No Other Practical Method Available

A reader sends in this bit of info regarding MAS policy on scruffing and dragging dogs:

City of Memphis

Policies and Procedures Manual

Expiration Jan. 1. 2012

Matthew Pepper


Memphis Animal Services

Page 22

Chapter 2: Guiding Principles and Expectations

Section 1: Humane Treatment

No Agent of Memphis Animal Services is to drag or pull any animal by catch pole or lead unless no other practical method of safely handling or moving the animal is available.

Small dogs are to have their weight supported from beneath when being transported within the facility or in the field and are not to be suspended by the back of the neck (scruffed) as a method of control unless no other practical method of safely handling or moving the animal is available.

So I guess a whole buncha workers at MAS are like, busted?

Of course, these are just “snapshots in time” and we have no idea what happened in the second before or after.  It was prolly all belly rubs and slobbery kisses.


Other readers have announced the formation of two new groups on Facebook:

Memphis Animal Shelter – Stop the Killing

Boycott Memphis, TN

And yet another reader created this petition – sign and share.  More than 2700 sigs already!

Leave a comment


  1. Could someone in the Memphis area create an additional petition on With each signature emails go to targeted individuals.

    • Morgana

       /  April 23, 2011

      It can also split signatures because people think they’ve already signed one and it is a repeat. It could LOSE the original petition signatures. That petition is already past the halfway mark – goal of 5000 sig’s., a little over 2700 now. SIGN IT!

  2. Please retweet and facebook the following petition tweet: MEMPHIS ANIMAL SERVICES – STOP THE KILLING (& the abuse of animals) -sign & share Petition! #animalshelter #pets #dogs

  3. vida

     /  April 23, 2011

    Thanks for the links!

  4. vida

     /  April 23, 2011

    I’m afraid that the weasel word here is “practical”, and it will be defined to the extreme widest possible meaning. As in say, levitating the dog to the killing floor with the power of my mind alone was the practical way to do it, it didn’t work so..I dragged her there.

  5. Jeanne

     /  April 23, 2011

    These guys could produce the Anti-Humane Policies and Procedures Manual based on these webcam shots alone.
    They are an embarrassment to their union, the shelter and the city of Memphis. Possibly they’re even Teh Evil since they have a huge impact on the day-to-day life of animals at the shelter. They do the abusing and then they do the killing. When they’re not slacking off. For shame, Matthew Pepper. This is what you’re willing to tolerate so they’ll “like” you?

  6. Erica

     /  April 23, 2011

    Does anyone know about Pepper’s background BEFORE Caddo Parrish??? To me at least – he doesn’t seem to have managerial skills required to manage ANY team of employees. While he keeps talking about ‘snapshots in time’ and all that crap…those ‘snapshots’ show HIS employees acting improperly….has anyone gotten written up, put on probation, or fired? I see the SAME people doing the SAME thing on these webcam shots.

    We need to move to have Pepper fired…we need someone who gives a F about the animals AND knows how to manage people to run MAS. This has gone on long enough. Pepper has had enough time at MAS that we should be seeing MAJOR change…all we keep seeing is death, death, and more death – along with no compassion for the animals. Looks like we need a clean sweep of the damn shelter and an entire fresh staff. IF, as John Cox says they are a poverty city – then there are plenty of people in Memphis that could use the jobs and probably be trained properly from the start on how to do it all the RIGHT way.

    I am so ticked after reading in the procedure manual that it states plain as day that they are mishandling animals – and NOBODY could convince me that those dogs HAD to be pulled, drug, and carried by the scruff like that…ALL of them???

    Does anyone happen to have something that explains Pepper’s job responsibilities? A job description possibly from before he got hired on with MAS? I’d REALLY love to see it to see what kind of qualifications the director at MAS has. The longer I sit back and read about this the more my heart breaks. I’d love to know a little more about what kind of benefits Pepper gets and what exactly he was hired to do.

    Also – has ANYONE gone any farther into possibly planning a demonstration at MAS? I believe it is time to start planning it if it’s not already in the works…. Pepper has had enough time to implement changes – especially when HIS employees aren’t following their procedure policies. Time to march!

    • Morgana

       /  April 23, 2011

      I agree – animal lovers of Memphis: just call us and we’re there! RESCUEMOM!

  7. db

     /  April 23, 2011

    Petition signed and comment written.

  8. Ethel

     /  April 23, 2011

    EVERY single animal is either being dragged, pulled or carried without supporting the bottom.
    I bet nothing will be done about any of them and they look like they know it.

  9. Ethel

     /  April 23, 2011

    Hey, look at the March 29 photos. Pepper is dragging a dog on a leash and there is a female worker carring a dog by the scruff with one hand and the other is in the dog’s armpit.
    No bottom is being supported.

    • Erica

       /  April 25, 2011

      I have watched Pepper, himself, pulling dogs to the kill room. If he’s going to do it too – then he doesn’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to discipline with his employees. He’s in violation of the procedures himself…who’s going to write him up? His butt needs fired!

  10. Jo-Claire

     /  May 6, 2011

    MAS also sells the horses they “rescue” at online auction, this means kill buyers get really good deals.


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