MAS Advisory Board Meeting Last Night

Note:  I’ll be adding to this post if new information comes in during the day.

Several dozen animal advocates attended the Memphis Animal Services advisory board public meeting last night to speak up for the homeless pets of Memphis.  From a local TV news report:

[Shelter director Matthew] Pepper said 127 animals were affected in the distemper outbreak.

I assume “affected” means killed without any pleas to the public to save them.  So now we are up to 127.  Noted.

There are a few videos from the meeting on YouTube, courtesy of Meows and BowWows.  The first one is of John Cox addressing the meeting.  Mr. Cox is a recent appointee to the advisory board and apparently worked at MAS at the time it was raided in 2009.  In Part 1, Mr. Cox states he has 5 dogs, some of whom were tied to the wall in the kill room at the time he saved them.  He also talks about work ethics and character:

The actual work of euthanasia does not build my character but if I practice it in a humane and compassionate way, it reveals my character.  You see?

No, I don’t see.  Because thousands of pets at MAS are not being “euthanized” – they are being killed.  And there is no compassion in killing.  Although I would agree that killing pets does reveal something about character.

In Part 2, he posits that distemper blooms every spring and mass killing follows.  It’s just a part of nature.  Ah, like a cool breeze gently rustling the forsythia from her winter’s slumber.

He also plays heavily on the theme that the shelter needs cheerleaders (and we need you to ride the horse with the new brand and everyone pull on the same end of the rope with us, blah) and it’s the irresponsible public who are the real bad guys.

The issue is not that the shelter acted improperly.  The issue is that a lot of dog owners are just not playing by the rules.

*sounds buzzer*  I’m sorry Mr. Cox but thanks for playing.  We’ll have a nice consolation prize for you on your way out.

The issue is that the shelter acted improperly.  Over 100 dogs were killed without ever making a plea to the public for assistance with quarantine.  Further, best practices for disease prevention were not implemented in order to decrease the chance of an outbreak or at least lessen its severity.  The risks were identified months in advance, the vet asked the shelter to get its act together to control the spread of disease and nothing was done.

The shelter is not playing by the rules.  If shelter leaders want the pet owning public to play by the rules, they might consider leading by example.

Mr. Cox also mocks the concept of privatizing the shelter as a “mythical dream”.  I think he needs a monument depicting the golden fist of Memphis crushing a private animal shelter.  It’s always good to make speeches in front of a monument, don’t you think?

In this clip, an attendee asks Mr. Pepper if he came to work on the day the mass killing for distemper started and receives this answer:

That Saturday, no I was not there.  I was at home with my three kids and my wife… wasn’t there. It doesn’t mean it is not important to me.  It doesn’t mean it isn’t extremely important to me.  I somewhat find that question insulting because I am there quite a bit.

Look, he’s there other times – for instance, when there’s not a mass killing for distemper going on – isn’t that enough for you people?  Shame on you taxpayers for questioning your public servants.  I should expel you from the city for even asking but if you go away right now and promise to never bother me again, I’ll let it go – this time.

Finally, here is a transcript of an exchange that took place between Mr. Pepper and some of the advisory board members regarding the shelter’s practice of using sedatives on only some pets before killing:

Matthew Pepper:  They have sedatives if (if) the dog is (is is) a … if they feel the animal needs it.
Jackie Johns:  Is that something we can also raise money for?
Matthew Pepper: [unintelligible]
Cindy Sanders:  Can we get to the point where they are using the sedative?
Matthew Pepper: [unintelligible]
Cindy Sanders:  …We were thinking it might be a little more humane to use it on all the animals that are going in instead of just…(clapping).   And that would be something else we would be more than happy to raise money for.
Jackie Johns:  Right
Steven Tower, DVM :  When I was on the task force, I went out there December two years ago, and witnessed a gentlemen performing the euthanasia’s and they were technically performing in the manner in which it should be done.  It wasn’t an easy thing to see. The room was sort of inadequate and I really look forward to getting into the new shelter for a number of reasons and that’s one reason.   And they did use tranquilizers in cases where they needed to tranquilize an animal that was being fractious or wasn’t…
Jackie Johns:  Wouldn’t it just be nice, everyone would like to think that you know because when you take your dog to a vet they give them a sedative first…
Cindy Sanders:  I mean, you know even when you have surgery they give you a pre-op sedative before they get in there and do their thing and I hate to think that an animal has to be to the point where it is, you know struggling and fighting, for them to go you know we need to give this one a shot.  So, if that’s something that could be done, we would happily raise money for that also.
Matthew Pepper:  I have no issue… I would like to at least consult our veterinary medical director as well…

Thank you Ona Cooper for sending in this transcript.

Added:  Another local news piece on the meeting (it’s a video report and I haven’t watched it yet).

53 thoughts on “MAS Advisory Board Meeting Last Night

  1. I wish I could say this whole fiasco is unbelievable …but, sadly, it is not. Thank you Shirley for following up and keeping after it. Reading these posts makes me oh so grateful that our local Animal Control has already been there/done that and has evolved beyond this horrid crap. We’re not perfect, but oh my, we are certainly WAY better than this. My condolences to the animals of Memphis.

  2. Reading this post has my stomach twisting and in my throat! There should be no animal that isn’t given a sedative before being hauled back to be killed. It is cruel and inhumane and against everything that decent people stand for. These poor animals are already so scared and confused and the one thing they do know is the cruel manner in which they are walked to their death. There is no gentle hand, no “good boy” no “sorry”. Just grab, get it done, and on to the next. Makes me sick.

  3. Stupid me, I live compassion as a way of life. I guess I got it wrong, huh? Man, don’t EVER give me a gun. Not sure who I’d shoot first, myself or people like some of those on that “advisory” board. Sheesh!

  4. Shirley, great job on reporting the happenings last night at the meeting. Having said that it makes it hard to swallow. Things are not likely to change very much. I’m so sad.

  5. I just finished viewing the tapes of John Cox preaching down to the crowd at last night’s meeting. What an ass!

  6. I only have one question. Ms. Sanders kept saying that is something “we” could raise money for regarding the sedation meds and other items some others brought up the shelter needed to implement. Who is this “we”????

    1. I dont know and I dont care. Just tell me where to donate money so that animals dont suffer before being euthanized. My God! It just keeps getting worse and worse.

      1. Hopefully she will get back to you so you will know where to donate. I just feel she should have a definite plan about how it is going to be done before just stating “we” will do it. I am all for the sedation being done but not for an advisory board member saying it will be done and not having a clue how it will be done. It is always easy to say “we” will do it.

      2. The most commonly used sedative stings terribly even when administered with care.

        It needs to be used when necessary, but it is not always necessary. It is also typically administered with that poking stick that you see on the snapshots, from a distance and lacking the compassion you seek.

        If an IV can be done calmly,and with skill it is peaceful and not stressful on the animal and requires you to be hugging the animal when they go before gently laying them down.

      3. I guess it wouldn’t be necessary IF they weren’t putting multiple animals in a room while killing others.

        I have watched plenty of places use a sedative with no problems – without the use of the ‘pokestick’…and no IV either. The use of sedatives does not have to be like this…you make it sound like it is worse to have the sedatives rather than not. I disagree. Especially given the situation at MAS…if they are going to put ALL the animals in the room WHILE killing it is not only necessary but it is PRIORITY for the sanity an humane treatment of the animals.

    2. Mr. Pepper was asked about giving vaccinations to ALL the animals and he answered by asking the Board if they would be willing to raise the money. Sanders stated that “yes, whatever it takes for this to happen, the board will raise money” or something like that. Then the question came up about the fact they have sedatives but don’t use them on every animal, just those that have already gone insane from watching the others killed and left in the room with the dead bodies (I am adding this part because that is what happens, it is all one room). Sanders asked if the had sedatives and Pepper said yes and Sanders asked if they would actually use the sedatives on every animal because they should not go through that and that would be something that the Board (I guess the we) would also raise money for.

      1. Killing pets in view of other pets is completely unacceptable. I wondered about this very issue after I heard Mr. Cox mention that he saved some of his dogs from death at MAS while they were tied to the wall in the kill room. I have noticed on the webcams they round up the pets on the kill list very quickly. I did in fact send an e-mail to Mr. Pepper to ask about this issue earlier today but he has not yet responded. This is extremely upsetting to me. I think I’m going to do a post on it.

  7. It was definitely an entertaining circus, complete with the FoMAS clowns in the back of the room making snide comments and giggling about everyone who spoke. I even managed to get accosted and have the door blocked by one of those clowns after the meeting–LOL

    Everyone MUST listen to the John Cox rant simply for the idiocy and entertainment value of it. My old granny who passed when I was 4, used to call what he did prattle. He prattled on and on and on about anything and everything, NEVER arriving at an identifiable point. I think he just simply loves the sound of his own voice. Even after 20 minutes of this incessant prattle, after he had almost incited the crowd to throwing tomatoes at him, he still didnt want to relinquish the floor to someone else. It would have been comical if the context of the meeting would have been different.

  8. So is this the same John Cox who is referenced in the budget watchdog documents as having received a lifetime disability pension from the shelter due to his job-related injury? Fox+hen+chicken coop=MAS.

      1. So he was there during the raid…he’s on ‘disability pension’ for being injured on the job…OF COURSE he’s going to stnad up for MAS – they are still paying his ‘pay check’!

  9. more animal control bullies –

    A horrible man who was the animal control manager in my area was replaced by a female….sadly, she’s very similar…in my humble opinion it was a case of out with the dictator but not the dictatorship.

    And we’re paying for it with our taxes…and the animals with their lives.

  10. Stray Rescue of St. Louis used to be a city run animal shelter and it was not good. Privately run it is doing amazing work. Don’t tell me, John Cox, that it can’t be done. It can and very very well. Maybe you can take a page from Randy Grim of St. Louis and get it done. It is a No-Kill Shelter and deals with all strays and even the city takes their animals there. I urge you to check it out.

  11. So in other words a night of doublespeak and dancing around the issues. Nothing done to benefit the animals and society in general. No winds of change in MAS procedures. Tsk, tsk.

  12. The whole attitude of MAS is purely reactionary – things happen, we try to deal with it as best we can, but it’s sooooooo hard when distemper “blossoms in the spring” and the irresponsible public just keeps dumping animals on us!

    Yes, MAS, things happen. But what are YOU doing to see that it stops happening so often? Because I know that what you’re doing is not community education, it’s not changing cleaning protocols, it’s not changing vaccination protocols, it’s not networking to get animals out alive, it’s not retraining your staff in the proper handling of animals, it’s not moving forward with low cost spay/neuter, and it’s not a functioning TNR program.

    Dear MAS, you’re not the victims of the irresponsible public. You’re a part of them. And until YOU set your standards higher and lead the way into the light, NOTHING will change. Stop wringing your hands and crying, “Woe is me!” and do something proactive.

  13. Maddies Fund shelter medicine videos =

    All shelter people need to watch these – I’d suggest starting at the top and working down. They’re short and easy to understand.

    These are very basic videos. These do not cover advanced issues. This is basic material and should be required viewing by all shelter personnel whether employed or volunteer.

    Hope that helps. (You guys will probably want to head toward the middle or last videos in the list!)

  14. Help. I am a brand new volunteer at the Shelter. I was not at last night’s meeting. I want to make a difference. I don’t want the entire city to think everyone who is a volunteer there is some kind of militant lunatic who just nods his head in agreement. I would say I’d just quit, but I want to make change happen from within. I am open to any and all information that might be available in how to turn this around. I know that a grant is being written right now to get money for low cost/free spay and neuter. I know that they are trying to vaccinate dogs on the way in. I also know that all day, every day I have been there, there has been a constant parade of owner-surrenders of dogs in all kinds of conditions. What do other cities do to stem the tide?
    Please don’t berate me for working there. I really, sincerely, want to help. If ONE person starts a movement, things can change.

    1. Thank you for volunteering! In answer to your question about how other cities handle being an open admission shelter, I would recommend you read up on the shelter in Washoe Co, NV. Their intake numbers are similar to MAS but they save over 90% of their pets and return 65% of their stray dogs to their owners:
      Please let us know how things go and if we can help in any way.

    2. IS there a pet retention counselor on staff? Because, at least to ME, that would be one of the best ways to stem the flow of owner surrenders. A pet retention counselor would sit down with the owners and disucss ALL options available – if they can’t afford to feed the animal then the person would refer them to a pet food pantry, if they can’t afford spay/neuter then they’d direct them there, if they dog has behavior issues that need worked on they’d send them to a trainer that can work with them…. I’m sure you get the point. A retention counselor can figure out what is going on and why they are surrendering the animal in the first place – then if anything can be done to help that owner be able to keep the animal they will work with the owner to keep the animal out of the shelter and in it’s home.

      I have seen shelters that never had a retention counselor on staff (during ‘open’ hours) go from a high surrender rate to hiring a retention counselor and the surrender rate went down…which not only saved those animals lives but kept it with people who loved it and wanted it, but either didn’t know there were other options out there or how to find them.

    3. I commend you -I have also volunteered there- some of us really do have the animal’s best interest at heart and are caring and compassionate people – I have heard of a few (from SO many people) that are giving the volunteers a bad name – keep on your mission- I share the same, as most volunteers do too….I think it’s the ones that have been there for TOO long that have become very jaded and have lost sight of what being a volunteer at the Shelter, really is all about. WE will make a difference, in spite of the forces against us!

  15. I have now watched the videos posted above and will take the information to the shelter next week when I am there next. One step at a time…

      1. Thank you for volunteering. Having a good volunteer program is part of the No-Kill equation. Dont adopt a ‘blame the public’ attitude. (adopt a dog or cat instead) It will be easy to believe it is the fault of the public after you see a steady stream of owners surrendering their animals. Do your math. 50 people every day is still only a small fraction of the number of people that live in Memphis. Cities that are saving up to 90% of their intake are also the ones that have stopped blaming the public and are providing services (spay/neuter, vaccinations) that help people become better pet owners.

    1. Hi
      Shelter volunteer, I am a shelter director that can help you, but do not know how to give you my personal information to contact me.

      Any suggestions Yesbiscuit? I am not a techi guru.

      1. I’m not a guru either but I can forward the e-mail address you left this comment with to the e-mail address Shelter Volunteer left his/her comment with. That way Shelter Volunteer can contact you.

      2. I am still uncomfortable because it is my actual name if they are comfortable giving me theirs, I will create an e-mail to answer. Would that work?

    2. Thank you for volunteering – AND wanting to help better the shelter environment for the animals. Change is hard – and many people will probably fight you – but hang in there and know you are NOT alone. We’re all here to help in anyway we can.

      Some things that would be a great help would be to check out the UC Davis protocols on cleaning & vaccinating. You can Google it and find it online (or if you go back through the YB blog there are many links throughout EVERY MAS blog entry that contains the links. Also check out the No Kill Advocancy Center – they contain a No Kill primer that can help lead the way to making the shelter No Kill. Real good info there.

      I wish you the best of luck! And please know we ARE rooting for you. I appreciate that you came on here and ASKED for help – other volunteers have been singing the ‘things are great’ song and refuse to realize that there are issues – or accept that they can be dealt with in a very easy way. Additional training for each person on staff AND volunteering would help push things along.

      But a BIG thing is actually having the animals posted and pictures/descriptions available that is one of the best ways to get dogs AND cats out of there alive. At any given time when looking for pets a lot of people and rescues use PetFinder, which I know the shelter has the software to be able to do this, but either don’t know how to set it up or use it right. I would suggest that someone either get a person in there that does know how to set it up – OR – get the shelter to pay for someone from the company to come out and set it up for you AND train someone on how to use it. The more exposure any animal gets – the better it’s chances of leaving the shelter to a new home. Sadly, that is lacking at MAS (along with failure to vaccinate upon admission and properly cleaning the shelter).

      Please visit us often and keep US updated on how things are going and what you need from us to help you improve the entire situation. You are probably going to hit a few brick walls in the process and feel like you have been put through the ringer…but keep the end goal in sight – an end to the killing of healthy/treatable animals.

      1. I found my last dog on Petfinder. He wasn’t my first choice, but when I found out he was scheduled to be “put down” because no one wanted to adopt a 9yr. old dog I jumped on him. Now I love him as much as I ever would have loved my “first choice”. It took me a while to get him home and everyone worked with me until that was done. As I was looking on Petfinder I saw several dogs that were listed that had no picture and it made me very angry! They professed to be working hard to find the dogs new home, but even being an animal lover like I am I would never committ to an animal I haven’t seen. It was several rescues or shelters and they didn’t show pictures of any of the dogs. How can we stress that pictures are important, a person needs to see the dogs before they decide. I really don’t think the shelter has the best interests of the animal at heart, they’re just doing it because they can always say they tried. If I knew how I would list pictures and discriptions for free. Teach me and I’ll do it. My motto now is, “Don’t shop, ADOPT!”

      2. M. Jane – if you are in the Memphis area I would suggest that you volunteer at the shelter and tell them that you would like to focus on getting photos of the animals and getting them posted on PetFinder to increase chances of adoption. Seriously, how could they turn that down IF they sincerely want to save the animals instead of kill them. All it takes is ONE person and they can change the lives of many animals just by taking photos and posting them where people can SEE them.

  16. Anyone can email me at runningforshelter at yahoo dot com

    I am looking for help but feel like I am “undercover”. As for singing the “things are great” song, I know a lot of the volunteers are not aware of the bad stuff-I know they’re not, because I was not. I will try to work with the other men/women there one at a time to make change. Thanks for your help.

    1. @SV, first, three cheers for you–not only for volunteering but for being willing to improve things. You will need allies so stay below the radar and watch for other volunteers who seem open-minded and try to connect with them. There is so much wrong at MAS that it is easy to feel overwhelmed and try to fix everything and as a result fix nothing. Personally, I would start with the lack of photos. As I mentioned previously, if the cause is lack of equipment, that can be remedied. Folks up here will be happy to donate functional digital cameras to help animals in Memphis. But somehow I suspect the real problem isn’t lack of equipment (whether Cham Cam or just freestanding digital cameras) but lack of priority. PICTURES SAVE LIVES! Any shelter that doesn’t have a photo of an animal available *somewhere* online within 48 hours after intake is negligent–and this goes for shelters other than Memphis and outside of the South as well. PICTURES SAVE LIVES! Spread the word.

      1. If you can get someone local to take the photos, you may not need a Memphis vol to post them on Petfinder. Lots of shelters use “virtual volunteers” for maintaining Petfinder and crossposting. They can be ANYWHERE and can work in pairs or groups if there are too many pets for one person to put online. You just need to send them the photos and descriptions. Chances are you could find some virtual volunteers right here or on the No Kill Memphis FB page.

  17. I know another volunteer who said she would photograph. I don’t normally volunteer on the weekend, but maybe can get with her tomorrow to see if she will just give me the memory cards from her camera and I will post and return. I’ll work on it. Anyone know how you post on Petfinder?

    1. You need to be the official person (or rather, official person’s delegate) to post on Petfinder. It would be a lot less labor-intensive to take advantage of the existing link between Chameleon and Pet Harbor. Otherwise, when pets are adopted (or more likely at MAS, PTS), you would need to manually update Petfinder whereas with the link via Chameleon you can have certain statuses automatically deleted as needed. Unless Mr. Pepper signs on to the importance of photographing animals, all that will happen is a temporary push and then when one volunteer leaves, one camera breaks or gets stolen, it will be back to “Condition: Normal, Status: Dead” as Chameleon so charmingly puts it.

      1. You need to be the official person to open a Petfinder account but anyone can post. They just need the username and pw. You do need to update PF manually–but it only takes a few minutes using their new “dashboard.” The big advantage to having a PF site is that everyone–adopters and rescuers–goes there. I don’t see a problem with maintaining more than one list of dogs. I maintain dog listings on a shelter PF site, another person does the cats, plus there’s a regular shelter-maintained website and FB page and a wonderful volunteer-maintained list of all the urgent cats and dogs for xposting.
        We need all the exposure we can get! Shelter save rate for last year was over 90% of adoptable pets. However, the county doesn’t adopt pits to individuals and only allows them to go to rescue groups, so that skews the percentage IMHO.

      2. Jeanne – WOW 90% that is an awesome number! You guys keep up the good work! And I also agree 100% – the more exposure the better, because some people ONLY Facebook, some people ONLY PetFinder, some ONLY use the shelters website. So the mroe places you post animals the better!!!

      3. Yes 90% is super and look how many people are willing to volunteer – even people who aren’t local – when your shelter is about SAVING pets.

  18. So I read the blog, watched the videos, read the comments, slept on it, did it all over again…and still am ANGRY! I thought IF I set back and waited a little while it would calm down and I would be able to write rationally about last night’s meeting. I do not think I like Mr. Cox – at all! He was very opinionated and talked around everything. Some of my favorite quotes from the meeting from Mr. Cox –

    “Any job worth doing is worth doing right.” Maybe Mr.Pepper should think on THAT for a while. IF he isn’t going to do his job right then he shouldn’t do it at all. Same goes for the staff at MAS…

    “We need cheerleaders….we need positive leadership.” Again – we should support THEM regardless of what they do or fail to do. As for positive leadership…Pepper can talk the talk, but he sure as hell isn’t walking the walk. So I’m thinking he doesn’t really fit the bill for “positive leadership”.

    “We live in a poverty city.” Does he honestly think that Memphis is the ONLY city dealing with poverty? They aren’t. And other city’s have been able to have a lower kill rate.

    I find it interesting that Mr. Cox also has “absolute confidence that this man (Pepper)will get them there”….where EXACTLY is ‘there’? Because following Pepper’s career thus far – he doesn’t seem to like cleaning properly, vaccinating animals, and really relies on killing animals to get by. So I think it’s really important that we establish where “there” is when dealing with MAS. Because I have this funny feeling that Mr. Cox’s idea of what ‘there’ is – is completely different from some of our ideas.

    As well as how the “negativity…affects ability to function” – so now it’s everyone else’s fault that MAS isn’t succeeding because WE are being negative?!?!? So – just like FMAS, we can ONLY speak of the positive, hide ALL the bad things and negative comments away. We can ONLY discuss the positive things which make us look good to others. Where is the transparency? Where is the accountability? Where is the room to dialouge for changes so badly NEEDED at MAS, if we can not be negative because – you know, it’s going to affect the staff at MAS, the DIRECTOR of MAS, the MAYOR, the AVISORY COUNCIL, and FMAS – it’s going to affect their ability to function and they won’t be able to do the jobs they ALREADY have? Thereby costing even MORE lives. So by all means, shut up and stop being negative…and just let us fade back into the woodwork, because we’re doing better NOW than we were back when Alexander and the Raid of ’09 hit! (Says the man that was employed at MAS during that time period, and now on perm. paid leave for an injury in the line of work.)

    And he feesl disrespected that info is on the news and NO ONE bothered to let HIM know about it. Seriously? IF he was as involved with MAS as he claims to be then this shouldn’t even be an issue. Unless he’s referring to the one board member (Cindy? don’t recall but it was the interview over the failure to follow through with Ms. Coleman’s suggestions on e-mail)that spoke to Channel 24 about the shelter failing to follow the shelter vet’s advice to prevent the distemper outbreak. BUT, I don’t see why he would need to be told about it FIRST…unless he’s trying to cover his/MAS’s rear end. He is too busy talking around things – like how they need cheerleaders pulling the rope in the same direction…but I have a feeling that the only direction is HIS direction. In fact, he was so ‘talkative’ that I wonder if he’s running the shelter through Pepper, or if he really is supporting Pepper and thinks his little speach was going to help.

    Here’s a suggestion to Mr. Cox – go home, play with your dogs, and let people who REALLY give a shit do the work. Because he’s pulling the rope in the WRONG direction…and I don’t think HE gets it. Yeah – he saved a few dogs that were tied up in the kill room about to die. But let’s all sweep the death of 127 dogs under the rug…because you know it happens every year around this time. Which takes me to – IF they KNOW it happens every year around this time…WHY IN THE HELL didn’t they plan for it? Why didn’t they follow the shelter vet’s advice and clean properly? The only way to stem the flow of death is to stem the flow of disease – along with those high pressured hoses! AND it goes back to his quote about doing a job right…maybe those employees that are getting PAID to clean should, uh, DO IT RIGHT! (Just like Mr. Cox said!)

    And, guess what – he sure managed to get MY attention off of the REAL issue which is failure of Mr. Pepper to apply proper protocols that could have helped to prevent this entire issue. He IS the shelter director, is he not?

  19. I hope that everyone understands that John Cox recently retired from MAS.
    He worked there for years…yes BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER the raid.
    He was placed on the Board to do exactly what he is doing…show unconditional support for MAS and defend everything they do.

    I don’t like him either.
    The two women on the Board he was complaining about have been extremely vocal about problems at MAS and the one has been interviewed several times about the problems at the shelter.

    My guess, he does not like women. Especially intelligent, vocal women not afraid to state the truth and not afraid of him. He acts like a bully.

    1. It’s the Cox guarding the hen house. And I’m sure you’re right about his attitude towards women–it’s a more common dynamic in animal welfare than we would like to admit. Maybe there is something buried deep in the city or state laws that prohibit someone on permanent disability pension from serving on an advisory board in the same department? Supposedly the job caused him to have heart attacks (as well as ortho injuries), so in the interest of his, um, health, maybe he should be relieved of his advisory duties? It could be worth filing an ethics complaint just to have someone look closer at this cozy relationship.

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