3 Memphis (TN) MAS Workers Indicted on Animal Cruelty Charges (3-8-12)
At a presser this morning, Mayor Wharton announced 3 MAS workers have been indicted for animal cruelty, per a report on WMC-TV. This post will be updated as details develop.
Update #1: The Commercial Appeal names the employees:
Three Memphis Animal Shelter employees were indicted today on multiple charges of animal cruelty following a police undercover operation.
The employees charged are Billy D. Stewart, 28, Frank Lightfoot, Jr., 59, and Archie Elliot, III, 35. Each is charged with multiple counts of aggravate animal cruelty. They were arrested this morning following their indictments.
Frank Lightfoot is seen in some of the recent videos but the other two are not. These arrests are apparently the result of undercover police work. The female ACO who is depicted in the video hanging the puppy by the chokepole and dragging dogs has not been charged.
Update #2: Frank Lightfoot – in jail, 4 counts aggravated cruelty to animals
Billy Stewart – in jail, 4 counts aggravated cruelty to animals
Archie Elliott – in jail, 2 counts aggravated cruelty to animals
Regular readers will recognize Mr. Lightfoot as the worker depicted in many webcam images and recent videos. The city has defended his animal abuse in past. I believe Mr. Stewart is the worker I captured hanging a cat by the neck. The city has defended his animal abuse in past. Mr. Elliott was the worker caught on camera beating Pitbulls with a chokepole after they had had gotten into a fight at MAS. He was also caught putting puppies in the trash can, wheeling them to the kill room. The city has defended his animal abuse in past.
Aside from Frank Lightfoot, none of the workers depicted in the security camera footage from February 7 have been charged.
Update #3: Statement from the Mayor. He refers to “unfounded” and “exaggerated” claims of abuse, says they can’t bring charges based on perceptions, they need evidence. And that the charges brought today were solely the result of the undercover police investigation and had never been brought to light before.
Incident ID # 200128