Action Alert: Memphis – Attend Monthly Meetings and Write Your Public Servants

Reader Ethel encourages all area residents to attend the monthly Memphis Animal Services Advisory Board meetings:

All meetings are held on Wednesday evenings at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library located at 3030 Poplar Avenue, 38111 in meeting room A from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM.

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 13.

Memphis area residents, please do the best you can for your community’s pets.  If the best you can do is show up in support of the shelter pets and listen silently – that’s good enough.  Please do that.  If you feel motivated to make a protest sign in support of the shelter pets and carry it to the meeting – that’s good too.  Please do that.  If you feel you can stand up and speak for the shelter pets (assuming there is a public commentary portion of the meeting) – also welcome.  Please do that.  Anything will help.  The idea is to let the city know that the people of Memphis do care about their community’s pets, despite what shelter officials and the Mayor say.

  • Demand better care for pets at the shelter – including vaccination upon intake across the board and standard, humane cleaning practices to prevent disease transmission.
  • A change in shelter leadership – leaders whose interest in saving all healthy/treatable pets will determine shelter policies and procedures
  • Share this no kill primer with everyone connected to the shelter.  You can e-mail the link or print out hard copies.

In addition to attending the monthly meetings, please also contact the following entities with your concerns.  Keep your letters respectful and succinct.  (Thanks to reader Tell the Truth for providing these contacts):

Mayor Wharton:

Janet Hooks, Director, Public Services and Neighborhoods:

Matthew Pepper, Director, Memphis Animal Services:

If you do attend the April 13 meeting, please don’t expect an overnight miracle.  You will need to keep attending the monthly meetings in order for the city to get the idea that people are concerned and the issue is not going away.  Please let us know how the meeting goes and if there is anything this blog can do to help.  I’m in it for the long haul too.

15 thoughts on “Action Alert: Memphis – Attend Monthly Meetings and Write Your Public Servants

  1. Thank you. I have attended the meetings for almost three years. The city currently has three people on the Board who care about the welfare of the animals and about MAS being run in a humane and efficient manner. The Mayor recently appointed two additional members. They seem to voice the city line. There is a sixth person yet to be appointed.

    And yes, the last part of the meeting is always open to the public to voice their concerns.

    The Board chair encourages the public to speak.

  2. I will also. And I have some friends that will also be there. Hopefully we can have a good turnout.

  3. I will be there too! Let’s try to get a huge turnout to let MAS know they can’t get away with all of the things they have, in the past – it is time for change and we won’t stand for the way things have been handled! We want a shelter we can be proud of, a place that doesn’t take euthanization lightly and a place where the workers/volunteers show compassion for our four legged friends.

    1. Even the slightest inference that the volunteers do not show compassion for the animals is disgusting at best. Don’t know who you are “Beth”, but you are way off base on this one. Why don’t you sign up to volunteer and maybe you will find out the truth.

      1. While I can’t speak from personal experience…I do have to say that FMAS has been real quick to delete any comments that would help the shelter on their FB page. AND when the distemper outbreak occurred instead of coming clean with who is rescuing animals and where they are being sent – we heard silence on WHO was helping. Agin I saw comments deleted on their FB page when questioned about it.

        So, my take is that IF the volunteers care then they would be pushing a little harder for a change in intake procedures, as well as vaccinating ALL animals – not just the ones hand picked for adoption.

        I see failure to reach out to the community for help during this troubling time. I see hush, hush surrounding everything going on. I see finger pointing at the general public, instead of reaching out for help.

        Meanwhile – Miami-Dade has a similar outbreak and they reached out to their community and saved 500+ animals for their efforts.

        I have watched the shelter cams and seen a total disregard for the animals – pulling them around (actually dragging them), or picking them up by the collar and carrying them to be killed.

        If we’re way off base – then I apologize, but the pictures speak volumes…the lack of interest in making changes at the shelter by deleting comments that can help, the CYA mode that all those involved in the shelter have been doing is NOT helping the animals. Killing all the animals does not show compassion – is shows a total disregard for the animals. It shows the same public that MAS is blaming for all the problems that these animals are expendable and not worth the time or money. Got a sneeze – kill it, because it ‘might’ be distemper. That’s not much of a caring attitude to me. Using a high pressured hose while dogs are NOT removed from their cages – again NO compassion. Soaking dogs & their food and water bowls with flying urine & feces – NOPE no compassion in that either.

        IF the volunteer REALLY care then they too will attend the meetings and DEMAND change – not compacency. Check out the links in the blog for proper protocols in both cleaning & vaccination…print them out and take them with YOU and show that you care. If I didn’t live so darn far away I would be there myself doing just that.

      2. Erica- Great post! Wish you were here, too, you would be able to help us make a difference!

      3. Beth – Don’t know if it will help or not but I DID send a LONG e-mail to the Mayor, Director @ MAS, and Director of Public Services & Neighborhoods. I pointed out everything from the ’09 raid until present that I am aware of and gave them options on changes they can make to help improve the shelter. I pointed out that with the budget they have that there should be a pet retention counselor on staff to cut down on owner relinquishes. I also gave them links to the proper protocols for cleaning & vaccinations, along with the link to the No Kill Advocancy Center.

        I made a point of letting them know that people from all across the US are watching and waiting for them to step up and make MAS all it can be. I even went so far as to point out the staff that remains from before the ’09 raid and how they have felons on staff – that should be checked into further. I was as nice as I could be and pointed out EVERYTHING that I have seen, read, and found via my own research. I was also quick to point out that it seems like everyone thinks that once they get this ‘new’ building that things will all be fixed, but that unless they are willing to change their intake procedures, vaccination protocols, and cleaning procedures that they will end up with the same results. I told them that THEY need to set the standards as far as showing these animals are not worthless, disposable – by doing the right thing for all animals: work with rescues, trasnports, volunteers, adoption events, etc. AND that they should treat each animal as adoptable unless it is aggressive or suffering and untreatable.

        I also pointed out that their finger pointing is not helping and told them of the success at Miami-Dade when they had their distemper outbreak and how they reached out to the public and managed to save 500+ animals. I told them that blaming the public is going to create a cycle where they isolate the very same people that they want to help them. I even told them that if you read the news articles online and read through the comments that you will see plenty of people in the MAS area that are upset with everything that is taking place and that they need to think about the community that can and will help – if they only ask.

        Still have gotten NO response…but I at least sent it so they know that people everywhere are watching them and waiting for the changes that should already be in place to take place NOW. I really wish I could be at the meeting…but I highly doubt that I can drag all 5 of my kids that far. But I will continue to write letters and try to drum up as much support for you guys as I can. Good luck!

      4. Erica, Thank you for sending e-mails to the people who are in that position to make the changes. How sad that not one of them could send you a reply. I have also sent e-mails to those same people and yet to hear back! You are right about the new facility – it won’t change much – they need to start all over again – from the top to the bottom with new management, new employees – after the ’09 raid, most of the employees are still there so nothing really has changed. Please continue to post- your comments are right on the money!

  4. If the shoe fits wear it – I have been in contact with 2 I can think of that suffer from “compassion fatigue” – the rest of the volunteers I have been in contact with are wonderful…….

  5. Please someone in Memphis please send out a press release and run a couple of ads about the meeting and ask the public to attend. Post up fliers and send out letters to local groups asking them for their attendance and support. Also post free ads online about the meeting. You need to get more people showing up at these meetings!

      1. Something that I know has worked in other areas is posting flyers at places like pet food stores, vets offices, doggie day care centers, etc. – any place someone with animals goes to. AND something to think about is to make it bright and colorful so that it stands out – bright colored posterboard works great for stuff like that.

        Getting the rescue community there should be easy with a mass e-mail to them. Also, any breeders clubs would also be a good one. I would also talk to a few local news stations to drum up support – especially since MAS doesn’t utilize them for help…maybe it’ll raise a few eyebrows, especially if you point out that Miami-Dade had a similar problems and instead of killing all the animals they managed to save over 500 of them by reaching out to the community.

        Good luck with this…won’t be an easy road to trudge, but I have complete faith that those who really do care can shake enough people up that you can do it! I’ll be praying for you all!

      2. Each month, mass emails are sent to more than 3,000 animal people, including all the rescues, announcing the meeting, time and place.
        Many do not attend because the City Administration does not listen and implement any changes and always makes excuses. People have grown tired.

  6. Many do not attend because the emails come from idiots. I get some of them, and I would NOT attend anything these people are supporting. I have corresponded with one of the “mass emailers”, and I can tell you it is not someone I would take the word of for anything.

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