MAS: Still the Same

I hate creative math.  It’s manipulative and dishonest.  I like my math straight.  So here are the numbers for Memphis Animal Services from January 1, 2011 to April 12, 2011:

  • Total intakes:  4042
  • Killed:  3118
  • Returned to owner:  251

So through April 12, the shelter’s kill rate for 2011 is 77%.  Just like 2010.  Their RTO rate is 6% – just like 2010.  Will city leaders step up and get this thing out of the ditch in time to make 2011 something other than a repeat of last year’s dismal failure?

Note:  In the 3 weeks between March 21 and April 12, the shelter killed 743 pets.  Matthew Pepper says the number of dogs “affected” due to the recent distemper outbreak was 127.

Number of animals on hand as of April 12, 2011:  323

Number of pets on Petfinder:  7 dogs, no cats

Number of pets on PetHarbor:  50

  • 42 dogs – mostly ID#s, only one with a photo.  There are 10 dogs listed in the stray category for owners looking for their lost dog but every one of them is also listed in the adoptable category.  5 of the 42 dogs are listed as Pitbulls or Pitbull mixes.
  • 8 cats – only one with a photo.  There are 2 cats listed in the stray category for owners looking for their lost cat but both of them are also listed in the adoptable category.

Note on PetHarbor listings for MAS:  It’s complicated.  Memphis could set up a direct link and use Chameleon to make it easily accessible but they don’t.  If you want to find the MAS pets you have to jump through some hoops on PetHarbor to get there.

“Friends” says that at least 60% of the shelter population are Pitbulls.  Given the number of current animals on hand, that would mean MAS has roughly 200 Pitbulls today.  Where are they?  I only found 5 listed on PetHarbor.  How do owners find their lost Pitbulls?  How do adopters get acquainted with the Pitbulls waiting for homes at the shelter?  What chance is 60% of the shelter population given to live when MAS puts only a few of their pets online, doesn’t have the stray ward open to the public and kills 77% of their pets anyway?

Memphis, please – stop the killing.

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74 Comments

  1. You might want to double check the “return to owner” number. Our local high-kill shelter counts died or lost while at shelter as “return to owner” and reports it as such to the public. When I crunch their numbers (I Open Records Law request it from the city every month), I move those “returned to owner” to the correct category and publish the new data.

    Reply
    • See, I hate that kind of thing. My local kill shelter does the same thing. Memphis does have “Died” and “Missing” categories separate from RTO on their stats. How any shelter could justify counting pets who die or get lost at the shelter as being RTO’d is beyond me.

      Reply
      • Erica

         /  April 18, 2011

        Unless they believe God is the owner and by killing the animals they are returning them to their ‘creator’?!?! Regardless of their thoughts – that is frickin crazy math.

      • I’m impressed at your creative crazylogic.

      • Erica

         /  April 18, 2011

        See what you get when you are stuck with 5 kids and animals all day! LOL

    • dogedog

       /  April 18, 2011

      I do hate the stats table that is currently the norm. It discounts the lives not just for the public, but acts as if they never existed.

      Adoption rates are fine, but should not be listed without live release rates as well.

      As for the category of died in shelter etc. that typically also includes DOA, as many dogs that were hit by car are brought in so we may notify the owners or at least cremate them with respect if an owner is not found.

      Reply
    • Erica

       /  April 18, 2011

      While I undersand some of the reasoning behind why stats are ‘grouped’ together at times, it would be a lot easier for anyone within the general public to be able to look at the stats and see EXACTLY what happened to the animals. If they arrived DOA – then maybe there should be a column, or at least a subcolumn that indicates this. If they were euth due to illness/agression it should be separate not only from the main euth category, but also both aggression and illness from each other. So maybe even subcategories under subcategories.

      Part of understanding the general functions of how animals are disbursed across the US would enable people to better understand the inner workings of the shelter – and allow for analysis into ways we can improve the entire system at once, rather than tackle each ‘problem’ as it jumps up. If we could get all shelters to establish a method of record keeping that would allow us to reformulate the data forms that are used it could actually help see where we can start getting creative as saving lives by basically have plans already in place (that do allow room for when issues/problems pop up – you can’t expect every hurricane, yet you can have action plans in place to make the process flow smoother) – plans that can be proactive instead of reactive.

      It could show us specific ‘areas’ where specific breeds of dogs are more adopted than others and allow for us to set up transports to move those dogs to those locations. It could help keep killings down due to speace. And it could show us what shelters are having ‘problems’ – like with a high kill rate – so we can step in and see what the problems are and get them addressed immediately, not after hundreds of animals have lost their lives.

      I am more interested in seeing the break downs, although I know that can make it harder for them to do their jobs…but you should be able to set up an Excel sheet and have a volunteer that you can train to do the fill-in-the-blank part (great for a young mom that stays at home with little ones to help out & can do it from home). It can be formulated so that with a simple touch of ‘enter’ you can see all the stats accounted for individually, while compliling all the data into the larger categories.

      I have seen this method used before so a director could understand within her own shelter what the trends were and see how she can improve things to save more animals. Now granted this was a no kill closed admission shelter, but they also had outdoor kennels and cages for people to do drop offs in the middle of the night (and that could lead to overcrowding VERY easily because even if staff put up notes that they were full and could NOT accept pets at this time AND they locked the kennels/cages – people found ways to break the locks and put their animals in…some going so far as to twist tie the cage back together and leave the pet anyways. (Although funnily enough those seemed to be the people that actually filled out the paperwork! :) ) But she was able to see what times of year this happened the most and get foster homes lined up to accomodate the additional animals that would surely show up. She was also able to see which dogs ended up being held the longest (mostly in foster) and find creative ways to get those dogs adopted. It was really interesting and fun working with her to accomplish this – I was a young stay at home mom and wanted to help but couldn’t very well with a 2 & 4 yr old in tow! Since I had knowledge of Excel she asked my assistance – I was able to connect with some people that were able to put my formulas in place (since I wasn’t THAT proficient) and all I had to do was input the numbers that were supplied to me and at the end of each month print out a little packet that showed everything – with the smaller break downs to help her figure out what was going on. While not a quick, easy thing to fix – I would say within about 3 yrs she strted to get it down to a science where she knew what to expect and when and could work around those things to me more efficient. (If memory serves me right she also used it to figure out when they needed the most volunteers and could get that arranged a head of time, just like the fosters.)

      Reply
      • dogedog

         /  April 18, 2011

        Look at the Asilomar Accords table of stats, that is the most utilized version that tries to do what you mention Erica. It isn’t perfect (really not perfect, but a place to start), but it does aims towards full disclosure and offers some of the why for the public to evaluate.

      • Morgana

         /  April 18, 2011

        dodgedog: have you READ REDEMPTION??? The Asimolar Accords are BS (and I don’t mean Bach. of Sci.).

      • Erica

         /  April 19, 2011

        While I am not a big fan of the Asilomar Accords – I have seen the Statistics Table – and I am thinking something much different than that – while that may be an attempt to collect data, I personally don’t feel like it goes far enough to create a break down so you can see the day to day operations of a shelter. I’m talking about tearing the figures back layer by layer until you get to the bare bones – and then build it up from there. So you know EXACTLY what happened to each and every animal that crosses the thresh-hold of that shelter, no matter what condition they enter, or leave…but it needs to be thoroughly documented so that we can see where the trends lie, as well as for the average person in the general public being able to look at ANY shelter’s stats and know what happened at that shelter for the month, or year, etc.

      • dogedog

         /  April 19, 2011

        Asilomar is once again a starting point as currently there is very little in the way of standardizing how these stats are delivered. I understand the big picture, but understand that every agency has to start somewhere and use what is available and then continue to learn and improve.

  2. Ethel

     /  April 18, 2011

    MAS was utilizing PetHarbor for a bit but the majority of people in the South use PetFinder which is much more user friendly.

    And yes, the upload for Harbor is easier and faster but if the vast majority here does not know about it or use it, it does no good. Even when they were using just that it was the same. No cats, few dogs, hardly any photos.

    People have volunteered to come to the shelter and take the photos and upload them. A few offered at the meeting.
    I remember a meeting where it was suggested by a few Board members that the employees on on-the-job-injuries should do it. The Board even offered to buy a decent camera for the shelter.

    The shelter does not care to do any of this. The Friends want and have control and like to keep things on their facebook site.

    Unfortunately, nothing will change or even slightly improve until the current director and the majority of the staff is gone.

    The numbers are horrible and yet Pepper and the city keep on about the “wonderful” direction the shelter is headed in.

    The Mayor keeps chanting he is taking the shelter from “worst to first”.

    First what?
    First in killing animals?

    Reply
    • How many pets are listed on the “Friends” FB site – anyone know? I’m betting it’s a small percentage of the hundreds of pets at the shelter today. And I’ll wager further that they don’t have 200 Pitbulls listed on FB either. But I haven’t checked so you guys tell me.

      As for the PetHarbor listings – without photos they are just about useless.

      Reply
    • Erica

       /  April 18, 2011

      Ethel you summed it up perfectly –

      “The shelter does not care to do any of this. The Friends want and have control and like to keep things on their facebook site.

      Unfortunately, nothing will change or even slightly improve until the current director and the majority of the staff is gone.

      The numbers are horrible and yet Pepper and the city keep on about the “wonderful” direction the shelter is headed in.

      The Mayor keeps chanting he is taking the shelter from “worst to first”.

      First what?
      First in killing animals?”

      Obviously it’s going to take getting rid of Pepper and replacing him with a REAL animal lover to see any type of changes!

      Reply
      • Ona Cooper

         /  April 18, 2011

        Ethel,
        Uploading all the adoptables and strays on Pet Harbor is easy and can be done right now…today. It will be very tedious to get everything on Pet Finder. The purpose is to help owners find their dog and to give all those in the stray hold area a chance at being adopted or pulled by rescue. Right now they stand almost no chance at all. The city could put a link on their website that would take people directly to animals in the shelter and citizen’s found reports on Pet Harbor. No need to learn how to navigate Pet Harbor … it’s a click of a button from the city page. Information would be current within one hour of the animal entering the shelter.

      • Erica

         /  April 19, 2011

        Ona – since it sounds quite simple – why is no one doing it? I’m really trying to wrap my head around that. Is it being done now, or in the works? Forgive me – I am not trying to sound sarcastic, but it sounds like it could very easily be done – yet it isn’t. So many on injury pay – at desks – easy to do – just makes sense. Almost makes me feel like someone does NOT want to save the animals…

      • Ethel

         /  April 19, 2011

        Ona,
        Thanks. As I am one of many who does not use PetHarbor, I was only going by what MAS was showing. A link to PetHarbor and you had to go through ALL the steps to find an animal. I did not know they could have a direct link.
        I should have known MAS would have done it incorrectly.
        I will send an email to the Board and ask them to re-address this issue. I am sure they were under the impression that it was hard to use also. I have heard them ask Pepper over and over about it and he never said a word about a direct link to the shelter pets. Figures. Either he does not know or does not care to know.
        I am in complete agreement about using everything possible.
        Now the hard part, getting MAS to actually USE the sites to the best effect.

      • Ona Cooper

         /  April 19, 2011

        If MAS does not know the full capability of Chameleon, there is a NACA conference next month. A tour of Washoe County Animal Control is part of the agenda. Matthew Pepper, a NACA board member, can go to Washoe County Animal Control and see first hand what the software can do.
        Call Washoe County AC for yourself. They are wonderful and more than willing to share information.
        Last week there was a cat listed on Pet Harbor named Bay. Villy went to the shelter and fillout paperwork and paid for Bay. Within an hour, Pet Harbor said Bay was no longer available. The software works and it works now! I am not sure, but if they use Petfinder, they may have to go in manually and mark a pet adopted.

  3. Ethel

     /  April 18, 2011

    Just went through the “Friends” facebook site, postings from today back through April 10.

    24 dogs – 2 pit mixes
    1 cat

    To find the available pet listings I had to scroll through tons of chit-chat, postings of lost pets, ads for vets, and postings from cat rescues regarding cats they had already removed from the shelter, etc.

    The postings for the animals were hidden in over 80 posts and over 200 comments.

    Anyone wanting to look for a animal on the “Friends” facebook page would have to do quite a bit of work.

    This has to be one of the LEAST effective ways to post animals and view animals.

    The shelter holds 300+ animals – 25 listed on a hard to navigate facebook page.

    Reply
    • Erica

       /  April 18, 2011

      I, too noticed the same thing – they dont’ have a separate area to list pets that are available – and don’t only list a chosen few. But you DO really have to dig to find any of them.

      The thing I found interesting is all the postings of ‘lost’ pets and it got me thinking – does FMAS actually look at those ‘lost’ pet posts and try ot see if the shelter has the matching animals…I highly doubt it, but wondered if they do?

      My local “pound” has a place to post lost and found animals, plus the county had started (a few years ago) to also have a listing page on our county auditors website as well. While they dont’ cross post on both pages – it does give people a few other options of places to look for lost & foudn pets. I have written to the ‘pound’ and asked for them to look into finding a way to cross post or cross reference these listings in some way to make it easier for the general public to try and search for lost pets. Now their website does include a link to the auditors website, and the auditors website has a link to the pound. Better than nothing, but I still think they could do better. Then again, compared to MAS they are light years away.

      Reply
      • Dana

         /  April 18, 2011

        Erica, I assure you that lost pets listed on the Friends site are checked against the pets in the lost/stray area of the shelter. Volunteers also check the lost pet listings at the shelter against the lost/strays brought in. If an animal is seen that matches a description in the book we call the potential owner.

      • Erica

         /  April 19, 2011

        I do feel a little better knowing that. Who handles the responsibility of it…a volunteer or staffer?

    • 25 pets. With Friends like these…

      Maybe if you would have kept scrolling and clicking and digging you would have hit the jackpot listing of 200 Pitbulls – ya think?

      Reply
  4. Deena

     /  April 18, 2011

    I have been noticing that shelters are not taking the time to update their sites. And when I call they don’t know the pets by their names, only numbers. That’s sad. I go to donate newspapers and food once a week. How come I can remember what dogs are there by names? Just saying.

    Reply
  5. Morgana

     /  April 18, 2011

    They really need to be on PetFinder, Shirley. I have it from someone in Memphis that NOBODY looks at PetHarbor down there. Can we change this request?

    Reply
    • As long as they put every pet in the shelter – with photos – on some easily accessible website, I’d be happy. I’ve mentioned PetHarbor only because they already have the software to plug into that. Char-Meck and Washoe Co both use the Chameleon-PetHarbor interface.

      Reply
  6. mikken

     /  April 18, 2011

    I’m not in the south and I never even heard of PetHarbor until we started discussing it here.

    Reply
  7. Do shelters get money for the dogs they euthanize?

    Reply
    • Erica

       /  April 18, 2011

      Interesting spin, but unless they are selling the bodies to a place like a company that supplies animals for dissection in science classes…I have never heard of a place making money killing the animals. Much better chance at getting money actually adopting them out.

      Reply
    • Lisa in OH

       /  April 19, 2011

      The Lucas County Ohio Dog Warden’s office, while under the “rule” of Tom Skeldon, received what amounted to a “bounty” for every pit bull he took from Toledo and killed. So it is possible that some shelters may profit from killing

      Reply
    • Yes, some shelters sell the bodies of the kill animals to rendering facilities. These animals are rendered into many different products that are added to finished products that you might be using today in your home.

      EPA Document Proves Euthanized Dogs and Cats are Rendered
      Aug 24, 2010 … Unless an animal shelter has a crematory and the funding to …. that they will not take rendered product that contains euthanized animals. …
      http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com/…/epa-document-proves-euthanized-dogs-and-cats-are-rendered.html

      The true horrors of pet food revealed: Prepare to be shocked by what goes into dog food and cat food – http://www.naturalnews.com/012647.html

      Reply
  8. Has anyone received any responses to the e-mails sent to city leadership re MAS? I got a couple from advisory board members (that basically said we share your concerns, keep writing) but I was curious if anyone has heard from others.

    Reply
    • Erica

       /  April 18, 2011

      I haven’t heard a peep from a single person. And I have sent so many e-mails to each of them that I am losing count. I had better results from the TOHAS crap than MAS. At least TOHAS had the decency to send me a form letter! Nobody related to MAS or their city government has bothered to send me a single for letter…at this point I’d be happy wiht a ‘shove it’ response from them. Their lack of responding makes me think they really do NOT care about it and would rather we just go away and sweep this whole thing under the rug!

      If someone has heard back I’d be interested in knowing what was said….

      Reply
      • Morgana

         /  April 18, 2011

        I have heard from TWO Adv. Bd. members. They want us to keep up the letter writing campaign, esp. from outside of Memphis and TN. They want us to add the city council (as Shirley has on another post). But from “officialdom” – NADA.

        Also, it could be that the reason there are so few on the FB site is that the shelter keeps most dogs on “stray hold”, which means they are going to be killed, essentially. You can’t go there and look at the strays they are under lock and key. Unless you’re looking for YOUR lost dog. But just to adopt? If its not in the adopion area, they “have no others”. So in that case, they wouldn’t list them anywhere either I suppose. The alleged “Friend” are megalomaniacs who want to control everything, including Pepper (who seems easy to control, frankly).

      • Erica

         /  April 18, 2011

        Well – that is positive. It makes me feel like I wasn’t doing it in vein. Thanks!

        And I TOTALLY agree wiht you on the MAS/Pepper connection!

  9. Dana

     /  April 18, 2011

    Morgana, just because an animal is in the stray area does not mean that it will be automatically euthanised. At the end of the stray hold an animal is evaluated for health and temperament and is placed in adoption if it passes these evaluations.

    Reply
    • mikken

       /  April 18, 2011

      Uh-huh. I see. Yes.

      So the question then becomes, “Who evaluates? What are their qualifications? And what percentage of these animals get placed into adoption? And then how are they marketed?”

      Because you know what? 77% kill rate. SEVENTY-SEVEN. There is no excuse for that. None.

      Sheltering. You’re doing it wrong.

      Reply
      • ramblinrose

         /  April 19, 2011

        Sheltering. You’re doing it wrong.

        Mikken, thanks for giving me a laugh in an otherwise depressing thread. LOL!

    • Ethel

       /  April 18, 2011

      @ Dana,
      You are correct. Just because a dog is in the stray area does not mean that it will be automatically euthanized.

      It just means that it is 77% more likely to be euthanized. Not good odds. But I guess it is easy to justify/explain the deaths when you are not the one on death row.

      Many animals in a shelter do not pass a temperament test because they are scared, traumatized, stressed, etc. Most animal behaviorists do not recommend doing a behavior test until the animal has been there for 6 or more days. Much longer than the 72 hours given at the shelter.

      And you are incorrect if you think ALL strays are evaluated for health and “temperament”. And if they pass those tests they will be placed for adoption.
      The freezer/dead animal pick-up truck is full of loving, kind animals that were not cute enough or young enough to pass muster or even be administered the tests.

      Also, the very people who carry them by their scruffs, drag them on catch poles, leave them overnight without food or water in small cages and leave them on the floor in cages sitting in cleaning solution are the VERY people doing the behavior evaluations.

      The animals labeled “timid” and then killed are smart enough to be timid for fear of those that are rough with them.

      Unless you think animals are stupid and are not smart enough to try to stay away from the guy who just dragged them to a kennel by their neck.

      Come on, please, don’t make excuses.

      Reply
      • Erica

         /  April 19, 2011

        Ouch – so those same people that we see dragging dogs around and hosing them down in their cages, while poking the cats with sticks – THEY get to do the temperment testing? Do they also use a plastic hand to check on food aggression? Good lord…how are they qualified to do the testing? What kind of training, experience, background do they have to qualify them to do temperment testing of the very same animals that they treat like crap day in and day out?

        It’s worse than I thought…and now makes me question feeling better about them checking for lost/found dogs on list on FB amonst other places…Who does the checking for strays from what is listed on Facebook? What about who is responsible for checking them from call ins – or do they even do those at MAS?

      • ramblinrose

         /  April 19, 2011

        So true. I would venture to guess that my beloved cocker spaniel, who was rescued from a puppy mill would not have passed the test for adoption. She had no people skills, was scared of her own shadow, spent most of her time hiding under the bed when I brought her home, and was protective of her food. I got her from a rescue group and a year and a half later she is the most loving, fantastic sweet dog I’ve ever had – great with kids, other animals, and no problems at all. Sad to think that had she ended up at MAS (*shudder*) she’d be dead today.

        So many dogs are fearful in a shelter environment, you would think they would have people trained to evaluate them and realize this and know how to work with the dogs to see their true nature.

    • Morgana

       /  April 20, 2011

      How is it evaluated and by whom with what credentials please? If the kill rate is 77%, I think your statement may prove a bit skewed.

      Reply
  10. Ethel

     /  April 19, 2011

    The volunteers probably do it. They do try to reunite the owners and animals.

    And no, there is no plastic hand to my knowledge.

    They DO NOT take the dogs out of the kennels. And many times there are multiple dogs in one kennel.

    I have heard Pepper say and state in emails that the dog was euthanized because it was timid and stayed in the back of the kennel. Could have been because it was scared (obviously) but also because there might have been a more aggressive dog in the kennel with it.

    They are supposed to kennel by size, but hey, that takes time. And as Pepper has said on TV, they often don’t have the space to put the animals where the vet recommends.

    If my pet was missing I would not trust anyone at MAS to check.

    Reply
  11. Someone please clarify if I’ve got this right: The dog is put into a run where he must relieve himself, eat, get hosed down when the workers come to clean. He does not get any break from this run – no walks, no socializing with people. And then someone who is not a behaviorist, and is in fact, possibly the same person who has dragged the dog on a chokepole or sprayed him with feces-water, enters the dog’s run to perform a “behavior evaluation” on the spot? And the results of said “evaluation” are used to determine life or death?

    Seriously, someone tell me I’ve got this all wrong.

    Reply
    • beth

       /  April 19, 2011

      I wish I could tell you that you’ve got it all wrong- but sorry, you have it ALL RIGHT!! You have dogs who are either owner surrenders or strays (possibly once someone’s pet) who are in a kennel – they’ve been trained NOT to relieve themselves when in their “kennel” and will actually hold it and wimper and cry until finally, they can’t hold it any longer….I was at MAS one day and watched a volunteer (not many volunteers actually take the dogs out of their kennels and take them outside to get fresh air and do their business) go to one of the kennels where a dog was wimpering uncontrollably – she immediately took the dog outside (cage card said owner surrender) and I watched this dog relieve himself, for what seemed like 15 minutes. I watched the employees walk by all of the kennels- cats and dogs – I guess they think their job is just to “clean” cages and euthanize- not ONE interaction with any animal. The animals are treated like they are trash – which is what 77% of them become. The mentality is that most of the animals are going to die, so why bother trying to show any compassion?! Only when MAS is no longer viewed as a death sentence for all (77%) animals, when we get a new director and employees and have volunteers that don’t feel the need to control, will MAS truly be a shelter for our animals. THAT is our only hope!

      Reply
  12. Ona Cooper

     /  April 19, 2011

    Mayor Wharton hired Lucy Shaw on a consultant basis to make recommendations before Matthew Pepper started in March 2010. From the Lucy Shaw report in November 2009: >>We installed a documentation platform (Chameleon) several years ago and never implemented it fully. If fully implemented it would provide a paperless system with accurate report writing, photos of animals to file, accuracy re: animal location in the shelter, medical procedures performed, correct due date out, etc.<<

    Click to access Animal_Shelter_Plan_and_Report_11-22-09.pdf

    Reply
    • More taxpayer money well spent.

      This is why I don’t get the “Matthew Pepper has turned the shelter around” flag wavers. Nothing has changed. Pets are still being needlessly killed left and right, pets are still suffering at the shelter, and the public is still being blamed for it.

      Reply
  13. Claire

     /  April 19, 2011

    I can tell you that it is not the volunteers who evaluate the dogs. The volunteers socialize with, clean up after, bathe, and promote adoption for the animals. We also go to the mobile adoption events. For instance, on Saturday, we played with puppies, walked adult dogs outside on a leash so they could get exercise and relieve themselves-and be SEEN by people looking for a dog- and cleaned out our share of cages. Other volunteers bathed puppies that were dumped, covered with ticks, and sprayed them with Frontline. With the help of a vet tech, who immunized the incoming puppies, volunteers made these pups attractive as family pets. Others held kittens to keep them warm and get them used to people. We spend time with prospective adopters and watch for signs of people looking for dogs to use as fighters. While I understand that people are critical of Mr. Pepper and some of the staff, there are some very good people working there, and it is very hard to be the target of such harsh criticism as a volunteer. I am committed to promoting adoption with good families, and it breaks my heart every single time a dog does not go home and has to spend another night in a cage.
    We are recruiting new volunteers all the time, because what we need is a big force of people who love the animals. Once in a while, a kind word would be very, very helpful. Thank you for caring about the animals.

    Reply
    • beth

       /  April 19, 2011

      Thank you, Claire for volunteering at MAS!!! They need more people like you there! But, please, riddle me this: how many employees (aside from Glen) have you seen actually take the time to acknowledge any of the animals stuck in the kennels? How many times have you seen Mr Pepper or any employee take a crying dog out of it’s kennel to hold it – to try to ease it’s fear- or cuddle a scared kitty or even take a dog for a walk – to smell the fresh air? I know the answer- it is NOT ONE- NEVER! But then again, that’s because it takes a caring and compassionate person to do that. Case closed!

      Reply
      • dana

         /  April 19, 2011

        Beth, I have seen numerous employees acknowledge the dogs in their care. I am a volunteer and regardless of what you people say here I know the people that you criticize on a daily basis and I call many of them my friends. I have seen them cuddle a scared dog and offer kind words. I have seen them cry over dogs we have lost. I have seen them try their hardest to locate rescue groups to take dogs. And I have seen Mr. Pepper – to quote you – “take a crying dog out of it’s kennel to hold it – to try to ease it’s fear- or cuddle a scared kitty or even take a dog for a walk – to smell the fresh air.” Thanks and now start badmouting me…as I know you will!

      • Morgana

         /  April 19, 2011

        I have not seen what you describe ONCE on the webcams. Even on days the shelter is closed its the same. So, while I wholeheartedly applaud you for doing what you do for those poor animals, I have to ask: WHEN are these cuddly hours happening so I can watch and go “awwww”?

      • How can anyone who watches the webcams HELP but see 200 Pitbulls being walked and cuddled and bathed? It would be hard to miss, doncha think?

      • Ethel

         /  April 19, 2011

        @ Dana
        I believe there is a photo on this site that shows Pepper lovingly taking a dog out of it’s kennel for a walk to smell the fresh air.
        Oops, my bad. It is a photo of Pepper dragging a dog to the killing room.

        Was that employee cuddling that puppy or was it holding it by the skin over it’s backbone to take it to the killing room?

        There are employees at the shelter that care BUT there are many that don’t care.

        Do you speak out against them when you see an employee dragging a box of puppies and a mother on a choke pole to the killing room or do you keep quiet because you consider them to be your friend?

        Are you there for the animals or are you there to continue the cover-up?

      • dana

         /  April 19, 2011

        Ethel, I assure you I am there for the animals and not, as you say, to continue the cover up. What I mentioned in my previous post I have seen with my own two eyes…it is NOT a lie. Sure, there are some shelter staff who could use some additional training but not all of them are the coldhearted people you make them out to be. In regards to the the volunteers, we work hard to find as many homes as possible for these dogs and cats. And, as Claire mentioned, it would be nice from time to time to hear positive comments related to our activites and not comments that suggest we are as responsible for the euthanasia that occurs at MAS.

      • Speaking for myself, I am not at all criticizing the euthanasia that occurs at MAS. I assume, since I’ve seen no evidence to the contrary, that it occurs humanely and infrequently for medically hopeless pets who are suffering or for dogs that are a danger to society. What I am critical of is the killing at MAS. The killing of pets who are friendly, healthy or treatable. The killing of cats who are feral. The killing of newborn puppies and kittens who have mamas to nurse them. The killing of dogs because distemper is allowed to spread unchecked through substandard shelter protocols. The killing of pets who were kept hidden from public view by the shelter so no one even knew they were in need of help.

        Anyone who dares call out the shelter for its killing is apparently subject to threats by the volunteers. Those volunteers are enabling the killing. They are complicit.

    • Claire,
      Thank you for volunteering. Can you clarify for us exactly which dogs are getting bathed and walked and prepped for adoption by volunteers? Are you saying volunteers walk the 200 Pitbulls plus all the other dogs in the shelter and help them get seen by adopters, etc? Or are you referring to the chosen few in the adoption hallway?

      Reply
      • Ethel

         /  April 19, 2011

        I have heard Pepper state in public that the strays are NOT removed from their kennels.

        He also stated that the animals that are being placed for adoption are walked and removed from their kennels for cleaning.

        I thank Claire for her volunteer efforts and understand her feelings about a kind word for what they are doing.
        But I believe that silence is a form of assent.

        Have you voiced your opinion on the fact that the “Friends” attack anyone who dares to criticize or disagree with MAS? That this attack reached the point where a “Friend” went to a person’s place of work and demanded that he be fired.

        Have you questioned the policy that only certain selected animals are to be viewed by the public.

        You are there, do you speak up when you see an employee leaning on the intake desk while the volunteers work cleaning cages?
        Do you speak up when an employee carries a dog by the skin on his back?

        I think it is great and thank you for taking care of the animals that are set to be adopted but what about the animals that are not selected?

        77 out of every 100 will die without ever receiving the kind treatment shown to the adoptable pets.

        Even a murderer on death row receives a last good meal before he is killed.

  14. ramblinrose

     /  April 19, 2011

    WHAT?
    “That this attack reached the point where a “Friend” went to a person’s place of work and demanded that he be fired”
    Ethel, what on earth? I hadn’t heard this. That is unbelievable!!!!
    The “Friends” scare me too much to volunteer.. I’d like to, but I do not have the type of personality to stand by and ignore some of the stuff that goes on at the shelter, and I would get into it with someone I am sure, LOL. I have trouble keeping my mouth shut. :)

    Reply
    • This is the type of volunteer we need at all our shelters! Someone who will be a voice for pets!

      Reply
      • beth

         /  April 19, 2011

        You are correct- however, the first time she spoke up or had an opinion different from the “Friends,” she would be booted out so fast! THAT is why we need to clean house.

  15. Ona Cooper

     /  April 19, 2011

    Just an hour ago Villy posted a picture of a cat on the “Friends” FB page with this note:
    “This is Pound Cake. He was surrendered to MAS on 4/15/2011. He is 2 years old and already neutered and micro-chipped. He is ready to go home the same day if he is adopted. His ID #s is 225025. Please consider adopting him. Cats at MAS get sick very fast and get euthanized as soon as they start sneezing. Also, at the Shelter Advisory Board meeting last week Matthew Pepper confirmed that most animals get euthanized WITHOUT ANESTHESIA! Please help this boy make it out alive!”

    “Friends” deleted it from their wall.

    Villy reposted the picture with this message: “Pound Cake is still at the shelter looking for a home. I don’t know why FOMAS chose to delete my post of him earlier. I also received a message from them telling me to verify that the cats I post have been evaluated for adoption. Yes, they have. Please check with the shelter staff if you don’t believe me. The animal ID for Pound Cake is 225025. If my posts about trying to get animals from MAS getting adopted keep getting deleted, I will complain to Matthew Pepper personally. People need to know what animals are available for adoption. They also need to be made aware that time is limited even for adoptable animals.”

    “Friends” deleted the post from their wall.

    So it was posted a third time: “Ok, here is Pound Cake again. His ID # is 225025. I’m sure that he’ll get deleted again. But he is also posted on the No Kill Memphis FB page. FoMAS, please give this boy a chance before hitting the ‘delete’ button!”

    Reply
    • Send me Pound Cake’s picture and whatever text you want to go with it and I’ll make him Shelter Pet of the Day. Jesus Tap Dancing Christ, do I have to start my own FB page so people can find out what pets are available at MAS? Perhaps I can call it FIENDS of the Shelter.

      Reply
      • ramblinrose

         /  April 19, 2011

        Jesus Tap Dancing Christ. I love it. Maybe there should be another FB page!

  16. Ethel

     /  April 19, 2011

    Like I have been saying. The “friends” like total control. In this case they would rather an animal die than have a chance at adoption because the woman wrote the truth about the death of animals at the shelter.

    Reply
  17. Morgana

     /  April 19, 2011

    Jesus Tap Dancing Christ – that’s a new one, and a total HOWL, may I steal it? BTW, I accidentally posted two Care2Petitions, and the one that should be signed is: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/828/986/639

    I heard that the site was freezing up. We have a goal of 5000 sig’s, and the site is showing fewer than have actually signed, perhaps they update it every day or every so-many hours. Please pass it on.

    Reply
    • I got that from South Park. Those wacky kids.

      Reply
      • Morgana

         /  April 19, 2011

        It’s great. I am often heard to used Jeezus H. F’n Christ, or Jeezus H. Roosevelt Christ, but that one was new! haha!

  18. New leadership is needed. There is no excuse for this shelter not to be posting all their animals on more than one pet listing site…

    Get your adoptable pets seen by more people in more places sign up for free Pet Adoption Portal service https://portal.rescuegroups.org

    List your pets once and they show up on MANY different pet listing sites! Being seen more increases their chances of being adopted and saved!

    Reply
    • Ethel

       /  April 19, 2011

      Not just new leadership is needed.

      New leadership and a mostly new staff is needed.

      The shelter could have the best director known and if most of the cold-hearted employees are still employed there, the abuse would continue.

      Reply
      • With the right leader the bad workers would have to fly right or hit the road. This is what make a leader a leader — they do not put up with bad workers.

  19. Morgana

     /  April 20, 2011

    I hope people are sharing that weblink for that petition – it’s great! People from all over the world are signing! Wheeee!

    Reply
  20. Morgana

     /  April 21, 2011

    That petition must have gotten to Germany, because there is a SLEW of signatures from their, Switzerland and Austria! PLEASE if you haven’t signed, go ahead and do so now. It will be delivered to the City Council and Wharton.

    And is ANYONE thinking about a demonstration????

    Reply

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