Memphis City Council Member Responds to Complaints Regarding MAS
May 17, 2011
Thought you would all like to know the response I just received in regard to a petition I signed pertaining to this so-called “shelter”. This is the email in its entirety.
Monday, May 16, 2011 8:34 PM
Councilwoman Janis Fullilove
From: Kim Venturo [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, May 16, 2011 06:51 PM
To: Fullilove, Janis
Subject: Stop Allowing the Abuse at Memphis Animal Services to Continue
The public keeps demanding that something gets done at how animals are treated at Memphis Animal Services, so letters will continue to be written until the MAS becomes a safe-haven for animals. A kill rate of 77% is absolutely unacceptable unless every means has been sought out to find them a home and there is no other method. Memphis Animal Services is not making this attempt.
It kills pets who are not medically hopeless and suffering or been declared a danger to society by a qualified party. Such as the amount of bully breeds put to sleep for no reason other then their breed. Animals who are sick do not need to be killed to prevent spreading. A plea to the public for foster homes will find them somewhere to get better while they await adoption. The public is not as irresponsible as some tend to believe. Bartlett Animal Shelter was in danger of flooding and they sent a plea that ALL animals had to be out by the end of a week. EVERY animal found a foster home. The same could be done for illnesses, and fosters can also pay for medical treatments in some cases when lack of money is a problem. This is not a reason to murder.
Not only does MAS not give animals a chance with diseases to find a home by making a plea to the public, they basically ask for diseases to happen and spread by: failing to vaccinate all incoming pets as per standard disease prevention protocol, failing to remove dogs and food from cages during cleaning as per standard disease prevention protocol, failing to keep cats separated from the sight, sound and smell of dogs in order to reduce stress and make the population less susceptible to disease, and failing to provide daily aerobic exercise for dogs for social stimulation and in order to reduce stress and make the population less susceptible to disease.
No dog, cat, etc should ever be put to sleep as long as there are cages available. Killing animals to make room for animals who may or may not come in is unacceptable. Killing those animals before room is ABSOLUTELY needed gives them less time at finding a home, and sparing death. By killing when there is room the kill-rate obviously is going to rise. Not lower. And a high kill-rate is not something to brag about.
More cats could additionally be spared from a sad unneeded death by taking up a “trap, neuter, and release” program. Feral cats obviously cannot be adopted out into the public, nor do they want to be. But that doesn’t mean they need to be killed. They just need to be fixed so that more ferals are not produced. Over time the feral population will decrease on its own. As of now by just putting to sleep feral cats, it does nothing to stop the population from growing as long as other reproductive feral cats are still alive. Feral cats can manage to survive on their own and are happier to do that then to die at the hands of someone they fear. And most times, people are willing to feed them as well. By fixing feral cats so they can no longer reproduce, but releasing them back from where they came it WILL diminish the population. AND the added bonus comes up of not having a high kill rate. The money from not euthanizing so many pets and disposing of their bodies can be spent on somehing
proactive like this instead.
The killing of pets who have never been made available to the public for adoption, rescue or foster is unfair and wrong. It doesn’t give every animal a chance, and destins animals to die who could have been spared if employees had only taken the time. It does not take money to take a picture of an animal and put it on Petfinder. Send it to a rescue who could probably take the animal from the shelter and make room for more pets to come into MAS without killing others, or give potential fosters a chance to realize “hey I could save this dog/cat from death by fostering” if a dog/cat is never made available to the public. MAS also fails to utilize their Chameleon software to interface with PetHarbor so that every pet is viewable online by the public.
As the death rate continues to stay the same the saddest part is at MAS’s failure to properly train and/or enforce humane handling of pets by the staff. Cats and puppies are captured ON WEB CAM being picked up by their scruffs and fronts legs. These animals who are basically sentenced to death never experience a moment of kindness at the hands of the employees, and instead their last moments are spent fearing the people meant to shelter them. At the very least find someone who knows how to handle an animal correctly. With an unemployment rate as high as it is, I’m sure some new employees could be found willing to work with animals every day, and in the correct manner. Who knows maybe even for less pay? So more can be spent on the animals.
The Enraged Public
Myrtle Beach, SC
Note: this email was sent as part of a petition started on Change.org, viewable at www.change.org/petitions/stop-the-abuse-at-the-memphis-animal-shelter. To respond, email email@example.com and include a link to this petition.
Finally, we get a glimpse of that uncaring public we hear so much about in Memphis.
Local taxpayers, are you getting your money’s worth out of your public servants?