Rotary Club to audit Memphis Animal Shelter - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Rotary Club to audit Memphis Animal Shelter

(WMC-TV) - Memphis Mayor A C Wharton officially accepted an offer from the Rotary Club to audit the troubled Memphis Animal Shelter Wednesday.

Wharton's words did not perk up every ear inside Memphis Animal Services.  There were some dogs that slept through his Wednesday afternoon news conference.

"The timing could not be better," said Wharton.

He is certainly sold on a no-holds-barred audit of the shelter to be conducted by the Memphis Rotary Club.

"Because I had just been saying how can I get some outside credible eyes in without worrying about where we're going to come up with the money," said Wharton.

A Rotary committee will study shelter management, operations, accounting, and outreach.  Clinical recommendations regarding animals will be excluded.  The study will not cost the city.

"This issue needs quick resolution to help not only the animals, but also the image of our community that has been tarnished," Rotary Club president John Coats wrote in his initial proposal.

Mayor Wharton later accepted the club's offer to audit the shelter.

"We have businessmen in our club, accountants in our club, lawyers in our club," said Coats Wednesday.  "So we're approaching this from a businessman's advantage," he added.

The study comes in the wake of highly publicized incidents at the shelter, including the recent arrest of animal control officer Demetria Hogan on cruelty charges.

There is no word on how long the study will take. Privatization could be a recommendation once it is complete. 

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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