Council May Re-establish Animal Shelter Board

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Since its formation in November, the Memphis Animal Coalition (MAC) has been pushing for numerous changes at the city animal shelter -- expanded hours, a new director, a lower euthanasia rate, and the re-establishment of an animal shelter advisory board to oversee policies at the shelter.

The city charter allows for such a board, but the last one was disbanded in 1991 under then-Mayor Dick Hackett's administration. City Council member Shea Flinn is sponsoring a resolution to bring the board back. The issue will be discussed in a city council committee meeting on Tuesday, March 18th.

"What's been revealed shows that we need some eyes and ears watching what's going on at the shelter," said Flinn, who has two rescued dogs. "I think having concerned citizens monitoring this is to the benefit of the community."

The seven-member, mayor-appointed board would be responsible for overseeing animal shelter policies and procedures, setting fees, and investigating complaints of cruelty at the shelter.

"It'd be a means of external review that is not presently occurring at the shelter," said MAC member Lisa Trenthem.

MAC was formed in response to a high euthanasia rate at the Memphis shelter. Over 80 percent of the animals taken in last year were killed. Read more on animal shelter issues.

--Bianca Phillips

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