Memphis Animal Shelter News Bits

Matthew Pepper, the new director of the Memphis Animal Shelter (MAS), met with the Animal Services Advisory Board this week to discuss his plans for turning the shelter around. He will meet with them again next week:

Pepper plans to join the Animal Services Advisory Board for a public discussion next Tuesday on the issue of spaying and neutering. The meeting is scheduled for March 16th at 4pm at Memphis City Hall.

I sincerely hope Mr. Pepper will be speaking in favor of low/no cost spay neuter programs for Memphis and against the mandatory spay-neuter proposals on the table:

Councilman Shea Flinn is proposing an ordinance that would require all dogs and cats owned by Memphis residents to be altered, with several exemptions. The proposed law is in response to the overpopulation of animals in the city, which has led to a euthanasia rate in the Memphis Animal Shelter of more than 79 percent.

Again, this meeting is open to the public and you may speak if you wish. MSN doesn’t decrease shelter killing. Sometimes it increases the killing. Only comprehensive reform will reduce the killing in Memphis. And if Memphis is looking for funding for low/no cost neuter, look no further than your own backyard:

For months you’ve been paying three Memphis Animal Shelter employees to sit at home. All of them were suspended in the latest scandal at the facility.

Memphis taxpayer and attorney Bryan Mauldin doesn’t understand why the three employees are still collecting a paycheck, while they’re off the job. Mauldin says “Our shelter has limited resources and we can’t afford to squander that money.”

On a related note, perhaps taxpayers are getting their money’s worth from Mr. Pepper who is apparently not only a shelter director, but also a qualified behaviorist who can make a preliminary assessment of seized Pitbulls in the blink of an eye:

The 4 pitbulls seized from the active dog fight were impounded at the Memphis Animal Shelter Thursday night. Director Matthew Pepper says the condition of the dogs shows it wasn’t their first fight and it’s too early to tell what will happen to them.

“Some violent and aggressive tendencies have been ingrained in them so, it’s difficult for us to determine what we can safely do with them,” Pepper said.

Well you could start by getting the dogs a fair evaluation from an experienced group or individual. These dogs have been rescued and placed in your care MAS. Whatever they’ve been forced to do in the past is over. Do not judge them on the cruelty of their abusers. They are each individual dogs with needs and abilities all their own. Violence and aggression are not “ingrained” in them. Judge them with a kind eye, as you would any dog who’s been rescued from abuse. Don’t allow your judgment to be clouded by preconceived notions.

Mr. Pepper wants a chance to show he can turn around the MAS. I hope he gives these 4 dogs a chance too. Every dog deserves a fair evaluation.

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