Public Option 

City closes animal shelter privatization bid for lack of interest.

The possibility of finding a private organization to take over Memphis Animal Services has moved further out of reach.

On December 19th, the city of Memphis issued a request for proposals (RFP) seeking a qualified vendor to operate Memphis Animal Services. A month later, citing a lack of interest, the RFP was removed from the city website.

According to Janet Hooks, director of Public Services and Neighborhoods, a mandatory pre-proposal meeting was held on January 12th at the new Memphis Animal Services facility on Appling City Cove.

"There were no attendees," Hooks said. "The meeting was held to answer any questions they may have about submitting a proposal, which would have been due on February 10th."

But that February 10th deadline became a moot point when no potential vendors showed for the meeting. Hooks said they took down the RFP because no one could submit a proposal without having attended the mandatory information session.

Beverly King, animal rights advocate and proponent of a privatized shelter, expressed doubts about the city's RFP process.

"I think that they don't want anyone to turn in a proposal. They put out the RFP on December 19th, six days before Christmas. And between then and this mandatory meeting on January 12th, we're talking three weeks during the holiday season," King said. "How can a group even think about putting something together in three weeks? We're talking about a facility that has a budget of a couple of million dollars."

Memphis Animal Services has an annual budget of nearly $3 million, and they handle over 14,000 animals each year. Beyond the scope of its budget and operations, taking on Memphis Animal Services means inheriting the institution's tarnished reputation and checkered past.

In recent years, the shelter has been plagued with allegations of animal abuse, corruption, and rumors of employees tied to dogfighting rings. The search for a new executive director continues after former director Matthew Pepper's hasty resignation last August.

"I've been through so many administrations, so many problems throughout the years that I feel like privatizing the shelter would be the answer," King said. "I'm really disappointed, but it doesn't surprise me at all that no one showed up on January 12th. We're back to square one."

For now, Hooks said the city will continue to manage the shelter. As for whether or not privatization is still an option, Hooks was less forthcoming.

"I can't speculate on what will happen in the future," she said. "You have no idea how much I wish I could foresee what will happen."

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Execution Shift

      Conservatives argue death penalty is a ‘prime example of bloated, broken government.’
    • MEMernet

      A round-up of Memphis on the World Wide Web.

The Latest

We Saw You

Grandma’s Heavenly Meatball Eating Contest and More

Film Features

Good Boys

Letter From The Editor

Let’s Go Krogering ...

Book Features

You Got a Friend: Susan Cushman’s Friends of the Library

Music Features

Mac Sabbath: This is Your Brain on French Fries

We Recommend

Gong Meditation at Delta Groove

We Recommend

Midnight Yard Sale at the Hi Tone

Viewpoint

Challenge the Candidates

Food & Wine

Unique Drinks at Sage on S. Main

The Rant

The Buck Stops ... Where?

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Hannah Sayle

  • Recipe for Success

    Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman on their new cookbook, Collards & Carbonara.
    • Aug 29, 2013
  • Spectacular, Now

    An unusually superb teen romance.
    • Aug 22, 2013
  • Midtown Magnetism

    Babalu fills in another Overton Square spot; Muddy’s to open on Cooper.
    • Aug 22, 2013
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Art Dollars

    Q&A with Lauren Kennedy, executive director of the UrbanArt Commission
    • Jan 4, 2018
  • Moving Water

    Leaders plunge into water issues for the present and the future.
    • Jan 25, 2018
  • TVA Land

    Groups hit agency on pricing and water tests.
    • Feb 8, 2018
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2019

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation