Former MAS Employees Receive Prison Sentences for Torturing Pets

Billy Stewart, Archie Elliott and Frank Lightfoot in images caught by the old webcams at the Memphis pound.

Warning: Details of animal cruelty may be too disturbing for sensitive readers.

Everyone knows that there is a long standing culture of neglect, abuse and killing at the Memphis pound.  We, as members of the public, have observed countless webcam images, read numerous shelter records and watched many video clips confirming this culture.  Those on staff there know it too – either through participation or observation.  Authorities know it, as evidenced by the arrests and animal cruelty charges against 7 employees, including management, within the last 3 years.  City politicians know it but instead of addressing the issues have resorted to denials, cover ups and threats for the bulk of the wrongdoing while hypocritically touting their diligent pursuit of the truth every time another criminal gets caught hurting pets at the pound.

Despite the common knowledge of this culture of neglect, abuse and killing at MAS, those in positions of leadership have repeatedly defended the employees, including the three pictured hurting animals above.  The “Friends” group and the current shelter advisory board continue to enable the neglect, abuse and killing by muzzling the concerned public at the few meetings into which they are allowed and turning a blind eye to the suffering and death of pets at the pound.

Yesterday, two of the three pictured above were sentenced for their admitted  crimes against pets at MAS.  Archie Elliott and Frank Lightfoot, who previously pleaded guilty to six counts of aggravated animal cruelty, requested diversion so that they would not have to serve time in prison and could have their records wiped clean in future.  The judge denied this request, sentencing Elliott to 2 years and Lightfoot to 20 days in prison.  Elliott will be eligible for parole in 7 months.  Lightfoot only has to report to jail on weekends.

Some details of the horrific crimes had been disclosed in court prior to sentencing.  But yesterday, lengthy testimony was heard from the undercover police officer who posed as a worker at MAS for a few months beginning in late 2011:

[T]he undercover officer described how time after time Archie Elliot and Frank Lightfoot brutally killed animals by choking dogs and stabbing them in the heart with needles. The officer also described what happened to a cat that had been given a euthanasia drug by Lightfoot but didn’t die fast enough.

“He stepped on the cat with both feet until the cat defecated and urinated on the floor and then the cat surely appeared to be deceased.”

Elliott was no less sadistic in his cruelty:

Elliott, who estimated he often was involved in 50 to 80 euthanizations a day, said he was only trying to keep dogs from biting other technicians when he picked them up off the ground by their leash and held them over a sink as they lost control of their bodily functions.

[...]

In another incident [...], Elliott injected a fatal solution into the heart of a pit bull puppy without using sedation.”

“The dog wept aloud as the needle entered its body,” the report said. “Moments after the solution was given, the dog fell to the ground dead.”

My Fox Memphis adds:

Additional testimony from an unidentified undercover Memphis police officer Who broke the case brought gasps and tears in the courtroom.

The judge reportedly felt Lightfoot, who admitted to fighting dogs, was remorseful.  His defense attorney offered:

“He admits he had a problem. He went to a doctor because he is having nightmares about killing dogs.”

The strategy appears to have been a successful one:

Lightfoot, 60, who said he was “turning out big numbers” of euthanizations in hopes of advancing to another city job, was ordered to serve 20 days in prison on weekends followed by two years of probation.

The idea that MAS employees are rewarded by the city for killing pets is one that can exist only in a culture of violence.  Kill more, kill faster, kill-kill-kill.  Fabulous prizes to be won!

Elliott’s strategy, to accuse the undercover officer of lying,  was not well received by the judge and his sentence was much harsher:

“You did some horrible things,” Judge Skahan said. “If you came in here and owned up to it like a man that’s one thing, but you haven’t.”

Elliott reportedly now works with the elderly. While it does not surprise me in the slightest that he would seek another position where he has power over defenseless beings, it is shocking to know that a retirement community would hire him.

Although both Elliott and Lightfoot apparently reserved the most vile torture for pets in the kill room when they knew they were being watched only by this new employee (the undercover officer), they certainly hurt pets many times over the years in full view of other employees and in front of security cameras.  Some of those employees are still at MAS.

Everyone knows that Elliott, Lightfoot and Stewart, who requested a trial in March 2013, are not a few bad apples.  The other 4 former MAS employees currently facing animal cruelty charges are not a few bad apples either.  There is a longstanding culture of neglect, cruelty and killing at MAS which even Lighfoot’s defense attorney admits:

“It’s a despicable culture.”

If you are a Shelby Co resident attending the public meeting of the shelter advisory board tonight, ask the board how much longer they will enable this culture through their silence and cover ups.  How many more pets must suffer and die within the $7 million walls of the Memphis pound before action is taken to clean house and institute meaningful reform?

The officer’s original mission had been to decipher the truth from the rumors behind the doors of the shelter. What he found instead was a torture chamber reflecting an unspeakable cruelty to already vulnerable animals.

Mission Not Accomplished.  The mission endures.  Ask city leaders, including the shelter advisory board, what action they are taking to reform the torture chamber that is MAS.

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129 Comments

  1. FixCharlotte

     /  October 10, 2012

    Well, the good thing is that the Judge seems to have a pair… Wish the rest of the city would grow some balls.

    Reply
    • m.adams

       /  October 14, 2012

      why is the one guy now allowed near the elderly(his new job)…those poor animals….those disgusting people that are so in humane…hope they rot in hell….ps/the one is having nightmares I hope it haunts him to the end of his life

      Reply
  2. Great, lock them up and throw away the key…

    Reply
  3. Joanne Grybosh

     /  October 10, 2012

    thank you for writing this story….as difficult as it is to read, the truth has to be told.

    Reply
    • I agree…it was very difficult to read.. I hope the meeting tonight goes well in favor of the animals..

      Reply
      • Yes, it was so very hard to read about all the abuse – but it is necessary for people to fully understand the level of cruelty being done to these innocent animals. I’m appalled beyond words that they ALL have not received prison sentences. AND the one guy is working within the elderly community now? WTF??

    • Marg Hunt

       /  October 11, 2012

      These bastards. Too bad someone wouldn’t do this to them. I wish the creeeps would rot in jail and get raped in jail. Maybe this would make them think. Karma will get them all for sure. Because Karma exists. May you all have a slow horrible death.

      Reply
    • Joann

       /  October 29, 2012

      I agree, I cried so much I couldn’t take a breath, to think what these animals suffer at the hands of these monsters. I just hope and pray they get their due sooner than later. Jail time is not good enough for them. May they rot in hell.

      Reply
      • daniele halle

         /  October 29, 2012

        This is the most stupid thing I heard for ever, when the SPCA where I live needed towels I went and bought some and put an add on Facebook , it was like an avalanche of towels coming, I guess they don’t have any friends where they live ??????

        Sent from my iPad

  4. Claire

     /  October 10, 2012

    That either one of those sociopaths will ever see the light of day is a total travesty. Frank Lightfoot spending 20 weekends in jail? WTF??? And the idea that Archie Elliot is working with the elderly is horrific. How is this possible?

    Reply
    • Just 10 weekends for a total of 20 days. From reading all the articles, my interpretation was that, as outrageous as it may seem, they pleaded to the same crimes but because one expressed remorse and the other didn’t, the judge gave two very different sentences.

      Reply
      • Claire

         /  October 10, 2012

        I know Frank Lightfoot. There is no remorse. Somebody got bamboozled. I will be at the meeting tonight.

      • Clarice

         /  October 10, 2012

        Sociopaths are manipulative and Lightfoot has mastered the art of lying. He told the judge what she wanted to hear.

    • SS

       /  October 11, 2012

      The “working with the elderly” part frightens me greatly. Don’t these people realize that elder abuse is a very real and common thing? Power over the defenseless is right. Someone better keep tabs on him and make sure he doesn’t mistreat them like he did the poor animals at MAS.

      Reply
  5. Jackie

     /  October 10, 2012

    Breaks my heart what those poor animals went through. No sentence will ever be long enough, in my opinion.

    Reply
    • Thank you for telling about this and have spread the pictures alover. Many maybe thisk the grafic is horribly, thats NOTHING for what this animals feel of felt. Thank you for showing the trues!

      Reply
  6. mikken

     /  October 10, 2012

    If they’d had a web cam or security cam in the kill room (as has been requested for the new shelter, but that request has been ignored), they would have both gotten 20 years in jail…

    Lightfoot finally admitted publicly to fighting dogs, eh? But even though volunteers HEARD him talking about dog fighting, no one at the shelter reportedly knew anything about it. Including Beamon, right? Right….

    Glad at least one of them got real time. Kudos to the judge.

    Reply
  7. mikken

     /  October 10, 2012

    And I cannot believe that someone hired Elliott to work with the elderly! How horrific!

    Reply
    • I agree.. how is that even possible? the only job he needs to be doing is making licence plates

      Reply
    • Arlene

       /  October 10, 2012

      There was a happening in early Sept in Florida where a woman was arrested and charged with slashing a pittie and turned out that she also worked for an elderly lady that was found to have wounds over her body and two black eyes from the same degenerate! Now tell me how and why Archie got a job with elderly care? Those people seek out the ones who are least able to help themselves.

      That judge needs to apply common decency to the type of sentences she gives. Far too light in my opinion!

      Reply
  8. These fools have no backbone and have to be cowards to abuse these innocent animals. Shame on the lot of them.

    Reply
    • sharri cox

       /  October 11, 2012

      I believe in corporal punishment. DO UNTO OTHERS. I love all animals, it’s humans i have a problem having faith in, and thats sad. It messes up the whole balance of life.

      Reply
  9. Mr. Eliot either still works or no longer works at Kirby Pines:

    6465 N Quail Hollow Rd Memphis, TN 38120
    901.365.3665
    pself@kirbypines.com

    It only takes a moment to write them a letter or e mail. He willingly and knowingly engaged in unholy cruelty to animals and now may or may not work with Senior Citizens as a dining room attendant.

    If he is ever placed in the position of having to perhaps keep an eye on a Senior Citizen while a nurse has to tend to something then there might be trouble brewing with a thing or two as near as I can gather.

    I think the judge truly did try with this most current situation involving the MAS. I read that a portion of the sentencing has something to do with how neither cowardly nitwit had any priors and so the judge could not really throw the book at them as how such thing pertains to Tennessee State Law.

    This is as good a start as any. Would anyone know when anything pertaining to the Sheriff’s raid is to go to trial? That has taken an eternity.

    Reply
    • Arlene

       /  October 10, 2012

      “I think the judge truly did try with this most current situation involving the MAS. I read that a portion of the sentencing has something to do with how neither cowardly nitwit had any priors and so the judge could not really throw the book at them as how such thing pertains to Tennessee State Law.”

      Lightfoot was known to fight dogs! That’s illegal! The really truly abomination is that neither of these degenerates were written up at MAS when there were those who knew what was going on. All the complaints that Hooks and Hall received! Yet nothing was written down. Shame on the entire MAS, the city government and especially the mayor. He knew! He knew!

      Reply
      • mikken

         /  October 10, 2012

        It would be nice if Matt Pepper learned something from all of this – like, “Maybe I really shouldn’t be managing people at all, ever.”, but I suspect he’s the sort to be more of a mind that in leaving when he did, he dodged a bullet with this mess.

      • My point is that in Memphis these two fellows actually formally being punished for what they did is a big massive deal in Memphis. We all know that there are scads of unholy deeds going on at the MAS. But, at least two MAS employees were brought up on charges. In Memphis, this is a step in the right direction. Please note that to the best of my knowledge a fair amount of things about the Sheriff’s raid back in 2009 are still up in the air in terms of the courts and all, and so at least these two fellows being brought up on charges is just downright better than nothing in Memphis. Memphis is surreal with these things.

        Dog-fighting sickens me and I am truly sorry that the one fellow was into that. However he was brought up on charges for the cowardly acts he made against innocent animals while at work for MAS and not dog-fighting. In a perfect world we could all work together to write the judge about this fellow being one for dog-fighting, I’m jut putting the thought out there.

        Janet Hooks is a Hooks and all. I think it is by marriage, right?

        http://www.memphisflyer.com/TheDailyBuzz/archives/2010/04/15/dr-benjamin-hooks-dies-at-85

        She could do anything and no one will question her. If she is confronted with anything she is astonished that someone would have the audacity to do it. She did not even finish up at University or anything and she is close to being the Mayor’s right hand (wo)man. I do not know what to tell you past that, because once again, Memphis is surreal in that regard.

  10. Angela

     /  October 10, 2012

    Typical uneducated losers- these places will hire ANYONE! Shame on them. Shame on THE MAS!

    Reply
    • Claire

       /  October 11, 2012

      I believe their education level is irrelevant. You can be completely uneducated and know this is wrong.

      Reply
      • Debora

         /  October 11, 2012

        True, Claire…I believe what Angela meant was more willfully ignorant and stupid rather than uneducated.

  11. I am so overwhelmed with grief at the descriptions of what these fucking bastards did, I cannot even think of a constructive comment. Just going to go to bed with my doggies and love them up. I would LOVE to get Lightfoot in my headlights, despite religious edicts to the opposite, wiping his ass all over the cruel road would be worth it to me. Can anyone confirm if Elliott is working at that nursing home? if so, I want to send them the info as well.

    Reply
  12. Heather Davis

     /  October 10, 2012

    Is there any oversight? What governing body is the umbrella for this shelter?

    Reply
    • Arlene

       /  October 10, 2012

      Janet Hooks, Public Services, Parks and Community Enhancement. She’s the one responsible for this mess at MAS.

      Reply
  13. ashton

     /  October 10, 2012

    wish we could do to them what they did to thospoor animals!

    Reply
  14. Irene Woodward

     /  October 10, 2012

    This is absolutely DISGUSTING !!!! I am pleased that judges are realising that these criminals need to be imprisoned but their sentences are NOT long enough to show that if you abuse animals YOU will be SERVERLY punished!!!! An animal has a LIFE!! And this is TORTURE and MURDER!!!!!!!
    What the hell!!! Are they doing letting them work with the elderly!!!! For GODS sake stop this !!!!!!!

    Reply
  15. Alan Kay

     /  October 10, 2012

    Scumbags ,glad i do not live in the US disgraceful makes my blood boil doing this to poor defenceless animals

    Reply
  16. Ashley LeFebvre

     /  October 10, 2012

    You have to be fucking kidding me. That’s all the time they have to spend in jail? These people are mild serial killers. They didn’t just torture and kill animals, they sought pleasure and self-fulfillment. How nauseating is that? And how doesn’t it have more affect on the judge? The judges are just as twisted for not sentencing to them longer.

    Reply
  17. staci

     /  October 10, 2012

    This makes me ill. These people will go to hell.

    Reply
  18. Christina

     /  October 10, 2012

    How heartbreaking. These people shouldn’t even be allowed to exist. It makes me so sick. Animals are far better than people.

    Reply
  19. Laural

     /  October 10, 2012

    I am at a loss for words, I just don’t know how something like this can be allowed to happen and people can turn a blind eye to it. It makes me physically ill. These animals count on us to be their voice in the world and these people who have done these horrific crimes are barely punished for it and even allowed to work with elderly people! They obviously have a problem and are psychopaths. The next thing we will hear about them is they have killed a person, I pray that doesn’t happen but we have seen what these men are capable of.

    Reply
  20. Sharron

     /  October 10, 2012

    Once again died in the wool pieces of shit get virtually away with evil acts. But I applaud the judge for at least applying sentences even if they arent as much as we would like….

    Reply
  21. Julie

     /  October 10, 2012

    I am so saddened for all the things that we, as humans, do to our animals. Sometimes, there simply are no words…

    Reply
  22. lauren trim

     /  October 10, 2012

    They will all surely rot in hell for torturing the innocent. NOTHING and I mean NOTHING will save their wretched souls. No repenting can be done here, I hope they all rot, have nightmares, and endure heartache all throughout their miserable lives. If I saw them I would surely spit in their faces. I hate people who abuse and torture the innocent.

    Reply
  23. amber

     /  October 10, 2012

    This fucking world is sick!! You get more jail time for unpaid tickets or a bad license but when cock suckers like these people torture animals for years they get to pick n choose what days they want to go to jail. They clearly have problems and no one seems to care about These animals in that shit hole town

    Reply
  24. Debora

     /  October 10, 2012

    Right here at the Memphis Animal Shelter…entry level jobs for serial killers.

    Reply
  25. they need to go to jail longer, and not just weekends. this isnt vacation for them. it is sad, if you steal a car, you will get more jail time, fines than if you torture and kill an innocent animal

    Reply
  26. heather lynn

     /  October 10, 2012

    This truly is a tragedy! The sentence for animal cruelty is not enough. I feel as though you should be sentenced as if these animals were children or perhaps people in general. How about i inject these douce bags with a deadly concauction directly into their heart without any sedatives & watch them cry out in pain & just stand there and watch. People like this disgust me and the punishment they receive should definitely be harsher than what they received.

    Reply
    • Daniele Halle

       /  October 10, 2012

      Is this a..h..e still working there, if yes he should not be able to do so, and like Vick…… Not allowed to have any animals for ever, this is disgusting behaviour

      Reply
      • Animal Advocate

         /  October 12, 2012

        Vick now has a dog. It was in the news. He even tweeted a photo (not of the dog) but it had a box of dog treats in the background. Then he deleted that pic and uploaded a similar one without the box of treats in it. People are trying to figure out if the ban on dog ownership has expired.

  27. Daniele Halle

     /  October 10, 2012

    This is outrageous, this guy should be in jail for years, this is wrong, no wonder more people are torturing animals, it’s free of punishment

    Reply
  28. People we need to treat animals the way we want to be treated….

    Reply
  29. You know the judge has no balls. 20 days in jail and only reports on weekends. This was a slap on the hand; and a slap in the face to all the animals he has tortured. Bring me down there and I will straighten out the shelter first item on the the agenda is firing everyone; and then hiring after extensive questioning people that will help the animals. We should be there to do everything we can to place them in needed and wanted homes.

    Reply
  30. Judy Darst

     /  October 10, 2012

    This city needs to wake up!! People need to be notified of this brutality, then good citizens would take action! Disgraceful!!!

    Reply
  31. Holy crap – people who have loved ones wherever he works now should be concerned! As soon as he hurts (or worse, kills) a human, they will look back on this animal abuse and say that we all should have known….well guess what, WE do know! Be glad that I live very far away….

    Reply
  32. kayleigh

     /  October 10, 2012

    absolutely disgusting! Hope one day someone hurts them, the same way they hurt those poor animals!

    Reply
  33. This is beyond despicable! A person this cold and heartless has many self reflected insecurities. These psychopaths feel a need for power by hurting those that cannot defend themselves. They feel powerless and gain their feeling of control by cruel acts to others. Complete waste of life. Walking protoplasm.

    Reply
  34. These men are symptoms of the real problem; IGNORANCE! We kill roughly 3 million dogs a year in this country from over population. DO NOT BREED OR BUY WHILE SHELTER PETS DIE! Spay, neuter, foster, adopt, rescue, advocate. No birth = no kill. Stop the madness!

    Reply
    • No birth=no pets. I love pets and want to have them. I am for saving the ones we have and now and the ones yet to be born. Spay and neuter is part of the solution but not the whole solution by a long shot.

      Reply
      • Jody

         /  October 10, 2012

        Memphis needs to have low cost spay/neuter available at all times- that is part of the solution, too!

    • mikken

       /  October 10, 2012

      No, Amelia, these men are sociopaths who seek out those weaker than they are so they can enjoy abusing them. They get *pleasure* from torturing animals and undoubtedly did it in their spare time, as well (Lightfoot is an admitted dogfighter).

      Spay and neuter has absolutely nothing to do with monsters like these two.

      Reply
    • Eucritta

       /  October 10, 2012

      Funny how ‘Amelia’ links to a website that doesn’t exist, for a comment that’s bog-standard anti no-kill propaganda.

      Methinks I smell a shill.

      Reply
  35. Jody

     /  October 10, 2012

    I cannot find the words……How about getting the webcams up and running?!

    Reply
  36. sandy perrone

     /  October 10, 2012

    A fact if they abuse animals they abuse people. Subect them to the same treatment…makes me sad and sick!

    Reply
  37. And yet we still cannot euthanize monsters like this. Mind boggling.

    Reply
  38. Reblogged this on thebarnrules.

    Reply
  39. Well, at least one of them got some jail time….deplorable behavior goes unpunished……at least the cops went in, perhaps there needs to be more of that…..it’s a start but NOT Enough, torture is torture and animal murderers can go on to do kids and the elderly
    .. I can’t believe one of these guys is working with older folks….that is scary……good thing I don’t live in Memphis, I am not sure what I would do but I would be very noisy, believe me……

    Reply
  40. Vicki

     /  October 10, 2012

    I think the MPD should be commended. With all the crime that occurs in Memphis, I’m very happy they took the time to send an undercover officer into the shelter. I adopted from that shelter myself, about 10 years ago. My poor, sick kitten didn’t live six months after adoption. I’ve heard other sad stories from friends and family. One friend catknapped her pet from there because they said a 5 week old kitten was too young to adopt, yet they were gonna kill it before it turned 6 weeks. I hope the shelter is in better hands now.

    Reply
  41. These sorry a** pieces of s***!!!!!!!!!!! They need to let the other prisoners have their way with them!

    Reply
  42. Rickie

     /  October 10, 2012

    I am unemployed and have been looking for a job for 4 months. I wonder if they would be willing to hire someone who actually cared about the welfare of animals. If anyone knows where I can apply….let me know.

    Reply
    • Call the place and ask how you can apply. They are supposedly always short-staffed. I wouldn’t mention that you care about animals up front – kinda get your foot in the door first and then try to sneak that in later. Let us know what happens.

      Reply
    • Daniele Halle

       /  October 10, 2012

      Try it, couldn’t hurt

      Reply
  43. I spent the months after Katrina gathering up every stray I could find and housed them in kennels at my home until I could either find their owners or get them to a shelter. I have since, moved back to Memphis and would love the opportunity to help make a difference at this Shelter. If anyone knows where I can apply for a job there, please let me know.

    Reply
    • Arlene

       /  October 10, 2012

      Type Apply for Animal Services Jobs in Memphis into Google search. The site will pull up for you follow directions.

      Reply
  44. Carol Ratcliff

     /  October 10, 2012

    I am sick to death of hearing about the constant abuse, torture and deaths of defenseless animals. I am sick to death of the pathetic, weak and unjustifiably lenient punishments handed out to these criminally insane psychopaths! All animal abusers should receive the death penalty. Before execution they should all be tortured in the same way the animal was abused. Animal abusers don’t deserve to live, they most definitely do not deserve any mercy. Memphis city politicians… get up off your asses and fire every single MAS employee. It’s a travesty that you have allowed these animal abusers free rein to torture and kill, it’s a travesty that detailed checks weren’t made on these abusers before and during their employment. But, the biggest travesty is that you have turned your back and closed your eyes to the plight of these animals and ignored the pleas of your outraged citizens. You should hang your heads in shame at your atrocious, outrageous behavior. The abuse and deaths of the animals in the care of MAS is entirely due to your lack of compassion, lack of care and lack of duty. YOU should also be charged with cruelty, neglect and murder for every single animal abused, maimed and killed. I live too far away to attend the public meeting and be one of the ‘voices’ for the animals tortured in your care. However, I hope and pray that those who attend show you just how much you are despised and that you instigate an immediate change to the welfare of the animals in YOUR CARE!!

    Reply
    • Lucca

       /  October 10, 2012

      I completely agree with you!! I am so sickened by these sadistic sociopaths. They wreck our society and most (if not all) that abuse and torture animals go on to hurt people. 100% of all serial killers tortured animals prior to their crimes against humans. If these losers can torture innocent animals (prior to being euthanized), you don’t think that they would torture children if given the chance???? I want these sick pigs off the streets. They’re a danger not only to animals but to people also.

      Reply
      • sharri cox

         /  October 11, 2012

        Absolutely. They definently lack in HOME TRAINING. And good animal loving people are overlooked in the employment dept. makes me sick………

  45. Cassi Spigle

     /  October 10, 2012

    As an animal lover, this is extremely difficult for me to read. As a human, it is extremely disappointing. I do believe in karma, and know that these men will pay for their horrendous behavior in one way or another. It is hard to imagine that an administration would “reward” killing and torture. That’s just unimaginable.

    Reply
  46. chris

     /  October 10, 2012

    This is where I beleive in an eye for an eye…..

    Reply
  47. Dawn

     /  October 10, 2012

    Disgusting! The bastards ought to be locked up for life & tortured themselves! All those poor animals… Bad enough to be put down, but to do it with such cruelty? What kind of horrible world do we live in?

    Reply
  48. Alison Bentlin

     /  October 10, 2012

    I am from Australia. I was disgusted and appalled at the heinous acts of these low-life pieces of scum. What those innocent and loving animals had to endure is unimaginable. Animals feel pain and suffering just as humans do so why aren’t the Laws corresponding to the Crime. Campaign for tougher Laws. Attend the meeting everyone and have your say. We have to be the voice for all animals who rely on us. I hope I can read that change has taken place at that barbaric hell hole place.

    Reply
  49. KarenJ

     /  October 10, 2012

    20 DAYS…20 days for torture and cruelty and violence and heinous perverse horrendous acts against innocent animals already suffering…20 days…SHAME ON YOU TENNESSEE…

    Reply
  50. Jessica C

     /  October 11, 2012

    Disturbing on so many different levels…

    -Disturbing what they did to these poor animals.

    -Disturbing that the MOST they got was 2 years (though most likely he will be let out sooner because they all do, which is even more disturbing. I’ve never seen an animal abuser in jail for longer than 4 months due to “overcrowding”. I hope I’m wrong.).

    -Disturbing that Lightfoot has a record of animal abuse, including dog fighting, yet because he “owned up to it” he gets less time? WHAT?! Ridiculous.

    -Disturbing that Elliot is now working with elderly patients. I feel bad for those senior citizens. He should have a job where he doesn’t have to work with people much at all, like making clothes in a sweatshop or something, and that’d be that.

    I also agree with this statement someone above said: “This fucking world is sick; you get more jail time for unpaid tickets or a bad license but these people torture animals for years they get to pick and choose what days they want to go to jail”.

    Reply
  51. Lizza

     /  October 11, 2012

    The city needs to clean house at the shelter and get rid of everyone from the director on down. The people who knew of these activities are guilty too.

    The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

    Reply
  52. MSP Rover

     /  October 11, 2012

    What in God’s name is wrong with people?!?! How can they do this, let alone get away with it for so long!!!!!! I say, eye for an eye. This is ridiculous – and granted the judge did something, but not nearly enough. Hopefully the other prisoners will take care of them in jail….

    Reply
  53. db

     /  October 11, 2012

    Okay – I’ve read all of the posts and agree that this should never have gotten to this point. I, too, wish things were different at MAS (and a lot of other places).
    NOW I ask each and every one of you who posted here to call the mayor, janet hooks, rogers, the mas board and city council, heck even the police for putting the undercover officer in place. We need to take the next step and take action. Make those phone calls and let the people involved know that we are watching and that we want things changed.
    Shirley has provided all the contact information – and it’s up to us to take action or we’ll be reading about this same sort of thing over and over again.
    mas has had problems for forever and they simply do not care enough about the animals to do what they need to do. They will need to be persuaded – and held guilty in the court of public opinion. Perhaps that’s all wharton and his minions will respond to.

    Reply
    • Arlene

       /  October 11, 2012

      I think I’ve read somewhere that if any emails are sent it creates a record? Wouldn’t hurt to have records of what is thought about the abuse!

      Reply
      • db

         /  October 11, 2012

        I wrote a snail mail letter today and will be mailing it out to all involved – every last one of them. Doubt I’ll hear anything, but I need to DO SOMETHING! I really do think it was the phone calls and publicity that resulted in Calvin being released that same day (even though the adopter had to jump through hoops to get him).

      • I agree db. Public pressure can be a major force.

  54. Wow, such a sad story. It is unbelievable that this kind of behaviour is given with such a light sentence!

    Reply
  55. sharri cox

     /  October 11, 2012

    The city offices will go out of there way to tell you to clean up your trash around your house, you can’t go to fast in this or that zone, but they can’t monitor sadistic people around helpless animals in an animal shelter. If the President of the United States isn’t doing a good job, he is replaced. Why is the person in charge of these animal shelters left in charge? Especially this long? Makes no sense to me………It should be zero tollerance……

    Reply
  56. Julie kemper

     /  October 11, 2012

    These men are the scum of the earth. Men without souls that sicken me. They deserve far worse than they got and until our justice system starts taking animal abuse seriously, it will continue. These discusting people need to know that they will receive much more tan a slap on the wrist for commiting these unspeakable acts.

    Reply
  57. Debbie

     /  October 11, 2012

    As I read, I want to throw up! Give these jobs to compassionate people. Some may even find good homes for a few of these critters! Sickening and sad. A few years in jail should teach them a lesson, taking care elderly is a terrible idea!!!

    Reply
  58. An advocate who must not be identified

     /  October 11, 2012

    Obviously, a lot of readers are outraged by the perceived leniency of the sentences imposed. While the Judge may have been naive about Lightfoot’s purported remorse, bear in mind that the Judge does not have unfettered discretion in imposing sentences. Because these defendants had no prior convictions, under the applicable law they were both eligible for diversion probation with eventual expungement. Under the law the judge had the discretion to deny them diversion, and she made a correct and courageous decision. Having determined they should do time, the judge then had to follow the sentencing guidelines that exist under the laws of the state of Tennessee. The sentence of two years pretty much amounts to a maximum sentence under the circumstances. The sentence of 20 days plus probation was imposed because the Judge believed that defendant was remorseful and would not be a repeat offender. That belief may or may not be justified. The defendant has a very long probationary period within which we will find out. The defendant also has felony conviction on his record.

    Since employers do background checks and retirement communities are sensitive to possible liability, hopefully any employment involving the care of senior citizens will be short lived.

    This is the law. If you think the sentencing guidelines are inadequate, write the Governor of the State of Tennessee. If you think the law should provide that those convicted of animal abuse should not in the future be allowed to work with animals, children, or the elderly, write the Governor. Please take the time you have taken so write on this blog and use it to advocate for changes in the law.

    Thank you..

    Reply
    • Daniele Halle

       /  October 12, 2012

      He doesn’t have prior conviction because he wasn’t caught, this is unforgivable

      Reply
    • mikken

       /  October 12, 2012

      Advocate, yes, I think many of us are outraged because we know the kind of cruelty that Lightfoot was committing on a daily basis at MAS (as did at least some of the staff) and that he’s an evil manipulator and a bully. But we understand that the judge was neither privy to nor permitted to use that information in this trial.

      One can only hope that decent people will shun the man for the rest of his days.

      Reply
  59. Katherine

     /  October 13, 2012

    Finally! a little bit of accountability!! congratulations!! “Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened” Kathie

    ________________________________

    Reply
  60. Why are these cretins still sucking air? One has even moved on to working with the ELDERLY? Jesus Christ, they should be in prison having a little one-on-one with Bubba.

    Reply
  61. susan pearson

     /  October 14, 2012

    and this punishment is still to light many others should be punished as well for allowing this to happen as long as it has some of the same they have done to these animals should be visited upon them

    Reply
  62. carol thompson

     /  October 14, 2012

    thats all!!?? 20 days with weekends off?? and 2 years?? are you frikken kidding me…just tell them to go ahgead keep doing it…you never made an example for any other emplyee..these arseholes were there to help animals and they were the ones abusing its sickening I hope the guy that goes to prson for 2 years gets locked into the cell like the dogs and cats he murdered…and when he does get out..he gets bused by the other prisoners..THEN maybe it will be fair..well if they kill him it will be.

    Reply
  63. Val

     /  October 14, 2012

    This is absolutely heart wrenching. I feel sick after reading about this. Something needs to change in this country and soon. Crimes against animals should be a felony. I hope that these vile,worthless people have a special place in Hell reserved just for them.

    Reply
  64. linda avery

     /  October 14, 2012

    Ifeel terrible that the poor animals were treated this way & died ! But the ones they call human may the always be haunted by it what they did as long as they walk this earth! Infint universe you know what they did ! Deal with them! Rot in Hell

    Reply
  65. Bryan

     /  October 14, 2012

    Sickening, I had to walk away after reading this because I was imagining what I would do to these scum bags if I was there and it was disturbing. Big tough guys torturing these defenceless animal. Slam that fucking needle through his eye into his diseased brain.

    Reply
  66. Donna

     /  October 14, 2012

    It’s time that we as a “civilized” society take a long hard look at what we value, and why we value it. I’m so tired of defending the intrinsic worth of animals. They are not objects placed here on earth solely for what benefit mankind derives from them. They have worth, value and dignity (or the right to it) completely independent of us. Why is that so hard to understand and foster in our society?

    Reply
    • Debora

       /  October 15, 2012

      I often wonder about that, Donna. Civilizations like those native to the U.S. valued animals highly — they had to kill them for food and other necessities, but they would never have tortured them or abused them and they never killed for the thrill or because animals had become ‘inconvenient’ to them. That would violate their core beliefs. We should embrace those ideals; instead we have allowed ourselves to become sucked in by a weird belief system that has made us assume we are of more value than they, so we don’t owe them anything. What naturally follows is that people with low intelligence, no conscience and an inbred need to hurt have become tolerated.

      Reply
  67. Sheree

     /  October 15, 2012

    Can anyone tell me what happened to the little black puppy that was tortured with a catch pole or the three little puppies that were shoved in a little cage while one of their legs were repeatedly slammed by the cage door? I saw this in those horrible videos, and my heart is just breaking. I can’t stop thinking about these little innocent puppies. also, I saw a “walk through” video that showed all of the dogs that were in there at one point. The dog at :10 looks so sad and neglected. Does anyone know what happened to him? I know I can’t make sense of these heartless acts and horrible creatures who call themselves human who really deserve to burn in hell, but i’m looking for some answers, anything to help ease this pain. I’m so angry!!!

    Reply
    • Debora

       /  October 16, 2012

      Oh, honey…so am I! I don’t know if it would help to know these things…i am afraid they killed all those lovely babies. And their punishments were so minor; I’m hoping there are some people in that town who think they way we do…

      Reply
      • Sheree

         /  October 16, 2012

        I guess you’re right. I want so badly to hear that they were rescued from that horrific hell, but the odds are not too good. I, too, hope there are people in that town that think like we do and that never give up and who continue to fight for justice for these poor babies! I don’t think I’ve ever felt the kind of anger I feel for those ignorant bastards and all of the other selfish, inconsiderate monsters who continue to cover this crap up. I continue to try to find healthy outlets. Who can I contact in that town to urge change? I know I’ve seen it posted on here…

      • Debora

         /  October 16, 2012

        I’m pretty sure most towns only care about their own citizens. However, I belong to a number of rescue organizations, one of them as far away as Thailand…one in which people can advocate to save animals from kill shelters. I don’t know how much good it does; I’m hoping my company will be in the position to help more next year in the form of a foundation. But you might consider that path…

  68. cAT

     /  October 17, 2012

    REALLY JUDGE???? Shame on you…yes at least you did give a tiny bit of jail time …wow on the weekends? and the other can get out 7 months and you only gave him more time because he did not own up to what he did like a MAN?….NONE OF THEM ARE MEN!…..Men do not hurt animals…..SCUM and TRASH DO!…You should have put them ALL in jail and thrown away the key!!!!!!! are you kidding me ……to allow and not set a stern and justified LONG jail term maybe until say THEY DIE IN JAIL would have been the right thing to do for abusing and torturing and killing INNOCENT ANIMALS WHO ARE EVERY BIT AS IMPORTANT and MORE SO than many humans!…..they have SOULS and feel pain and hurt and fear and suffer just like humans do and had they done this to another human say babies you would have given them a slap on the wrist NO….and CITY COUNCIL THE SAME SHAME AND DISGUST LIE ON ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE ALLOWED THIS TO GO ON THEN AND NOW!…….USE THE DEATH PENALTY FOR TRASH HUMANS LIKE THOSE!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  69. cAT

     /  October 17, 2012

    I WILL ADD THANK YOU THAT YOU DID SOMETHING AT LEAST HOWEVER FAR TOO LITTLE TOO LATE FOR HOW MANY ANIMALS…THIS JUST MAKES ME SICK TO MY STOMACH LONG WITH MOST OF THE DISGUSTING HUMANS ON THIS EARTH WHO DO THINGS LIKE THIS I AM FURIOUS!!!!!!! AND HEARTBROKEN! AND YES I AM YELLING HERE…AND IN MY OWN HEAD AND HEART ABOUT HOW THERE CAN BE SUCH EVIL !!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  70. Virginia Robison

     /  October 19, 2012

    Yak Yak Yak!! Are you part of the solution or the problem?? Are all your pets spayed and neutered?? Have you discussed this issue with friends and acquaintances you need GET THEIR PETS DONE?? Have YOU volunteered at the shelter and helped by getting dogs adopted and walked?? Have you ever visited our nice new shelter and talked with any volunteers or helped foster a pet??? I have and it isn’t as bad as the news focus reports. The shelter is doing the best it can with a DIFFICULT situation. What would you do with 8000+ pets a year no one has a home for??? You would be surprised at the efforts made by volunteers to place pets with rescue groups and in foster homes.
    NO Pet hoarding doesn’t help!!! The shelter is better than 8000 pets dumped and ABANDONED every year BECAUSE NOONE WANTS THEM. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS IN PLACES WITH NO SHELTER. Virginia

    Reply
    • Daniele Halle

       /  October 20, 2012

      I agree with you about the spaying and neutering, but torturing is an abomination, shame on you

      Reply
    • Carol Thompson

       /  October 20, 2012

      Virginia, your response is idiotic, do you think the fact that there are 8000 plus animals that need homes a plausable reason to excuse the horrible and cruel abuse that was shown to the animals in this shelter, because if you do then I really have to question your reasoning abilities. Under NO circumstances is there EVER a reason to do what these idiots did to the animals which were SUPPOSED to be in their care…and before you attack me..I have all my animals spayed or neutered, I do volunteer and I DO foster animals, but even if I didnt I would surely have enough sense to know that a person hired to care for an animal shouldnt be the person that is doing the final abuse to it. You should be ashamed to say that it isnt as bad as the news focus reports.. the abuse is ON TAPE, how can this be disputed? I sure hope that you are no longer “helping out” at this shelter, because you seem to have just as many problems as the fools that were sent to prison.

      Reply
      • Jessica C

         /  October 20, 2012

        Exactly. Not to mention, you guys never have all of your cages occupied at one time. In fact, you have more cages empty than occupied. There is no excuse for abusing, harming, starving or just plain killing the animals in your care when you can be adopting them out (which means $$ for you) and treating them well in the meantime.

      • Debora

         /  October 20, 2012

        Here in California there are certain days and weeks where all fees are waived except for the cost (the supplies) of spaying, neutering and vaccines. This is important — just because someone can’t afford $100 to adopt a pet doesn’t mean they won’t take care of one. Is it really better to kill them than allow them to be adopted??? Some reason and logic should be applied, please.

      • Daniele Halle

         /  October 20, 2012

        Couldn’t say it better myself, go Carol Thompson go

    • Carol Ratcliff

       /  October 20, 2012

      Virginia Robison… YOU are the problem! How dare you write such inane and outrageous comments. How dare you write about your ‘nice new shelter’. How dare you write that the shelter isn’t as bad as the news focus reports. You are seriously deluded if you think that the video footage of animals being abused in such an horrendous way ‘isn’t bad’. You are demented if you find this practice acceptable because you have 8000+ pets a year in the shelter. It wouldn’t matter if you had 8000+ pets or 80,000+ pets a year, it will never, ever, ever be acceptable for animals to be tortured by sick and depraved individuals. And yes, I include you under this label because, it appears, you see nothing wrong in what these inhuman ‘things’ did to defenseless, scared, confused animals. Do you have any idea what the word ‘shelter’ actually means? Well, let me enlighten you. It means ‘something that provides cover or protection’. It means a refuge, a haven. It means a place of safety for people without homes or for ANIMALS WHO HAVE BEEN TREATED IN A CRUEL WAY’. Well, the word ‘shelter’ cannot apply to you or your ‘comrades’ or your CEO because I’m sure the animals in your ‘care’ weren’t abused until they arrived in your house of cruelty. So, maybe in would be a good idea for you to shut your ‘yakety yak’ because the only person you’re fooling is yourself. We can see with our own eyes what your ‘shelter’ is doing to these defenseless animals and God has a plan for despicable inhuman cretins like you.

      Reply
      • Arlene

         /  October 20, 2012

        Thank you Carol. I agree with everything you’ve said to that Virginia person. That person seriously needs a reality check and you gave it to her.

      • Virginia can’t be a real person. no person with brains would have said what was in that post. i must have been someone trying to rile up people. if it is a real person, hope she’s spayed and not reproducing more brainless wonders like her.

  71. carol thompson

     /  October 20, 2012

    Glad to see people arnt going to allow some fool like Virginia to justify their cruelty…Virginia..guess what..The emperor has no clothes!…oh in case you dont know what that means.. it means we see through your BS!!

    Reply
  72. SHELTER REFORM NOW – protect innocent animals. Hire ethical employees. Send a message & prosecute abusers.

    Reply
  73. One question- these guys, and others in this article- why is there no screening to see if the abusers were child abuse survivors/delinquents with a history of violence toward animals BEFORE hiring them ?? Only those who like animals and have empathy for them should be working with them ! There is just WAY too much casual acceptance of violence in the South- to kids,women, the poor, and always, animals. With a planet carrying so many billions on it now, what about some community dialogue in this state to finally man up and renounce the toxic tradition that so stereotypes the South ! Gee whiz! BTW, Southern California has opened up some no-kill shelters, and perhaps they can be used as a model there now ?

    Reply
  74. Yoca Taveras

     /  April 27, 2013

    Simply disgusting and heartbreaking… And we call this nation civilized….. Wtf is wrong with the world!!! Memphis get you shit together and do something to better your community!!

    Reply
    • Jessica Cronk

       /  May 28, 2013

      I have emailed Governor Haslam (TN) about this many times considering no one in Memphis is worrying about this and have never received any responses. Probably not that shocking, but it still sucks.

      Reply
  75. Shannon

     /  April 10, 2014

    Karma is a B____! And it will come around to those who hurt animals.

    Reply

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