Cruelty Charges Against Former Animal Shelter Director Dropped

Posted by Bianca Phillips on Tue, Apr 16, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Ernie Alexander
  • Ernie Alexander

Animal cruelty charges against former Memphis Animal Services (MAS) director Ernie Alexander and supervisor Tina Quattlebaum were dismissed Tuesday morning in Shelby County Criminal Court.

The charges stemmed from a 2009 Shelby County Sheriff's Office-led raid at Memphis Animal Services that revealed dogs dying of starvation. Former MAS veterinarian Angela Middleton was also charged with animal cruelty after the raid, but she was acquitted of all charges in October.

According to a statement from the Shelby County district attorney's office, the charges were dropped due to lack of cooperation of key witnesses, a lack of direct evidence of the defendants’ contact with the animal victims, budget constraints that were placed on MAS by the city administration at that time, and because both Alexander and Quattlebaum made attempts to notify their supervisors about shelter conditions. Based on those factors, the DA's office determined that prosecution would not have a "reasonable likelihood of success."

Comments (13)

Showing 1-13 of 13

"Lack of cooperation of key witnesses?" I guess they're referring to all the poor dogs and cats who died there.

report 13 likes, 0 dislikes   
Posted by vancelauderdale on 04/16/2013 at 2:42 PM

This is crap. Mr. Alexander was the director & Ms. Quattlebaum was the supervisor. They "made attempts to notify their supervisors" sounds fairly vague and unsubstantive. The reality is that they are not held accountable. No one is held accountable. No wonder animal abuse continues.

report 10 likes, 0 dislikes   
Posted by Pamela Cate on 04/16/2013 at 3:06 PM

Unreal. Memphis is a horrible joke that isn't funny when it comes to the protection & care of animals. It's a tragedy that these charges were "quietly dismissed". No case? Animals were starved. To death. Blame funding? I call bullshit. If I weren't getting the money I needed to care for animals in my charge... I'd be on every damned radio station, internet forum, television screen... asking for help. Speaking out. It's this sort of thing that allows for more inhumane acts to happen. Without accountability, crimes will continue to be perpetrated.

report 11 likes, 0 dislikes   
Posted by Linda Baxter on 04/16/2013 at 3:27 PM

Linda Baker

I forecast this happening when it first started. Your zeal and heartfelt afinity for animals is one thing, but the law is another.

Remember, Michael Vick got most of his jail time, not for cruelty to animals, but for racketeering by holding illegal gambling, thereby, not paying taxes and lying on his tax return.

Get it through your head, animals are not humans and therefore do not have the guarantees of the constitution.

report 2 likes, 9 dislikes   
Posted by oldtimeplayer on 04/16/2013 at 4:31 PM

What OTP means is they are both black, and therefore, should not be held accountable nor responsible for collecting a big paycheck, regardless of whether or not the actual duties of the position are being met....even marginally. If they feel animals do not deserve any humane consideration, why take the job? That's what the person in the position should be held accountable to, unless that person is really just there for the take home pay. And that pretty much describes ole' Ernie & Tina. There's another word I can think of to add to that description....ANIMALS.

report 4 likes, 1 dislike   
Posted by mejjep on 04/16/2013 at 5:16 PM

You never can tell with the legal system here. IF these people are guilty, and in my opinion they are, they will be judges at a later time. And I hope they are sentence to and unbelievably hot place for a long long long time. Abusing animals is was of the lowest forms of life there is. Torturing any life form shows a real mental defect. Would you let the people have a gun???????

report 1 like, 0 dislikes   
Posted by diogenes323 on 04/16/2013 at 6:05 PM

I guess the DA is only worried about her conviction rate, only go for the slam dunk.

report 6 likes, 1 dislike   
Posted by CEBorst on 04/16/2013 at 6:36 PM

OTP, I can see that your human social skills are bleeding over into the rest of mammalia.

report 2 likes, 0 dislikes   
Posted by CL Mullins on 04/16/2013 at 6:48 PM

Poor dogs and cats don't have a chance with them in charge. This makes me SICK!! They're guilty and should be held accountable!!!

report 3 likes, 1 dislike   
Posted by Susan Morris on 04/16/2013 at 8:59 PM

This situation is all just bull crap.

I do not know why the MAS is seemingly protected from the very Heavens themselves but I guess everyone at MAS can rest assured knowing that there is no one in Memphis who gives a crap what they do at their jobs at all.

Heck, why not just be done with it and hold dog fights at the MAS building and be done with it? Cockfights too! Shoot.

report 2 likes, 0 dislikes   
Posted by merlin on 04/17/2013 at 1:37 PM

Okay, the Vet was found innocent by a jury of her peers. The DA dropped the charges due to not having a strong case. Maybe, just maybe the justice system knows/knew1 something that the court of public opinion doesn't/didn't. Sometimes, a media driven frenzy feeds a proverbial lynch mob.

report 3 likes, 1 dislike   
Posted by jrgolden on 04/17/2013 at 3:25 PM

ASPCA uses donations for litigation and lobbying efforts. Not helping animals. Donate / foster locally.

Posted by Sandy Bater on 04/27/2013 at 8:39 PM

Tina is a good person. I've known her since childhood. She's not cruial to say the least.

report 1 like, 0 dislikes   
Posted by Dwight on 07/28/2013 at 6:27 PM
Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment