MAS Advisory Board holds monthly meeting behind closed doors - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MAS Advisory Board holds monthly meeting behind closed doors

(WMC-TV) - A Memphis Animal Shelter meeting typically open to the public was held behind closed doors Thursday.

The doors to Memphis City Hall were locked 30 minutes before the public could attend a Memphis Animal Shelter Advisory Board meeting Thursday evening.

"We weren't getting anything done because of the extensive public forum part of the meeting," said advisory board chairman Dr. Stephen Tower, DVM.

The board has decided to discuss what is best for the Memphis Animal Shelter behind closed doors monthly, with the exception of four public meetings per year.

"What kind of society are we living in that a meeting about the care and humane treatment of animals needs to be kept behind closed doors?" asked former advisory board member Cindy Sanders.

Tower said the advisory board is not subject to the Sunshine Law, which forces public entities to open all of the meetings to the public.

"Because they're advisory in nature," said Tower.

Meanwhile, shelter employees have filed a grievance with the city, asking that streaming surveillance cameras be taken down.

"They employees are basically saying that they've got a number of threats," said Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.

Wharton also has questions about Demitria Hogan.  The shelter worker charged with two counts of animal cruelty was still on the job while there was an active warrant for her arrest.

"At the time she reported, did the folks at the shelter have knowledge that a warrant process was underway?" asked Wharton.

Wharton vowed to continue to look into problems at the shelter.

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