New Memphis Animal Shelter has grand opening ceremony

(WMC-TV) - With the snip of the ribbon, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton officially opened the city's new animal shelter Saturday morning.

"Each day, you'll find us trying, trying, trying to do much more," said Wharton.

The $7.2 million facility has more adoption space, a clinic, and a livestock area where the shelter is currently housing a goat.

"I'm really excited," said LouAnn Muntz with Save Our Shelter Memphis.  "Very hopeful."

The grand opening comes two years after Wharton opened the old shelter to investigators following a series of dog thefts, financial mismanagement, animal abuse by shelter staff, and staff ties to dog fighting rings.

"The staff here, we know what you go through," said Wharton.  "We're going to keep working with you."

The city said the shelter may be new, but it is still under-funded and understaffed.  They will depend heavily on volunteers.

"We've gone from a 10,000 square foot facility to a 35,000 square foot facility," said Memphis Public Services Director Janet Hooks.

While the administration works to clean up problems at the animal shelter, the city council controls the budget.

"Obviously, the case can be made in front of the council now," said Memphis City Council Chairman Bill Morrison.  "You've tripled the size.  We're going to have to look at what we can do to bring on more employees in a smart manner."

The shelter is still without an administrator.

"We have applications where they have no experience, they love animals," said Hooks.  "I'm hoping in the next couple of months, we'll be able to get someone in here to run the facility."

A major goal is to promote adoptions, spaying and neutering.

The new shelter is located at 2350 Appling City Cove, across from the motor vehicle inspection station.  They are open to the public Tuesday through Saturday with extended hours Tuesday and Thursday.

Memphis Animal Shelter Hours:

Tuesday: 11:00a.m. - 7:00p.m.

Wednesday: 11:00a.m. - 5:00p.m.

Thursday: 11:00a.m. - 7:00p.m.

Friday: 11:00a.m. - 5:00p.m.

Saturday: 11:00a.m. - 5:00p.m.

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