“You can stand me up at the gates of Hell but…”

As some of you may remember, I started the ChipIn for pets saved from MAS at the suggestion of a reader.  It seemed like a good way to have cash on hand for sudden expenses that occur when you are rushing to get a pet out of a killing facility.  We were able to pay for Ranger’s care that way and, I had hoped there would be other strays we could help as well.  I had e-mailed Matt Pepper when I saw this starving dog on the webcams and indicated to him that I had some funds donated by readers and would be willing to pay for vet care for the dog.  Of course that dog was killed by MAS.  This week, I had hoped to use funds to help spring another dog from the stray area but alas, MAS killed him too before we could take action.

And now for the bad news.  (You thought that was it already?)

You know how Mayor Wharton says he wants Memphis to “confront its challenges”?  Well I wonder how much time the Memphis City Attorney’s office is able to dedicate to these efforts when they are busy poring over obscure South Carolina laws to try and come up with something to threaten me with in a letter.  For your perusal:

Ms. Thistlethwaite,

It has come to the attention of this office that you are soliciting funds on behalf of Memphis Animal Services.  As you may or may not be aware, this unauthorized solicitation of charitable funds on behalf of Memphis Animal Services appears to be a direct violation of South Carolina law.  Section 33-56-120 (C) of the South Carolina Code of Laws entitled “Misrepresentation Prohibited” provides in pertinent part that:

In connection with the solicitation of contributions or the sale of goods or services for charitable purposes, a person shall not represent to or mislead a person by any manner, means, practice, or device to believe that another person sponsors or endorses the solicitation of contributions, sale of goods or services for charitable purposes, or approves of the charitable purposes or a charitable organization connected with when the other person has not given written consent to the use of his name for these purposes.” S.C. CODE ANN. 33-56-120 (1976).

The Memphis City Attorney’s Office is not aware of any instance where Memphis Animal Services has provided written consent to carry out this type of activity on its behalf.  Therefore, if you cannot produce any evidence of written consent provided to your organization by Memphis Animal Services to solicit contributions on its behalf, you are requested to cease and desist all of these unauthorized activities at once.  Failure to comply with this notice will force this office to consider all legal options in addressing this matter.

Sincerely,
Herman Morris Jr.
City Attorney

To keep the focus on saving animals, I have closed the ChipIn to help save pets from the Memphis killing facility.  (I will be donating the balance to help rescued pets in Memphis and will post details on that soon.)  But make no mistake, this is a hollow threat designed to intimidate me into shutting up about the cruelty and killing going on at MAS.  The Memphis City Attorney has no ability to enforce SC law.  The city just wanted me to do the whole ZOMG I gots a letter from a berry skeery lawyerman freak out thing which, I’m sure they hoped, would lead to a I should just shut my pie hole about how they mistreat and needlessly kill pets at MAS unless I want to go directly to jail freak out.

That will not be happening.  But I ask you this, good citizens of Memphis – is it a fiscally responsible use of your tax money for the city attorney to spend his time chasing a dog blogger in SC?  Is this how Mayor Wharton directs his staff to “confront its challenges”?  (Hey – I’m a challenge!)  Is there anything else going on in Memphis that might be a better use of the city attorney’s time?  Could that office investigate the mistreatment of pets at the city pound?  Perhaps you should let him know your thoughts.

Herman Morris
City Attorney
125 N. Main St. Room 336
Memphis, Tn 38103
Phone:  (901) 576-6614
Fax:  (901) 576-6524
Email:  cityattorney@memphistn.gov

As always, keep your comments respectful.

I write about what’s going on in Memphis in order to hopefully effect change for the better for the city’s homeless pets.  With the donations that you all sent in, I was hoping to save the lives of dogs who appeared to have no advocates within MAS, the Mayor’s Office, or the City Attorney’s Office.  Obviously city leaders in Memphis are deeply opposed to these actions.  So what say you readers, should we fade quietly into the night under threat of “legal action” or should we continue to push for meaningful change in Memphis?  Should we still try to help save stray dogs, kept behind closed doors at MAS, without anyone there to advocate for their right to live?

Note to those opposing lifesaving efforts for Memphis pets:

Any further letters from the City Attorney will be considered an attempt to infringe my First Amendment rights to free speech, my First Amendment rights to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and regardless of whether they pursue it or not, will be considered a violation of my civil rights.

Previous Post
Leave a comment

113 Comments

  1. mikken

     /  June 19, 2011

    Never mind that you are not “soliciting contributions” on behalf of Memphis Animal Services, rather you are soliciting contributions on behalf of rescuers who pull from Memphis Animal Services. It’s not like we can pay the bastards directly to stop killing or expect them to use our donations to actually…you know, CARE for animals.

    And the whole super skeery lawyer thing is just skeevy. More of “we can’t defend our actions, so we won’t, stop asking us to!” BS.

    My God, Memphis officials, isn’t it time to start acting like grown ups, now? Adults take responsibility for their actions. If you can’t take responsibility for what’s happening day after day at your “shelter”, step aside for someone who can.

    Reply
    • You can stand me up at the gates of hell too, and I won’t back down either. As a Tennessee resident, I have a problem with this. Use this to expose them more. I am sharing on Facebook. I have a voice that cannot legally be silenced, and this is how I use it.

      Reply
  2. I am appalled at Memphis authorities. This seems to be an effort to take the focus off of what they KNOW is wrong and are fully aware is going on and put it on what could be part of their solution. That’s typical government these days, unfortunately. They don’t want solutions, they want full and total control by any means and to shut up anybody who stands in their way.

    Hopefully someone in Memphis will speak up. But I WILL be responding to the City Attorney’s letter.

    Reply
  3. kim

     /  June 19, 2011

    Wow! I’m embarrassed to be a Memphian!

    Reply
  4. alice in LALA land

     /  June 19, 2011

    Does” you are a complete jerk and an A##hole” come under “respectful”.. LOL What a waste of time for the city lawyer.
    I see no difference here between a rescue group collecting money and Chipin. You don’t need MAS permission to collect money to help rescue animals do you. In fact, if you keep Chipin going I will send a check TODAY.. it won;t be a big one.. but hopefully it will help get you out of jail when the big bad MAS animal police come knockin ( across state lines) to arrest you for helping animals live.
    Ignore the sucker ..

    Reply
    • @alice – you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. Any inclination anyone might have to listen to you stops the second the namecalling starts.

      Reply
      • Morgana

         /  June 20, 2011

        @Kelly: Does “bugger off” count as respectful, because that’s what I want to say to you – no offence. But, BUGGER OFF!

      • alice in LALA land

         /  June 22, 2011

        it was a JOKE Kelley.. i do know that calling a person an A%%hole to their face sort of turns them off.. however I do feel free to express my opinion and that is the lawyer and his “boss” are small minded people with a true sense of hubris so maybe they just don’t know they are a##holes. ( a joke Kelley)

  5. db

     /  June 19, 2011

    Seems to me that perhaps we need to continue, but change course just a bit (unless you have a martyr complex). Can we establish a fund to donate to rescues in order to pull animals from . . . that place . . . shhh (no names, please)?
    What idiots!
    I think that the idea for a billboard is sounding better and better and better.

    Reply
    • I’m trying to sort out the details presently to set up a fund via a Memphis rescue that can be used to save pets who have no advocate within the city leadership. Will post as soon as I get something solid. I love the idea of a billboard but a local person would need to scope out a suitable location and get us the fee.

      Reply
      • db

         /  June 19, 2011

        Let’s do it! This is WAR!!!
        I have sent you a copy of the letter I sent to the attorney.
        Unbelievable!

      • kim

         /  June 19, 2011

        Well the current shelter is right by the airport, a great billboard would be perfect off airways. (people driving to Downtown, graceland etc would see it) the other place is off I40 and appling or by the flyover (240 to I40). i googled Memphis billboards and cannot find a listing of them. i’ll try to drive by and find some phone numbers.

      • mikken

         /  June 19, 2011

        Thank you, Kim!

      • Cynthia McCollum

         /  June 20, 2011

        So why not just call it something else not using their name? Like “The horrible government run kill pound in Memphis” and go ahead with the ChipIn? That may be harsh but just don’t use their name. Also a counter suit and FB slaying would be good.

      • Erin Roberts

         /  June 20, 2011

        Try clear channel outdoor –

        http://www.clearchanneloutdoor.com/markets/memphis/

        if not a billboard how ’bout doing transit (bus kings) Nothing like a few MATA buses traveling around town.

      • Erin Roberts

         /  June 20, 2011

        back again – there is also cbs outdoor … not %100 but I’m thinking their rates may be more

        https://www.cbsoutdoor.com/markets/marketsearch/memphis,tn.aspx

        The person to contact if you want to do mass transit would be Gateway Outdoor. http://www.gatewayoutdoor.com/tennessee.htm

      • I have an LED billboard on I-240 at Perkins. Either direction. We can do this!!

      • OH! HULLO! Tell us what we need to do!

      • kim

         /  June 21, 2011

        HELL YEAH!

  6. Tonya

     /  June 19, 2011

    This is so pathetic, yes-waste time and effort and money going after people who are trying to SAVE animal lives!!!! Keep up the fight!!!!

    Reply
  7. db

     /  June 19, 2011

    The more I think about this, the more I think that maybe they really don’t like what we’re (you’re) doing and they are bothered enough to go digging for ways to stop it. Must be we (you) are making some kind of a difference. That means that whatever is happening is a good thing . . . and hopefully, once the mayor and his lackeys are voted out of office, the people (you know, the irresponsible public the mayor loves to hate) will elect someone with a heart and morals and compassion. Wouldn’t that be nice?
    Let’s do go forward with the bill board . . . the people of Memphis have to see what’s really happening.
    I also think the reporter needs to know about this, too. Anyone have contact with her?

    Reply
  8. Cj

     /  June 19, 2011

    What is happening at the Memphis Tennessee Animal “Services” (MAS) is disgusting, and what the city staff is doing to attempt to hide their inhumane behavior is appalling – threatening a lady who works to help save a few dogs from the rampant killing at this shelter. I wish I knew what it is going to take to get them to see that they are not solving their own problem, and that there are real solutions that would make things better for the animals, the staff, and eliminate the need to defend their indefensible practices.

    Reply
  9. Jo-Claire Corcoran

     /  June 19, 2011

    Did you consult an atty? As long as you are clear you are not raising the funds for the shelter but to help pay for care after a pet is rescued by private individuals, then they don’t have a leg to stand on….IMO.

    Reply
  10. kim

     /  June 19, 2011

    Just curious? How much was actually cash money and how much was “donated services”. I couldn’t imagine it was thousands of dollars and money was being embezzled. I honestly seeing every penny being scrapped up? Just asking, there seems like a good Samaritan law would take effect, somewhere. That means every lemonade stand across America should be shut down! Every night the news is doing some story about how some cute kid raised money for charity. Where’s the lawyers there? Thanks Herman Morris and AC Wharton, you just added fuel to our fire.

    Reply
  11. Patty McMann

     /  June 19, 2011

    I would march that letter right down to the mayors office, with a local news team or reporter in tow and ask for a comment directly from the mayors mouth regarding that piece of mail.

    Reply
  12. Cindy

     /  June 19, 2011

    Oh yes, the big bullies think they have you running.
    There is nothing I read that stated the money was for MAS. It stated the money was for the animals that leave MAS, alive.

    How pathetic the City Attorney, the Mayor, the Division Director and the MAS Administrator would rather spend their time, energy and effort trying to stop you, than to spend it trying to improve Memphis Animal Services.

    Mr. Morris, I voted for you when you ran for Mayor. Never again, not for any position, ever.

    Reply
  13. Got nothing better to do than surf the net , Mr. Good Ol’ Boy Attorney? Why aren’t you investigating and bring charges on those who abuse animals at MAS? Is there so much corruption amongst you and this inhumane facility that it may come out that you are directly involved in this appalling fiasco. How dare you try to stomp all over Ms. Thistlethwaite amendment rights. Herman , you are a lousy mayor and a lousier human being. All she wants to do is help and she is not soliciting money , she asks for donations so some of the few people who actually think animals have a right to be treated with dignity and respect can get them out of that death trap that you so lovingly call a “service”. The only thing that is serviced there is pain, neglect, and at the end of the day …DEATH without DIGNITY. Something I wish with all my heart on you and that crony you have for the cities attorney. Memphis people ought to rise up in anger over this…a woman trying to help animals. Memphis FB animal lovers are aware of your problem with MAS, why aren;t you? To the Mayor directly…Do Not Mess With Animal Lovers or you will hear a roar so loud that you will have to address this problem of yours and do it in a good way…WE ARE RELENTLESS!!!!!

    Reply
  14. Congratulations. You evidently stirred the MAS pot so vigorously that some of the, um, gunk, that was stuck to bottom just boiled right up. I realize you’re taking the lawyer talk seriously and don’t want to do anything to jeopardize the effort to reform MAS, but that lawyer knows full well he has NOTHING and I doubt he would set foot in court with such a foolish accusation. I’ve never seen a single statement on this blog–direct or implied–that any funds were being raised on behalf of MAS. Since MAS has gone to the trouble of enlightening us as to the ownership of the dogs in the pound–emphatically NOT THEIR PROPERTY according to Pepper–then it is doubly absurd for their lawyer to claim funds have ever been solicited here for MAS. Raising money to care for dogs once they have been pulled from the shelter–and to make that possible–has nothing to do with MAS. Nada. Zilch. Not one cent ever intended to cross their slimy palms.

    Reply
  15. Angela

     /  June 19, 2011

    Hey, I’m in SC as well, and didn’t realize that you were! I’m curious, what made you pick up the MAS fight when there are some pretty despicable shelters in SC? Regardless, thank you for picking up any sort of fight against cruelty in shelters. <3

    Reply
  16. Beverly

     /  June 19, 2011

    Well, I guess that anyone, anywhere who raises money to help homeless animals will get the Wrath of the City of Memphis come down on them. A new survey needs to be done on Worse City for Pets! Memphis has been in the tops for Worst Crime Cities, Most Miserable Cities, Dirtiest Cities.

    Reply
  17. Memphis – where good times go to die. Bullies, all of them are bullies.

    Reply
  18. Lynette

     /  June 19, 2011

    I might be in love with you. ;-) Thanks for not being “skeered”.

    Reply
  19. mikken

     /  June 19, 2011

    I would have respected the man if, when they came to him, he said, “So…you want to slam someone who is trying to stop abuses at the shelter? Wouldn’t it be better to…you know…fix the shelter? Because this approach can only come back to bite you in the PR ass.”

    Good to know that Memphis has the resources to hunt down and terrorize bloggers. Way to prioritize, guys.

    Reply
  20. #1: You have scared the shit out of them. Thus explaining the content of the threat, because that’s what it is. This is the time to buckle down and increase the pressure, not back off. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall in the meeting between Pepper, some Mayor’s office hack, and some city attorney’s office hack.

    #2: What do the laws in SC and TN say about SLAPP actions?

    #3: Are they threatening to attempt to get a criminal warrant issued in SC? Or threatening a civil lawsuit? Because it appears that they have not yet been “forced to consider” their legal options, which are zilch.

    #4: I will happily testify in any court in the land that it was absolutely, unequivocally clear to me and to any reasonable person that you were in NO WAY soliciting funds for MAS. Because that would be insane given that they apparently spend their budget on candy and hookers as it is. You were soliciting money for the care of the animals once they had been rescued from MAS. City of Memphis has no standing to object.

    #5: Memphians, time to get the newspapers, TV, and radio reporters onto the story of your city government threatening the lady in another state who is trying to help the pets that their insolent “public servants” are bent on slaughtering. How about the local ACLU chapter? From their point of view, it is now about the government attempting to silence a critic. There is no right more fundamental to our polity than the right to criticize the official actions of the government and its functionaries.

    Let’s remember the reason the webcams are there. Because Memphis city employees were found to be engaging in criminal conduct

    Reply
    • “Candy and hookers” – oh god but if ever I needed a lawl, it is this weekend. Thank you.

      Reply
    • Miss Molly Moo

       /  June 21, 2011

      H. Houlihan…love what you said throughout, but especially…”This is the time to buckle down and increase the pressure, not back off.” Totally agree! This is WAR. It’s time to put out messages on the billboards and signs, ‘slap’ the city attorney with the AG or a lawsuit, push the story to bigger media outlets, and most importantly, start protesting and picketing at MAS. NOW IS THE TIME. Shirley, you’ve lit the fire!

      Reply
  21. Looks like the City of Memphis has it in for bloggers this month. Here’s a
    press release from the local ACLU about their attempt to intimidate an anti-union blogger–

    http://www.aclu-tn.org/release061411.html

    Reply
  22. Oops–made a mistake in my post above–blogger is not anti-union. identified as a labor activist and blogger. Sorry.

    Reply
  23. linda ouderkirk

     /  June 19, 2011

    Don’t back down. Don’t ever back down.

    Reply
  24. DON’T BACK DOWN NOW SHIRLEY!!!!

    I have emailed Hermie and the city. I’ve asked my uncle (also a lawyer) and he confirmed : any further threats or letters will indeed infringe your First Amendment rights to free speech, your First Amendment rights to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and will be considered a violation of your civil rights.

    Reply
  25. TellTheTruth

     /  June 19, 2011

    As part of Team Ranger who helped get the Belgian Malanois out of the Memphis Animal Shelter with other animal advocates and to his present home, rest assured Mr. Morris will be receiving a hot letter tomorrow from me. I am so glad a woman in South Carolina who we’ve never met has taken the time to shine a light on some very serious problems at the Memphis Animal Shelter, and I am shocked that Ms. Thistlewaite was not thanked by Mr. Morris for her efforts.

    Reply
  26. Progress can come in some strange disguises. Gotta love the First Amendment!

    Reply
  27. By the way – I would stand by you in a court of law to testify that the funds were in no way for MAS, but for the animals it should have been providing adequate services for.

    I emailed your situation to NPR, maybe they can cover it and shame Memphis into real productive change?

    Reply
    • Actually, maybe This American Life could do a piece. They just did one on one judge in Texas who was abusing her authority to keep people in jail indefinitely because they had done drugs once and got caught. I would bet they would like to do a story on this.

      Reply
  28. Laura

     /  June 19, 2011

    Well, reading through the comments, I see everyone else has pretty much said it all, and did manage to keep it respectful (which I doubt I could), so I will refrain from commenting on the letter, other than to congratulate Shirley on her “Challenge” status. I think you’re getting to them.

    Reply
  29. Karen

     /  June 19, 2011

    I emailed the mayor along with all the city officials, and cc’d Jeni Diprizio, the local TV reporter who covers MAS: jdiprizio@abc24.com.

    Thank you for work, Shirley.

    Reply
  30. diane

     /  June 19, 2011

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Mahatma Gandhi

    Reply
  31. Thanks for your support everyone – truly. Part of me wants the opportunity to testify in court about how I would have to have a lobotomy before I would raise money for the Memphis pet killing facility but I guess I’ll save that for another day.

    Had a nap this afternoon and Billy woke me up by saying “Memphis Animal Control is here!”. Such a card, that one.

    Reply
  32. Wanda

     /  June 19, 2011

    GREAT comments above — took the words write out of my typing! I am SO appalled at Morris, Wharton, Hooks and the other stooges. What a disgrace they are — and obviously taking up taxpayer time to research frivilous BS charges against someone trying her best (and doing so) to help animals (that would otherwise be KILLED)! I was part of a rescent rescue effort of a dog in the stray area — he is now up north being cared for and loved. Shirley is to thank for that effort in gathering local volunteers to help!

    Comments to Shirley by the city only show how really low city government can go in their quest and determination to continue the killing, continue the animal abuse, continue allowing city employees to do whatever they darn well please, and consequently, place Memphis at the top of the WORST CITY FOR ANIMALS TO LIVE!!.

    Reply
  33. Intimidation will not hide the truth from the public – it never has – it never will. BRAVO to your efforts to save lives!

    From your friends at New Mexico Pets ALIVE!

    Reply
  34. Beverly

     /  June 19, 2011

    I , too, have never seen anything on Yes Biscuit indicating the chip-in donations are going to the Memphis Animal Services!! The donations are to help the animals, if they ever get out of that hell hole. Memphis needs to be put as #1 on another list: City with the worst city attorney.

    Reply
  35. Shirley, my dear, I think you can safely say that you’ve gotten their attention. I can hardly wait to hear the results of Christie’s conversation with them, assuming they don’t just hang up on her. Which would be a major tactical blunder.

    Hang in there. I haven’t left much in the way of comments, but I check the posts regularly and have left comments on the mayor’s FB page. I’m in awe of your dedication and tenacity in trying to stop what’s going on at MAS. Margaret Mead was right, of course. And you are living proof.

    We also have some unfinished business concerning some goat cheese.

    Reply
  36. Tennessee Anti-SLAPP:

    http://www.sitemason.com/files/kfEJzO/SLAPP.pdf

    http://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2010/title-4/chapter-21/part-10/

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer; I am a librarian.

    Consider talking to the ACLU, especially if there are any further communications like this. In the meantime, I’m thinking about a post on my own blog, as well as an email to this, ah, gentleman.

    Reply
  37. Posted a comment which is probably in your spam filter, because it had two links.

    Reply
  38. In the Great Chain of Lawyerly Being, this schmuck is an amoeba.

    Reply
    • Morgana

       /  June 23, 2011

      Oh God help us, couldn’t he be something that DOESN’T self-replicate???? lol

      Reply
  39. Congratulations on scaring them enough for them to resort to threats. Thank you so much for the effort you’re putting into this, for keeping everyone updated, and for being so tenacious.

    Reply
  40. EmilyS

     /  June 19, 2011

    god they are morons, and assholes.
    This is actually the best thing that could happen to the effort to shame MAS into changing. There must be a smart publicist type who can write a press release for you; and you certainly want to contact the local press.
    Start a new chipin without reference to MAS. Then we can all link to it, get you huge publicity and you’ll raise even more money. Maybe enough for some local newspaper ads.

    Reply
  41. Susan

     /  June 19, 2011

    I was afraid they might try something crazy (see my post about the “distressing images” law in Tennessee) but never saw this one coming! I’m not a lawyer, but the City Solicitor seems so wrong in his interpretation of the law that it could merit a complaint to the Board of Bar Overseers. As well as to anyone else who will listen…

    Reply
  42. maria

     /  June 19, 2011

    Thank you for keeping us updated on what is going on, even these empty threats to you! Please continue to advocate for these poor animals. Do not give up or give in (which I know you won’t) to these idiots. So sad, the state of minds you are dealing with, fighting/threatening you, instead of opening their eyes to the slaughter house they have there. We are behind you. I will continue to post on Twitter your blogs/messages. Keep up the good work; you are definitely stepping on toes there! And you are not alone.

    Reply
  43. Karen

     /  June 19, 2011

    Meanwhile, over at the mayor’s FB page, I was just scolded for pointing out that the shelter has been asked time and again to make animals in the stray area available for adoption but has not done so. Apparently this was “complaining” and not “constructive.”

    Reply
    • Miss Molly Moo

       /  June 21, 2011

      I think that was great of you to do that, Karen! I sure hope everyone keeps that up! Letters, emails, fb posts…pointing out the inconsistencies, the injustices, and pushing for investigations of MAS by the media and AG. Making these officials (perpetrators) uncomfortable and accountable by moving this to the spotlight and growing the movement for change is the only way to end what is happening at MAS. Otherwise, it will go on and on…

      There are so many hoping that with enough support and responses, this event becomes the spark that starts a bigger movement there and in other places too!

      Keep fanning the flames!

      Reply
  44. ramblinrose

     /  June 19, 2011

    I am disgusted but unfortunately not surprised, as the entire government of the city of memphis is such a joke that the only thing that *would* surprise me would be for them to do something positive, logical or sane. Seriously the government is nothing but a cesspool of criminals, drunks, drug users, embezzelers, liars and thieves.. its absolutely disgusting.

    I too have seen nothing to indicate you are raising funds FOR the shelter (HAH! As IF!!!) but only that you are raising funds to be put towards the vetting, transport and adoption fees to RESCUE these animals from the shelter. The city attorney (as a paralegal, i hate to even use the term attorney in reference to this bozo) is obviously trying to shake a big stick and scare you off thinking you are stupid, and he obviously doesnt know what kind of support you have. Off to write an email to Bozo the Attorney. :)

    Reply
  45. Alison

     /  June 20, 2011

    Ranger stayed at the vet clinic I use for all my fosters and personal dogs. An invoice specifically for Ranger was produced once he left for New York. A credit to help with his fairly costly expenses was indicated as being from “Shirley Thistlethwaite”, not from “Memphis Animal Shelter” . I would be happy to provide a copy of that invoice to anyone if it might avoid such absurdity in the future. (Sorry if I butchered the spelling of that last name, Shirley!)

    Reply
  46. This is how ‘the big man” attempts to shut someone up. Unbelievable. I know that you were just helping raise money for the rescuers saving the dogs and cats in this facility Shirley. but maybe this letter is just what was needed. I hope that this threatening letter backfires in such a big way that it brings down the facility and the city attorney. I hate it when people in power think they can use that power to promote a wrong for their own benefit or someone else’s. How else do you explain this guy getting involved? We’re talking animal’s lives here.

    I am constantly amazed at how some people abuse their power.

    Keep up the good work you are doing.

    Reply
  47. Joan Massey

     /  June 20, 2011

    You know what they say, people who bully animals eventually move on to humans…
    Surely, The Mayor directed this effort.
    This could actually work to your benifit. As usually when the general public are NOT paying attention to an issue that you want them to, the best way to grab their atttention is to show/tell them how it effects their pocket book. I would find out how much this lawyer makes per hour and point out to people in Memphis some examples of what that money could have bought. He would no doubt be making at least $250/hour. Let’s say he spent 3 hours on this issue for a total of $750.00
    What would $750 have bought an average citizen of Memphis?
    X number of pairs of children’s sneakers
    X number of school lunches
    X number of library books
    X number of weeks of groceries
    X number of car payments
    X number of diapers
    X number of hours of daycare
    X number of perscription medication
    X number of baby formula

    Here is what I just sent to Mayor/MAS board/Morris etc.

    Dear Mr. Morris;

    I am writing to you today in regards to the letter you wrote to Ms. Thistlewaite. For you to have to try and find a code of law to silence someone that is trying to speak up for those without a voice is sad indeed. With all the economic problems facing municipalities, I feel this is truly one of the most wasteful uses of public money I have ever seen. Your time is worth money and that money could have been put to better use than to try and stop someone from helping animals in a shelter. I feel bad for you that your services have had to be used this way. The Mayor of your fair city certainly seems to have his priorities wrong, if indeed he directed you in this endeavor.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Reply
  48. FixCharlotte

     /  June 20, 2011

    Have you spoken with Nathan or the No Kill Advocacy Center? I’m curious to know what they think about these idle threats…

    Reply
    • I did and Nathan kindly gave me some suggestions which I followed.

      Reply
      • Rob

         /  June 24, 2011

        A most unusual turn of events in Chapter One of the book MAS, one of the many in the series of “NoKillNation, You won’t believe what your government is doing now”. I for one applaud their creativity as they defend evil against the tidal wave of what is good and right. The truly apathetic and cowardly drag out the good fight by hiding and dodging hoping the forces of good will tire of the fight and go away like they usually do.

  49. Just change your Chip in to read to help Animals trapped in area High Kill Shelters.

    Reply
    • db

       /  June 20, 2011

      LOL!!
      My only problem with this is calling that place a “shelter” . . .

      Reply
  50. Morell

     /  June 20, 2011

    Have you considered contacting the Tennessee legal ethics enforcement authorities to see whether such threats might violate the standards of legal ethics for Tennessee. I don’t think that lawyers should be able to make threats unless they have reasonable legal grounds supporting their position.

    Reply
  51. I say take all of the people out of this kill shelter and put some people in that want to do something good for these innocents. It is sad that this director is getting paid to kill these creatures and if what is being said continues to happen, how this man remains in this shelter?

    I don’t live in Memphis but we are all aware of what is going on. So shape up or ship out and DO THE RIGHT THING!

    Reply
  52. Patty McMann

     /  June 20, 2011

    What about contacting Nancy Grace about this harassment. That lawyer won’t stand a chance against her. It would also bring the spotlight to MAS

    Reply
    • Nancy Grace, who thinks pit bulls are evil? Not sure she would be the most sympathetic media ear to talk to.

      Reply
  53. Jessica

     /  June 20, 2011

    Putting up a billboard is a great idea. I’ve already put up two in Richmond, Virginia. I was turned down by 2 companies and the 3rd wasn’t too thrilled with my message. The billboard company needs to approve your message and many won’t especially down south.

    Reply
    • Gee, that end of the world nutter who put up billboards saying “The Bible guarantees it!” found spots. Maybe we should throw the word “Bible” somewhere on our billboard if we run into any approval problems.

      Reply
      • Eucritta

         /  June 20, 2011

        Well, there’s Proverbs 10:12, ‘A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, …’

      • Daniela

         /  June 20, 2011

        The bible says “thou shalt not kill”?

  54. Jessica

     /  June 20, 2011

    Forgot to mention that the Animal Legal Defense Fund in Cotati, California is a great resource.

    Reply
  55. ANMc

     /  June 20, 2011

    I’m sure a bible verse could be found to support the message we want to convey!

    Reply
  56. Jessica

     /  June 20, 2011

    Unfortunately, the Sixth Commandment can’t be used.

    Reply
  57. Morgana

     /  June 20, 2011

    Everyone: I didn’t have the time to read ALL the responses but to SHIRLEY:\
    the chip-in was NOT For MAS, it was for rescues pulling animals from MAS. I am very sorry that you let that jackass shut it down. Please reverse course with a disclaimer that this is NOT for MAS etc. They have now fired the first shot over our bow, and if we stand down, then the game is lost. I will be writing a letter to that arse, er I mean skeerit lawyer person to let him know just how mistaken he was, and to stop interfering with our first amendment rights, and to for God’s sake, go after some of those gang members that AC has been so concerned about. Please, restart the chip-in, even put Team Ranger Chip-In if you want, since that is our unofficial name, and put the disclaimer, but don’t let this stop everything. He is very mush mistaken AND trying to scare you. Don’t let him. He’s full of horsehockey.

    Reply
  58. I’m many miles away in Ireland but came across your blog post via one of the many sites i follow on ending animal abuse. I admire folk like you so much and am only sorry that idiots appear to be in positions of power the world over. Good on you for sticking to your guns and i hope the Memphis attorney, mayor and dog pound are shamed into listening to those of us with compassion for the creatures we share this planet with.

    Reply
  59. ramblinrose

     /  June 20, 2011

    I dont think Hermie realizes what a sh*tstorm he has stirred up. I just saw a post on the No-Kill Memphis blog as well as the ones listed above, and this is not going to die anytime soon!

    Reply
  60. Morgana

     /  June 20, 2011

    Hi everyone: I just sent my 2 cents plain to Hermie. But here’s something not to forget even if you think I am nuckin’ futs:
    First they laugh at you.
    Then they ignore you.
    Then they fight you.**
    Then you win.

    ** as Hermie has just fired the first shot over the bow of our ship, we are now strategically in Phase 3. Have heart.

    Reply
  61. Vickie Littleton

     /  June 20, 2011

    I am just disgusted by the City Atty.’s letter. Any judge would be able to see that you were not soliciting donations for the Memphis pound, but for independent rescuers.

    Reply
  62. Joan Garvey

     /  June 20, 2011

    I live in Louisiana but even I am aware of the sordid reputation the Memphis Animal Shelter has nationwide as a cruel facility with mass killings. It also seems apparent that the Memphis city officials are brainless in their stupid attempt to stop citizens from trying to help these innocent animals. Listen, official city boobs, you have no right to tell people how they can donate money! At least the funds are dedicated to doing good and not funneling money to illegal endeavors as so many politicians are prone to do. Get off your high horse and act like adults who serve the public as they were elected to do….and stop harrassing citizens with your mumbo jumbo tripe.

    Reply
  63. vida

     /  June 20, 2011

    Really bad move on their part, and of course the chip in was not using mas name in vain, it was for rescue animals. No one could have been in any confusion about that. So, they attack someone who’s done nothing wrong and direct even more attention to their miserable ways. Sorry you’re going through this though, is this part of ‘no good deed goes unpunished?’. Stay strong.

    Reply
  64. mary francis

     /  June 20, 2011

    I donated and will testify as to my intent if these withering wads care to use my check as evidence …corrupt salaried bullies…killing the innocent.

    Reply
  65. Send the Jackass over to Manhattan were the animals are lucky enough to maybe get a picture taken. If only ever someone there in higher power cared this much. Who has problem besides him anyhow?

    Reply
  66. mary francis

     /  June 21, 2011

    - like the fiends in the movie Fargo – these officials have no morals – maybe they’re planning to put Pepper in the wood chipper (figuratively)…by getting lawsuit potential…Pepper becomes a liability to his insurance carrier then the city has no alternative but to cancel his contract….but then who is the new devil…just a thought.

    And Shirley….can a countersuit be a possibility? frivolous lawsuit? probably a variety of claim potential and any proceeds minus expenses go to the animals.

    Reply
  67. Virginia

     /  June 21, 2011

    You go, girl! If you are getting letters from the AG, you are doing something right. 70% kill rate on the Memphis shelter is horrible, especially when we have so many good folks out there will to help. Why do the shelters work against the public good? Sad.

    Reply
  68. I haven’t read all of the replies on here but it looks as if the letter is denouncing the use of MAS in soliciting funds. Can you change the name on the Chip In so that MAS is not directly named but we will all know where the funds are being used. “Rescue funds for Memphis Animals Doomed in Shelter” “Chip In for Rescuing Animals Dying in Memphis Shelter” – etc. I’m not sure of the tax exempt – charitable requirements from state to state. What’s in a name – evidently everything when it comes to authorities in Memphis TN seeking the right to KILL instead of SAVE their homeless pets. What a waste of money, time and effort trying to shut down/up a group merely trying to save a few dogs and cats from death. Really makes me wonder at the motivation behind this. I’m just not able to comprehend the reasoning. The money is such a small amount that — TheCity of Memphis doth protest too much, methinks.

    Reply
  69. Keep up your good work in helping these abused animals. Keith in San Diego

    Reply
  70. Bless you for trying to help those who can’t help themselves. I pray that you will be able to help those animals in spite of the city official’s stupidity.

    Reply
  71. God Bless you for doing saintly work in helping to rescue animals that fall into the pits of the Memphis Animal Shelter. The existence of a “kill” “shelter” gives Memphis an enormous “black eye.” I hope the city officials will do all they can to support you in your endeavor to protect innocent creatures and to elevate the standard of life for humans (as well as animals) in your city. You may put me on the list of those who’ll help as best he can in your wonderful work.

    Reply
  72. Morgana

     /  June 22, 2011

    We are going to have a hit song on our hands very soon about MAS, courtesy of our fav UK artist – someone in Memphis needs to find us the right venue or radio station to PLAY it!!!!! Anyone?

    Reply
  73. Cindy

     /  June 22, 2011

    I will get back to you. I might have an idea.

    Reply
  74. I want to hear the song about MAS that is mentioned on this blog a few times. Where is it posted on the Internet? Please post a link here or better yet post the music video on this blog.

    Reply
    • Morgana

       /  June 23, 2011

      The song about MAS is still being worked on. It will be out soon…I will have more info later in the week. But trust me, its gonna ROCK their world. We need to find the airplay. Maybe also someone close to Jen DiPrizio can get to her and ask her to do a phone interview with the artist, and play some of the song (once finished) along with webcam grabs…AND anyone really good with YouTube needs to begin thinking about putting together a YouTube video!!!

      Reply
      • Morgana

         /  June 23, 2011

        Per the artist just now: the song is written, but they have about a month of work to orchestrate it, or, “to knock it into shape with the guitars and all”. Patience and faith kids.

  75. phyllis stuart

     /  July 13, 2011

    I wrote ELVIS PRESLEY ENTERPRISES who wants its millions of visitors to think highly of Memphis…Email Graceland@Elvis.com
    Perhaps that powerful Memphis company can exert pressure on the Mayor, his cronies, etc.? My letter stated:

    I am writing to seek support from Ms. Presley to rectify the horrific conditions at the MEMPHIS ANIMAL SHELTER. People want to visit Graceland but the city workers are desperately abusing animals (with a 77% kill rate) at the Memphis shelter. You may have heard a big FACEBOOK petition to prevent tourists from visiting Memphis because city mayor and the shelter manager along with the city attorney are refusing to remedy the extreme abuse they implement at the MAS. This abuse may be witnessed via the WEBCAM and any google search will bring up the pain that Memphis animal shelters are perpetuating on its four legged enemies. As the GRACELAND destination is the city’s biggest attraction, in the name of ELVIS, can you please exert some pressure on the mayor to halt the animal abuse?

    Reply
  76. Cheryl

     /  July 15, 2011

    This is a little behind – but regarding the city attorney’s attempt to prevent you from doing your civic duty – even so far as to use another state’s law should be brought to the attention of the Tennessee Bar Assn. If you didn’t make a complaint, you should.

    Reply

Speak!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 914 other followers

%d bloggers like this: