Memphis Animal Services employees will be trained in animal handling and the law on Thursday afternoon. Since three employees were arrested in early March for animal cruelty, interim shelter director James Rogers has made a commitment to retraining animal care technicians and animal control officers.
Whitney Jones, animal care manager at the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County, will train technicians on the proper use of catchpoles. Earlier this month, videos of workers misusing the poles by lifting animals off of the ground with them were posted on the Yes Biscuit blog. Those recorded incidents were the subject of many of the complaints against the shelter in last week's Memphis Animal Services advisory board meeting.
Jones will also teach employees alternative techniques for catching feral animals, such as scooping the animal up inside of a towel.
Also on Thursday afternoon, Judge Tarik Sugarmon will talk to animal control officers about the law and the officers' role in the justice system.
The training sessions are a result of a new partnership between Memphis Animal Services and the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County.
At last week's advisory board meeting, Rogers told attendees that he was committed to retraining employees. But some shelter critics scoffed when Rogers said he believed employees could be taught to show compassion.