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Animal Abuse Guilty Pleas From Memphis Shelter Employees

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(Memphis) Two former Memphis Animal Shelter employees face possible jail time after pleading guilty in a felony animal cruelty case.

Archie Elliott the third plead guilty to two charges of aggravated animal cruelty while Frank Lightfoot Jr plead guilty to four counts of aggravated animal cruelty.

Those included strangling dogs and hanging a dog.

The charge that has caught the attention of most people was where Elliot got mad at a dog and choked it, while Lightfoot stuck it in the heart with a needle filled with euthanasia medicine.

The men also admitted euthanizing animals without sedation as required.

There is also a third person involved in this case, Billy Stewart.

According to the D.A.'s office, Stewart did not enter a plea and will go trial on October ninth.

The three were indicted back in March after a three-month long undercover investigation inside the shelter.

A Memphis Police officer worked undercover and reported the incidents.

Elliott and Lightfoot will be sentenced in October.

Both men face between two and six years for each count or could be given diversion and have their records erased.

Many people are planning to call Judge Paula Skahan to encourage her to give the men a tough sentence. She can be reached at 901-222-3214.

Mayor A C Wharton sent the following statement:

“Sending an undercover officer into a city-run facility is not a routine action for a Mayor, but I wanted to be certain that we knew everything that was occurring at MAS. I was shocked and disgusted by what the undercover officer reported, but because of his presence, we also know that these two individuals are not representative of the vast majority of MAS employees.

If the need arises, I will have no hesitation to send another undercover officer into MAS; our honest, hardworking employees have nothing to fear from undercover investigations.”