New boss promises Memphis Animal Shelter will improve - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

New boss promises Memphis Animal Shelter will improve

For the first time since three Memphis Animal Services employees were arrested on aggravated animal cruelty charges, the head of the embattled shelter is sitting down for a one-on-one interview. For the first time since three Memphis Animal Services employees were arrested on aggravated animal cruelty charges, the head of the embattled shelter is sitting down for a one-on-one interview.

(WMC-TV) – For the first time since three Memphis Animal Services employees were arrested on aggravated animal cruelty charges, the head of the embattled shelter is sitting down for a one-on-one interview.

The shelter's main goal is to reduce euthanization rates and increase adoption rates.

To that end, the shelter is working to partner with other animal agencies in the tri-state area.

New Memphis Animal Shelter director James Rogers requires all employees to memorize the shelter's mission statement.

"I believe in intense training," he said.

Right now, the shelter's animal control officers and animal care technicians are undergoing weeks worth necessary training.

"And then all employees will be tested, and they'll have to score at least a 90 percent on the tests after we've done the training," he said. "That's a condition of employment."

Rogers said the goal is to change what he calls the shelter's "antiquated model" of operation which he believes created a difficult environment for animals, employees and a long list of other well-documented issues.

"It takes time," he said. "I've got a plan - 30, 60, 90 days. As of as today, we're on target.

"And then after we've attained a certain level, we need to sustain that level and then move to the next level."

Rogers said MAS does positive work, but concedes that it must improve in order to meet acceptable industry standards.

"The voice of the business, this is it," he said. "You hear it now. We will get better."

Rogers is merely the interim director at MAS, but said he will stay on the job as long as needed while Mayor AC Wharton searches for a permanent replacement.

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