2 former animal shelter workers plead to cruelty

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Two former Memphis Animal Shelter workers have pleaded guilty to aggravated animal cruelty.

According to court documents cited in The Commercial Appeal, Archie Elliott lifted a dog that was scheduled to be euthanized off the floor by its leash. He held the choking animal over a sink as it urinated and defecated.

Technician Frank Lightfoot Jr. then gave the dog a lethal injection without using sedation.

Elliott and Lightfoot face up to four and eight years respectively when they are sentenced next month, but both are eligible for judicial diversion.

The case of a third worker, Billy Stewart, was delayed after he asked for time to talk to an expert on proper animal handling.

Stewart said he wants a trial and called the charges against him a conspiracy.

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