Memphis Animal Shelter Director News

Out with the old, in with the new:

Former Memphis Animal Shelter director Ernest Alexander was arrested on animal-cruelty charges at his Albuquerque apartment Friday night.

He had been reported to be on the lam most of the day following his indictment the previous day.

Police in New Mexico found Alexander at about 6:45 p.m. Central time after the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office tracked him to his native state, said sheriff’s office spokesman Steve Shular.

Shular said it was unclear whether the former director was in hiding, but he “was not surprised. He knew officers were looking for him, and he confirmed that when he was arrested.”

Mr. Alexander will be returned to TN to face charges after extradition proceedings.

The shelter will finally get a new Director in a few weeks:

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton has named Matthew C. Pepper the new administrator of the troubled Memphis Animal Shelter.

Pepper, currently director of Caddo Parish Animal Services in Shreveport, La., will fill the post effective March 1.


Before Pepper took over Caddo in 2008, that shelter’s director, veterinarian and two others were terminated amid accusations of mismanagement.

Government officials and animal-rights supporters at Caddo say Pepper was able to increase adoption rates and reduce euthanasia rates through community outreach programs.

Sounds promising. We’ll be watching.

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