MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis Animal Services is using a new and intensive training program in an effort to battle animal cruelty in the Mid-South.
Over the last year, Memphis Animal Services has responded to almost 13,000 calls.
"Ten percent of those are for investigate cruelty or neglect, which is up about 30% from the previous year," said Memphis Animal Services Director Alexis Pugh.
In order to keep up with the demand, Pugh scheduled a week-long training with the National Animal Cruelty Investigation School.
The training, which she scheduled two years ago, doesn’t change what MAS officers can do, but she says it gives them more tools to work with.
"When can we seize an animal? What does the law say about our ability to do that? To writing good documentation notes and having good case files so that your charges are held up in court," said Pugh.
MAS officers are only allowed to issue ordinance violations therefore they'll still need to partner with MPD. Pugh assures this new training will help MAS staff continue to fight animal cruelty in Memphis.
"That's why having this kind of training was just invaluable. It made us better at what we're asked to do every single day by the citizens of Memphis," said Pugh.
Staff members have to complete a total of three levels of this training. They’ve hoping to do that in the coming years.