I have written to Memphis city leaders expressing my general concerns over the abuse and needless killing at the shelter. I have written separately to advise of the abuse of a cat in labor at MAS, to question if dogs and cats are made to watch other pets being killed, and to inquire where dogs on the kill list are being stashed so that workers can avoid being seen dragging them to the kill room on the webcams.
Aside from a couple of replies from members of the shelter advisory board, I haven’t received any responses. Nothing from the mayor, the shelter director, the division director or anyone else empowered to effect meaningful change. If city leaders care nothing about the abuse and needless killing of shelter pets, don’t they at least care that thousands of people are condemning their city for its cruelty and vowing not to spend money there until real reform is enacted? Do city leaders care about anything in Memphis at all?
Wait a minute – hold everything. This just in from Mayor Wharton, in response to someone posting the Scars of Your Love video on his Facebook page:
There are babies dying and gang shootings and jobs-jobs-jobs so STFU about the pets at the shelter bitchez! Because we can’t be concerned about the abuse and killing of shelter pets AND other stuff at the same time. That’s crazy talk.
Also: MSN will fix things (it won’t), a new building will fix things (because shiny floors transform lives!) and the irresponsible public, blah blah.
The number of animals put down is an issue. Right. Especially for the thousands being needlessly killed every year. You could call it a major issue for them.
For those of you not concerned with elections, poll numbers and empty promises, please join us in taking action.
Memphis area residents: The next meeting of the shelter advisory board is Wednesday, May 11 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM at the Benjamin Hooks Library (3030 Poplar) in Conference Room A. The meeting is open to the public and if you wish, you may address the board.
Everyone: Please join our letter writing campaign.
No matter where you live, you can make your concerns about the shelter known to the following individuals:
Mayor Wharton: firstname.lastname@example.org
Janet Hooks, Director, Public Services and Neighborhoods: email@example.com
Matthew Pepper, Director, Memphis Animal Services: firstname.lastname@example.org
MAS Board: MASBoard@memphistn.gov
Cindy Sanders, MAS Advisory Board email@example.com
Jackie Johns, MAS Advisory Board firstname.lastname@example.org
Allen Iskiwitz, MAS Advisory Board email@example.com
Bill Boyd Bill.Boyd@memphistn.gov
Bill Morrison firstname.lastname@example.org
Myron Lowery Myron.Lowery@memphistn.gov
Janis Fullilove email@example.com
Barbara Swearengen Ware firstname.lastname@example.org
Harold Collins email@example.com
Wanda Halbert firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Brown Joe.Brown@memphistn.gov
Shea Flinn email@example.com
Kemp Conrad Kemp.Conrad@memphistn.gov
Edmund Ford Jr. firstname.lastname@example.org
Reid Hedgepeth email@example.com
Jim Strickland Jim.Strickland@memphistn.gov
A copy/paste collection of the e-mail addresses:
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, MASBoard@memphistn.gov, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Bill.Boyd@memphistn.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, Myron.Lowery@memphistn.gov, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Joe.Brown@memphistn.gov, email@example.com, Kemp.Conrad@memphistn.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Jim.Strickland@memphistn.gov
Keep your letters succinct and respectful. Let the city leaders know that people from all over are condemning what is going on at MAS and refuse to spend their vacation dollars in a city which tries to sweep cruelty under the rug. Remind them there is a viable alternative: make Memphis a no kill community. Include a link to this primer on no kill.
Please use your voice to speak for all the pets at MAS – living and dead. If you’ve already written – thank you. If you are concerned that city leaders have done nothing to effect change – write again. Let them know we are still watching and still horrified. Share this info with the many caring pet owners you know so that they can write letters too. If you need bullet points for possible items to include in a letter, here you go:
Summary of Concerns at Memphis Animal Services
- The killing of pets who are not medically hopeless and suffering nor have they been declared a danger to society by a qualified party.
- The killing of pets when there are empty cages at the shelter.
- The killing of pets who have never been made available to the public for adoption, rescue or foster.
- The killing of pets due to disease outbreak without ever making a public plea for help with quarantine to save lives.
- Failure of the shelter to vaccinate all incoming pets as per standard disease prevention protocol.
- Failure of the shelter to remove dogs and food from cages during cleaning as per standard disease prevention protocol.
- Failure of the shelter to utilize their Chameleon software to interface with PetHarbor so that every pet is viewable online by the public.
- Failure of the shelter to properly train and/or enforce humane handling of pets by the staff.
- Failure of the shelter to implement a TNR program so that the number of feral cats in the community can be reduced over time.
- Failure of the shelter to keep cats separated from the sight, sound and smell of dogs in order to reduce stress and make the population less susceptible to disease.
- Failure of the shelter to provide daily aerobic exercise for dogs for social stimulation and in order to reduce stress and make the population less susceptible to disease.
- The attempt to subvert the mayor’s intent of transparency by placing dogs on the kill list out of sight of the webcams and avoiding the normal, previously used routes to take them to the kill room so the public can not see how they are handled.