Cruelty Charges Against Former Animal Shelter Director Dropped



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."

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