Reader Salette Andrews took action in response to the killing of dogs slated for rescue at the Lewisburg pound in TN. She wrote city leaders to express her views regarding the city blaming volunteers for not being quicker than the ACOs in the kill room and to educate them about no kill. In response, she heard from Lewisburg City Manager Tommy Engram and Mayor Barb Woods. I’m posting their responses below, the bolding is mine.
From: Tommy Engram <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, Jul 23, 2012 at 5:20 PM
Subject: Re: Lewisburg’s Image
To: email@example.com, Salette Ann Andrews
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Ms. Andrews,
I agree that I am a servant of the people. I do not agree with your other statements.
As a former member of a governing body, you should know how to read a city code. Lewisburg does not now nor has it ever provided a zero kill shelter. That is not in the city ordinances and it is not in the city budget.
I am not a former council member. I have been on this job for three weeks. I have no authority to change either the laws or the budget. In fact, I have changed absolutely nothing relating to animal control and we did not grow this problem during the past three weeks.
Also, you surely realize that volunteers who are spending their time organizing a protest are not spending their volunteer hours finding homes for dogs. That is what will cause more dogs to die. I do not appreciate your effort to twist my words to suit your purpose. You present yourself as a professional. As a professional, you should hold yourself to a higher standard.
Thank you for sharing your opinions.
Tommy Engram, Ph.D.
From: Barb Woods <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, Jul 23, 2012 at 2:07 PM
Subject: Re: Lewisburg’s Image
To: Salette Ann Andrews
The city manager had barely been on the job 2 weeks when the “volunteers” called in the tv cameras and held an unannounced camera event. Oddly There had been no crisis worth tv coverage for the 4 months prior when there was no city manager.
You may want to find out why when volunteers knew the vet would be there to euthanize at 10:00a.m. on Wednesday no one came before that time to get the dogs??? Maybe have been an oversight or could it have been planned?
So there you have it folks. The Lewisburg ACOs who killed dogs knowing rescuers were on the way to save them aren’t to blame. It’s the volunteers who, instead of spending “hours” of their own time doing the shelter staff’s job for them, are exercising their rights as Americans to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Plus, the killings were all part of an evil plot by the volunteers to have dogs die so they could be on the tee vee machine.
Let’s suspend logic for a moment and suppose the city pols make some valid points. If Mr. Engram truly believes that volunteers should stop protesting in order to spend time rescuing dogs from his pound, he should ask himself what motivation any rescuer would have to do so knowing that the dogs they work so hard to save will be killed anyway. As for the theory posited by Ms. Woods, that the volunteers were allowing dogs to be killed for a television publicity stunt, isn’t it a tad embarrassing that a group of dog lovers can outwit an elected mayor on the media front? I mean, shouldn’t the mayor be able to manipulate the tv cameras better than ladies who scoop poop and pick ticks off dogs for free?
I hope the volunteers of Lewisburg will continue to speak out for the dogs at the pound and to hold the city accountable for its failure to protect pets from harm. We are with you. Let us know if you need help.
Thank you Salette Andrews for writing on behalf of the dogs at the Lewisburg pound and for sharing the responses you received.