Reader db has been writing to Mayor AC Wharton regularly. She received a response from the mayor today to a YesBiscuit post she had sent him:
Thanks for your letter and for believing in Memphis . For the sake of accuracy, I have never said things are “swell” at the Shelter. I have never disparaged any person who spoke out about the Shelter.
Rather than make your inaccurate comments the focus of my efforts I will continue to strive to make things better at the Shelter. I will, however, reiterate that we will never be able to build a shelter large enough or hire enough folks to counteract the dastardly effects of irresponsible pet owners.
IN any event, thanks for writing.
Since db was merely sharing a post of mine, I am going to respond here for clarification:
I do not have quotation marks around the word swell and never meant to imply that it was a direct quote from you Mayor Wharton. I was being snarky and making a generalization of what I perceive as your view of MAS. As far as disparaging the people of Memphis, YUH-HUH! While you may not have made negative comments specifically about shelter critics (Who said you did, anyway?), you most certainly have disparaged local pet owners. Do the words “slave masters” ring a bell? (See also: this very e-mail.)
Please allow me to be blunt – uh, bluntER – if you have sincerely been striving to improve MAS for more than like, an hour, I gotta say – you need to admit failure and hand the reins over to one of those action type people. Because your striving has kept MAS in the ditch it was in when sheriff’s deputies raided the place in 2009. Oh and while you “strive to make things better”, you might want to lose the attitude that you’ll “never” be able to shelter pets from irresponsible owners. If you and your city’s shelter can not provide care for pets surrendered by irresponsible people – what are taxpayers paying for exactly? Memphis deserves a shelter that can care for these pets and all the other pets in need as well.
“Irresponsible pet owners” are the minority in this country. The majority of pet owners love their pets, consider them part of the family and try to do right by them to the best of their abilities. These people represent the solution to your problems. Quit belittling them. Lose your defeatist attitude. Start thinking in terms of what’s possible. No kill is not only possible, it’s happening in shelters all over the U.S.
We are a humane society and we don’t want to see healthy/treatable pets killed. Join us.
Update – Reader db replied to the mayor’s e-mail above with some suggestions. Here is his response:
Thanks for your note. I will look into your suggestion that we open the “stray” area. I know that it has been explored in the past and found not to be feasible and safe.
Additionally, I have already initiated internal discussions on a “no kill” policy. As I am certain you understand, such a policy would have wide ranging ramifications in Memphis since we have no restrictions on the animals we accept.
I wonder what the many shelter directors across the nation who allow ALL their dogs to be viewed by the public (save for obvious exceptions such as illness), would say regarding the idea that this practice is neither feasible nor safe in Memphis. What’s so unique about Memphis? I mean, besides the seething hordes of irresponsible pet owners of which the mayor and the shelter continually remind us.
Discussions of no kill. What is that, people sitting around a box of Krispy Kremes, waxing rhetorical about how no kill is never going to happen in Memphis because of the damned locals and their dastardliness? Your tax dollars at work.