A letter to the editor of a Memphis paper encourages readers to walk in the shoes of MAS workers instead of criticizing them. Because:
They do not want to be involved in euthanasia, but these employees are often required to. These employees are attacked by animals and people alike. They are exposed to animal excrement, vermin and disease, and they are emotionally scarred by the cruel conditions they see animals in day after day.
Let’s take these point by point.
If it’s true that no workers at MAS “want to be involved in” killing (which the letter writer mistakenly calls “euthanasia”), why haven’t they gone to their union and issued a grievance, like they did when they alleged people were making negative comments about them on the internet because of the webcams? Why don’t they have their union tell the city that MAS workers are the only city employees forced to needlessly kill pets and they don’t want to do it anymore? The union can offer examples of other no kill communities such as Reno and Austin and demand that Memphis institute similar programs so that the workers can stop “being involved in” killing pets immediately.
As for being “attacked by animals and people”, I assume the latter indicates a verbal form of attack. The former of course is a risk in any animal job. The risk can be considerably lowered through training in the humane handling and care of pets and supervision to ensure protocols are followed. MAS appears to be lacking in these areas.
Vermin and disease – wow, sounds like the Black Death. Or do you mean kitty colds? Don’t worry, you can’t catch those.
Now if you want to talk about being emotionally scarred from seeing how animals are treated day after day, I feel your pain. For example:
Someone surrenders a pair of waggybutts to MAS on July 26.
A worker carries one pup under each arm from the lobby...
...straight to the kill room.
No sir, I will never walk in those shoes. Because I am for no kill. I could not and would not kill a pet for a paycheck or even for a million dollar jackpot. I don’t begrudge anyone’s right or need to work for a living. But if the workers at MAS are truly united in their stance against needless killing, it seems implausible to me they have not taken a stand on the issue and simply maintain the status quo at a place that kills 3 out of every 4 pets it’s paid by the community to protect.
And just because I refuse to walk in their shoes doesn’t mean I am denied my right to advocate for reform and to give a voice to the defenseless pets at their mercy. Not only am I guaranteed that right in our free society but more importantly, I feel compelled to do it. Because silence is not an option for me. When I see pets being needlessly killed and I “do not want to be involved in” the killing, I take action.
A box of puppies surrendered to MAS on July 26, 2011.
The box of puppies is wheeled directly to the kill room.