MEMPHIS, TN - What is wrong with the Memphis Animal Shelter? Mayor A C Wharton says he wants to find out, and that's why he's letting the Downtown Rotary Club of Memphis conduct an audit of the city pound.
Wharton said Wednesday, July 27, 2011, a team, consisting of business leaders with expertise in operations and audits, will have unprecedented access to the shelter and its' employees. The Rotary Club made the offer a week ago.
"This is a Godsend," says Mayor Wharton, "the timing couldn't come at a better time. It is for the benefit of the public and won't cost the taxpayers a thing."
The announcement comes more than a month after Kapone, an 11-year-old pit bull, disappeared. Animal control officer Demetria Hogan, the last to see Kapone, was arrested by Memphis Police and charged with animal cruelty, then fired from the shelter.
Hogan worked at MAS through the city's Second Chance Program, which places convicted felons in government jobs.
John Coats, president of the Memphis Rotary Club, says everything is under review, including the Second Chance Program.
"We want to be as thorough as we possibly can be," he tells abc24.com. "So, if we leave out that program, then why wouldn't we leave out another examination? We intend to look at everything."
Coats says there is no timeline for completion of the audit. But once it's finished, he says, it will be made public.