Wharton appoints animal shelter task force

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton is living up to his reputation as a leader by committee.

The Mayor -- who some have playfully referred to as "Appoint Committee Wharton" -- has pulled together a task force to address the recent woes at the City of Memphis Animal Shelter.

That's on top of his transition team tasked with scrutinizing City Hall divisions.

This task force will consist of area veterinarians, local citizens and other animal professionals and specialists versed in areas to address the shelter's needs.

The group, which will meet for the first time at City Hall on Friday at 2 p.m., will monitor progress at the shelter and report to the mayor. While the group may meet on an ongoing basis, they'll pull together a report of recommendations within 60 days.

Wharton has not revealed the names of committee members.

"It could be several months before any criminal complaints or indictments are handed down or are in place," Wharton said in a release. "But we can't wait that long. This is why we are doing our own assessment of this situation with the help of professionals. And we will decide if discipline or termination is called for or warranted."

At the meeting, task force members will discuss best practice procedures, training and retraining of shelter staff and personnel, expanding use of spay and neutering and more robust plans for animal adoption at the shelter.

Control of the shelter was seized by the Shelby County Sheriff's Office earlier this week following reports of maltreatment of animals.

Control of the shelter was returned to the city late Wednesday but investigators are still compiling a report of their findings.

Wharton said in the release that steps will be taken to adhere to all recommendations given in the report when it becomes available.

9 Comments

I hope and pray at least one member of this committee or other volunteers will be present to oversee day to day operations at the shelter until this investigation is complete and necessary changes have been made.

The animals can't speak for themselves, and up until now those who have spoken for them have been ignored.

Thank you so much for giving this issue the attention and action needed.

Lisa

Here's the law. Read it. Decide for yourself whether this meeting violated the open meetings law (aka the Sunshine Law of the State of Tennessee) - state statute.

http://www.tnpress.com/sunshinelaw/openmeetingslaw.pdf

"8-44-102. Open meetings - "Governing body" defined -"Meeting" defined. - (a) All meetings of any governing body are declared to be public meetings open to the public at all times, except as provided by the Constitution of Tennessee.
(b)(1) "Governing body" means:
(A) The members of any public body which consists of two (2) or more members, with the authority to make decisions for or recommendations to a public body on policy or administration and also means a community action agency which administers community action programs under the provisions of 42
U.S.C. § 2790 [repealed]. Any governing body so defined by this section shall remain so defined, notwithstanding the fact that such governing body may have designated itself as a negotiation committee for collective bargaining purposes, and strategy sessions of a governing body under such circumstances
shall be open to the public at all times;

Looks like our new Mayor broke the Sunshine law as he did not allow the public into the meeting. I personally know of one individual who wanted to attend the meeting but was turned away at the door.

Warton should contact Sheriff Joe Apario in Maricopa County AZ [Pheonix] of how he has put his prisoners in charge of the animal shelters. It has been so beneficial both to the prisoners as well as the animals. It has greatly improved the condition of the treatment of the animals, the condition of the shelters, the self-esteem and learning of a trade and education for the prisoners, and unconditional love aplenty to go around for all. Plus the funds that were saved in this move were astronomical with great improvements met in every aspect.

Jjust cause these people live like animals doesn't mean you can expect them to know how to take care of animals. How can you hold people responsible for caring for animals when they are incapable of taking care of themselves.

Do you recognize that it's high time to get the loans, which can make your dreams come true.

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