakenly euthanized by MAS.
  • This dog was mistakenly euthanized by MAS.
Memphis Animal Services (MAS) Director James Rogers won't be suspended after all. Rogers was facing a three-day suspension over the euthanization of a Rottweiler that was supposed to be featured in a Click Magazine back in May.

In a letter from the city Human Resources department, Director Quinton Robinson wrote that Rogers that "exercised reasonable judgement in believing your subordinate would successfully complete the request from a citizen that 12 animals be placed on hold for adoption."

The dog that was mistakenly euthanzied, a five-year-old Rottweiler, was one of 12 pets from MAS to be featured in Click magazine's May issue. MAS had agreed not to euthanize the animals that were photographed for that story. But a few days after the dog's photos were taken for the feature, MAS staff overlooked the memo instructing them to hold the dog and he was put to sleep.

"It was a terrible mistake," said Rogers told the Flyer back in May.

Following the incident, the city announced plans to suspend Rogers for five days. But that was later reduced to three days. And now, according to Robinson's letter, Rogers won't be suspended at all. Robinson's letter indicated that Rogers and his staff would be required to undergo further training to prevent such incidents.

A number of animals have been mistakenly euthanized at MAS over the past year. Back in January, the Flyer reported that there had been at least six dogs mistakenly euthanized in the past year. In December, Memphis resident Vickie Carter took a stray pit bull to MAS after rescuing him from an attack by other dogs. She told the intake clerk and Rogers that, if no one claimed the dog before his review date (the day they're either euthanized or placed up for adoption), she would adopt the dog. But on that day, when Carter came to the shelter to pick up the dog, he'd already been euthanized.

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