Letter to Media on Behalf of MAS Pets

This is a letter I sent out to a few media folks just now.  Anyone is free to copy or modify it (or you can create your own of course) and send it to anyone in the media you think might be interested in covering the abuse of pets at MAS.

Yesterday Memphis Animal Services photographed a mama dog who was attempting to care for a dead puppy in her cage and posted the photo on the PetHarbor website.  I posted it on the blog and MAS deleted the photo, replacing it with a different photo of the mama dog and another of the puppy, alive.  A short time later, they deleted the live puppy photo.  A reader called the Memphis police to report animal cruelty and the police blew her off, telling her that someone had likely manipulated the photo online.  The photo was not manipulated in any way and a large number of people saw it on the MAS PetHarbor site before it was removed.  Another reader called MAS today and got confirmation that the puppy had died in the cage. 

The mama dog is still online at PetHarbor, although under a different ID# than when they posted her originally.  It is definitely the same dog.  She has twine wrapped around her neck in both photos.  I’m concerned about assigning two different ID #s to the same dog, the fact that no one knows why the puppy died or if there were others in the litter (MAS should know this information) and most significantly, that someone there stood two feet from a mama dog trying to care for a dead puppy and photographed them and posted it on the internet.  Then it appears as if MAS tried to cover the whole thing up by deleting photos and replacing them.

In addition, I have another post that I believe also clearly documents animal cruelty at the hands of MAS – this one involving an injured cat.

These two cases, combined with the abysmal numbers coming out of the pound is something I hope you will consider reporting on for your viewers/readers.  Please let me know if I can help.

Leave a comment

38 Comments

  1. db

     /  July 17, 2012

    That’s perfect! Keep us posted, please.

    Reply
  2. Triangle

     /  July 17, 2012

    What I don’t understand and never have, is how determined MAS is to NOT improve their own image. I don’t even mean improving their actual numbers or procedures. Just…pretending. It isn’t hard NOT to take pictures of dead puppies or bloody cats. The culture of just not caring has to run so deep for this kind of thing to happen over and over again. Like they have to take a picture of a poor, bloated dead puppy and truly not consider that people would be upset.

    I truly believe that anyone here, including myself, could become shelter director tomorrow and within a week start changing things for the better at MAS. And it would be entirely because of a shift in culture

    Reply
    • I agree. ANYONE off the street who believes that healthy/treatable pets should be cared for and adopted out by shelters would do a stellar job by comparison. And since a recent poll showed that about 3 out of 4 people believe that, it wouldn’t be hard to find someone.

      Reply
      • Triangle

         /  July 17, 2012

        Problem is, I don’t see a way to get anyone else in. I would honestly be willing to move there…I don’t have shelter experience, but I have management experience and I’m a certified veterinary technician. I’m sure there are hundreds (if not thousands) of people right there in Memphis that are more qualified AND actually love animals as well. But the whole politics of the situation are set up so that the same type of person will keep getting hired at the top.

      • Do you watch the Rankin/Bass claymation Xmas specials every year? The one with the Burgermeister Meisterburger? Eventually those types fade away.

      • Triangle

         /  July 17, 2012

        Just thinking about it, if I were hiring employees for a shelter or rescue, here’s what I’d do…

        Take them on a tour around the building and watch them…that’s pretty much it. Do they stop to talk to the animals? Smile at them? Touch them or at least ask if they can touch? If there are office dogs or cats, does the possible employee look nervous around them or handle them poorly? Even if there weren’t usually office dogs/cats, I’d install a few just for the tour. Maybe even briefly have an animal in a cage with something like a frayed rope/broken bed/dirtied cage and see if the person remarks on it.

        When a person who actually cares for animals looks at them, you can see the light in their eyes. Their body posture softens, they often smile involuntarily…I think just walking a possible director down a row of cages could tell you so much.

        Only if the person passed the tour test would I move on to the next stages of the interview process. I bet most of the MAS paid employees would have strolled along without even looking at the animals

  3. mikken

     /  July 17, 2012

    I wrote, too. Why does the staff not *see* the animals? Why is keeping animals alive not a priority?

    Reply
  4. I think all the nice “southern-niceness” in Memphis (and I was quoted this by a Memphian, so I am not trying to stereotype) is simply a wash. Gotta get up, get mad, and get going. My Mom had a sign in our house for many years, it read: “The Meek shall inherit Bubkus”. “Bubkus” is Yiddish for “shit”. Get it?

    Reply
  5. I just sent my own e-mail to the NBC and CBS TV stations and the Commercial Appeal. I used to work in auto racing so I will see if I can dig up any contacts in the area who are still around…

    I just wanted to say that thank you for keeping on these *&^% at MAS, & even though it sometimes sickens me to click on these posts, I know that if I don’t try and help it will neve stop. So thank you Biscuit for keeping on them!!!!

    Reply
    • Lisa, I feel the same way. I dread most of the posts I get from YesBiscuit in my email box on a daily basis… but I click them. I read. I cry inside (and sometimes out). They’re horribly necessary. I emailed a pile of people as well.

      Reply
  6. mary francis

     /  July 17, 2012

    Who is the insurance carrier for MAS? My community had a monster (not sure the current one is better just different) but the insurance company did not like defending atrocities.

    I’m sure that had something to do with the contract cancellation…it’s all about the money..maybe an insurer would be interested in knowing what they are representing.

    And if nothing is done….boycott the insurance company. Justa thought.

    Reply
    • Jamie

       /  July 17, 2012

      Municipalities and their agencies are, for the most part, immune from liability except in extreme circumstances. Even then, their liability for gross negligence or intentional acts is capped at a pretty insignificant number. For these reasons, most agencies have no liability insurance at all.

      Reply
  7. I just sent this letter (slightly edited) to WREG (News3), every single reporter & columnist known at The Commercial Appeal, ABC24, Action5 & Fox-Memphis, the Mayor, MAS ….

    why do I suspect I’ll never hear from any of them?

    Reply
    • The media is more likely to cover a story if there seems to be a lot of interest in it so thank you for contacting all those folks. As far as hearing from the mayor or anyone at MAS, not so much.

      Reply
      • I agree, those last two were thrown on simply to say “people are watching, we see..” (not that they care)

    • I pleased to have gotten a couple responses – although I don’t know what the end result would be, at least they’re answering emails at the news desks.

      Reply
      • Faith

         /  July 17, 2012

        I too sent an email to Jeni Deprizio with My Fox Memphis News, she is normally very good about reporting about MAS. Let’s hope.

  8. db

     /  July 17, 2012

    Copied your letter and sent to wharton,rogers, hooks and hall. I know they are monitoring this site, but I hope they understand that we are more determined than ever to stop the insanity that is MAS.

    Reply
  9. Jamie

     /  July 17, 2012

    All of this activity has me excited, even though I am certain that I will be let down eventually. Thanks for calling in the troops, Shirley. Surely these emails will produce SOME sort of story. Every cry for help matters.

    Reply
    • db

       /  July 17, 2012

      The people of Memphis need to see pictures and hear the facts (not the “facts” according to MAS). I was thinking perhaps taking out a full page ad in the most popular Sunday newspaper. I’ll donate what I can.

      Reply
      • I would donate.

      • Somebody local needs to research this. It’s been proposed previously and as I recall, someone said the Commercial Appeal charges something way beyond reason for a full page ad. Like $20 grand. Or $20 million. If there is another paper with a decent audience and a reasonable ad rate, that might be an option.

      • Jamie

         /  July 17, 2012

        I can look into ad costs later this week.

      • I’ll donate!

  10. 1Voice

     /  July 17, 2012

    Has anyone tried the Memphis Flyer?

    Reply
  11. Faith

     /  July 17, 2012

    I like the idea about the full page ad in the newspaper, I will chip in for it to go into the comical appeal….sorry it is the commercial appeal that is just my nickname for it.

    Reply
  12. Jessica C

     /  July 17, 2012

    Awesome! Thanks Shirley! I will def. write!

    I know this is off-topic, but I wanted to make sure this is seen and it just came out today I guess. Wow, as if the HSU$ couldnt possibly get worse! http://humanewatch.org/index.php/site/post/hsus_dogfighting_is_a_minimal_problem/

    Reply
    • Lorraine M.

       /  July 18, 2012

      I DON”T BELIEVE THIS (yes I do, actually)! Excuse me while I puke! And to think I used to support H$U$….

      Reply
  13. The so-called “shelters”, that are SUPPOSED to take these animals in are NOT just supposed to be “warehousing” them and destroying them. If these places don’t have a caring staff, then they ought NOT to exist at ALL. Let someone come in that actually CARES about animals work in these places.I’ve seen posts from people who are able and willing to donate their time, and/or money-PLEASE HELP THESE ANIMALS?!?!?!?

    Reply
  14. Jody

     /  July 17, 2012

    I think we should make copies of this and put them on windshields/ mailboxes all over town…. Everyone and their mother needs to get involved. Brilliant post – as always, Shirley!!!

    Reply
  15. Karen F

     /  July 17, 2012

    I’ve sent an email. Thank you, Shirley.

    Reply
  16. Clarice

     /  July 18, 2012

    Memphis) There is a new controversy at Memphis Animal Services, this time involving a cat with sever injuries that was kept alive for five days.

    http://wreg.com/2012/07/18/if-cat-was-in-such-pain-why-didnt-memphis-shelter-euthanize-it/

    Reply
    • Lorraine M.

       /  July 18, 2012

      Finally! Some media coverage–please, Memphians, keep an eye on this story as it plays out. Can some more folks add some comments, calling for Police Investigation, etc?

      Reply
      • db

         /  July 18, 2012

        Put my 2 cents worth in the comments section. Let’s fill those comments up, folks, so the powers that be have to do something.

  17. Is there a way to get the names and email addresses of other Memphis news media i.e.., TV, newspapers?

    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 920 other followers

%d bloggers like this: