Mayor Wharton On Mistaken Euthanization At Shelter

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Original Story

(Memphis) "Mistakes are made. Carelessness should not have happened and folks are being disciplined," said Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.

He is speaking out about the latest problem at  the Memphis Animal Shelter, the mistaken euthanasia of a Cordova woman's pet dog, Nola.

The dog had only been at the shelter a day after it escaped from its owner's backyard.

But an animal services worker wrote down the dog had been there a month, so Nola was put down before her owner, Victoria Henry, could get her back.

"It hurts just as bad knowing I will never see my Nola again," says Henry.

"When mistakes happen they will be dealt with promptly and openly. That is the new day," said Wharton.

Mayor Wharton said Animal Shelter Director James Rogers took quick action in firing the number two man at the shelter, Operations Manager Chelton Beamon.

Wharton said that shows procedures are in place to deal with these kind of problems.

But, it's not fast enough for some who vented their frustration at  an Animal Advisory Board meeting Wednesday night.

They want the person who put the wrong date on Nola's intake fired.

Shelter officials admit procedures were not followed, but the Mayor said they were able to determine what went wrong, "As you can see it was fairly easy to determine because he has systems in place to see who fell down and was not doing what they were suppose to do."

For those people there is a price to pay.

"I will say this,  Mr. Rogers and the staff he has there, they are for the most part trying to do their best. I know Mr. Rogers is. Sometimes even the failings that occur they are not deliberate. There is just a need for more training and we are working on that," says Wharton.

Mayor Wharton says there will be more training for Animal Services workers,
but it will take time and money.

No word on how long the now fired Operations Manager had been at the shelter, but we have requested to review his Personnel File.