UPDATED: Hard to Look at…

…but please look. Then, take action. Because this dog has no voice except yours.

ACO drags an incoming dog around on a chokepole, apparently looking for a spot.
Still looking, still dragging.
Back and forth.
The ACO leaves the dog on the chokepole in the back corner. Can this dog even walk?
Hard to make out details but it appears as if the ACO is moving a puppy from one cage to another, perhaps to make room for the big dog who is still in the corner in the chokepole.
ACO forces big dog into cage.
The dog is too big for the cage and the water bowl gets pushed on to the floor.

Update: Some of us were concerned that the large dog in the small cage hadn’t been taken care of since the dragging incident yesterday. E-mails were sent to shelter director Matthew Pepper to that effect. I wondered myself if the dog needed to see a vet. I haven’t heard from anyone who received a reply from Mr. Pepper regarding the dog’s care at MAS and I can say I did not (I only received the note indicating the ACO who dragged him there yesterday was from Shelby Co). It would seem that eventually, the MAS staff did “take care of” this poor dog.

The large dog appears to be visible in the cage at the far end of this walkway.

It's nearly 2 pm before the MAS workers finally acknowledge this dog - by dragging him out of the cage on a chokepole.

I want to cry.

Dragged to the kill room.

Goodbye Dear Heart. I won't forget you.

77 thoughts on “UPDATED: Hard to Look at…

  1. Dear God, how can this continue? That poor, poor dog. I don’t even have the words . . .


    It reminds me of something another rescuer said, “there are things worse than death” – MAS?

    1. I sent a letter to everyone on the mailing list this morning. I asked if this dog was put in a noose and dragged around by the neck and then left in a cage too small for him where he was forced to lie in his own waste – and all this happened in the home of a Memphis pet owner, would this ACO be the one to write the citation?

      I have written a number of letters but so far, only one response. The Mayor replied to one of my letters last week where I had posed several questions. He didn’t say anything except that he was directing his staff to respond to my letter. I then received a reply from Matthew Pepper which, while it was great to receive a response, didn’t answer a single question I had asked. Not one.

    2. These pictures are horrid. How can anyone with compassion treat and animal like this and sleep at night. there was no reason for treating and animal like this. these people are much lower than animals and deserve the same treatment.

  2. This has got to stop. I thought of Animal Legal Defense this morning and looked up their website. There is a section on animal shelters and what to do if inhumane treatment is used on the animals and talking with shelter staff, city government officials, and the mayor does not produce desired results.

    It is a lot of information on one page. It talks about documenting with photos (thanks YesBiscuit) and contact information. Please go to this site and be informed. Then Memphis, do something!


  3. Disgraceful & even more disgraceful is that our city officials are continung to condone it. WHEN IS THIS GOING TO STOP?!! Those morons need to be in choked and crammed in cages. Im enraged that it seems to be getting worse. They have no accountability, even after past employees have been indited, I guess they know Pepper & Wharton have their “backs”?!

    1. I think if I was a Memphis taxpayer I’d be demanding a refund. I’d rather put my money towards a shelter that actually works hard to save pets.

      1. I’ve heard that there are some shelters that get paid for the number of kills they have. Is that true here?

  4. Just wondering if anyone has contacted HSUS and PETA if so what was their response. Yes I know that these two organizations are actively working against no-kill, but what is their excuse for not stopping this ongoing animal abuse in this shelter?

    1. They will not do anything. The people themselves need to go to commission meetings and make their wishes known. The louder the noise the better chance they have of being heard. The city leaders need to hear loud and clear that Memphis tax payers will not put up with the MAS treating animals that cannot defend themselves this way.

      1. I just sorta joined in on this. So it may have been covered/done already…but what about a petition? Has a petition been done and brought in front of the cities leaders? How about a crap load of media attention? Where are the news media when you really need them?? It’s the taxpayers $$ that is paying these people to abuse these animals! Maybe that’s the way it should be presented? This is where your tax dollars are going… What about contacting the rivals running against your current “leadership” (if you want to call it that). They might be more willing to make a big deal out of it-which will get media attention and hopefully stop the abuse.

      1. Yes. That’s one of the main points – to let city leaders know that out of area folks are watching and refusing to vacation there.

      2. Great!!! And yes, we are watching!! (in disgust I might add) :(

  5. Does anyone know the numbers of kennels and cages for dogs that this shelter has? They take in more than a thousand pets per month right? So they are short on cage space?

    Couldn’t a system be set up on the computer that shows the all open kennels? Then the person on the computer in the lobby could tell the kennel ACO what kennels are open for dogs or which kennel to put the dog in.

    1. I was thinking the same thing about a computer system. It wouldn’t take much to set up, Even a chart on the wall with red and green markers would help.

      1. During days when the shelter is closed (such as yesterday), it may be hard to find a worker to ask about open spots. Same with ACOs bringing in dogs after hours. It would seem appropriate to at least jot down on a piece of paper or whiteboard the locations of open kennels. The ACOs could simply cross off the spaces as they put dogs in them. Then the list could be updated the next morning when the regular staff comes in. I’m sure the software could be useful in this too but the shelter doesn’t seem all that interested in using it.

  6. Bein’ a dog lover they are a part of the family we have always had kids three usually(dogs)That guy should be dragged around with a choke pole himself!!And then cramed in a cage that is only big enough fer a Pug or any small dog!! Where was this I’d like to meet him!

    1. Rich: Memphis TN. And please, give him MY regards, after he poops his cage, smear his nose in it.

  7. This guy should be dragged around with a choke pole, then crammed in a cage a very small cage miniture dog size!! then given no water just dry dog food, with salt added in for flavor!!

  8. I see some empty wall space near that sink. Why can’t they put up a chart of all the cages there and use a red marker to mark which ones are occupied? Or maybe they do have a system kinda like that but they don’t use it properly?

  9. Just sent a mass email with these photos to the list on a previous thread. Hopefully this will bother someone (in power) enough to do something.

  10. Why abuse these animals? Don’t you know that all animals have a heart and feelings just as we do. So if you don’t love animals why pretend to care for them.

  11. Matthew Pepper responded to my e-mail to advise that the ACO in the shots above is from Shelby Co, not MAS, and that he will relay my concerns to their office. I inquired whether the dog has been tended to yet but haven’t received a response. Will let everyone know if I do.

    Regular readers know that the inhumane treatment reflected in these shots is typical of what we have seen from MAS staff and ACOs, as documented in many posts on this blog. If you are new to the blog and want to catch up on the continuing problems at MAS, visit this page:
    It contains a list of links to all the posts containing photos from the webcams. I have many shots of MAS ACOs and workers dragging dogs and stuffing large dogs into small cages, including some I’ve never posted. I’ve written to everyone on the mailing list multiple times in the past without any response. But I got a response on this one. Which I guess is just a coincidence.

  12. Oh, I dunno. I get the impression Mr. Pepper is pretty quick to respond whenever he can BLAME SOMEONE ELSE.
    Just sent my letter to everyone on the mailing list.

    1. Thank you for writing Jeanne. I hate to point out the obvious but nobody noticed this particular ACO was from Shelby Co because he acts JUST LIKE so many of the MAS ACOs and workers. As we’ve all been saying over and over…

  13. I have the pictures of the 2 dogs being surrendered this morning looks like one of them is being dragged around. I’m sure it’s the same dog!!

  14. Call you tv stations people. That poor dog is still in that too small kennel. Shame on MAS and the city of Memphis for allowing this to happen repeatedly.

  15. file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/rose/My%20Documents/My%20Pictures/Camera_9.jpgsitting%20puppy%202.jpg



    Last picture show the poor pup looking back at Mom :(

  16. Is there any way to recall the shelter director? I don’t know about Memphis law/politics but in some locales pols can be recalled. I don’t know if there is a board that can recall him, could pressure be applied there? Let the mayor know that this will be remembered come election time? I’d hate to see a bunch of these photos being used by my opposition in a campaign ad.
    There must be some way to get this to stop. Can they be sued for animal abuse? The evidence is there, if any pet owner was seen treating their dogs this way there would be an arrest.

    1. How did they get ousted the last time? Didn’t the State Police come in?

      I take the following from Animal Legal Defense:
      ” When the shelter staff or management refuse to engage in a conversation about improving the conditions for the animals in their care, contact the people or agencies who oversee the shelter and provide them with your documentation of the abusive conditions. This is often the sheriff’s department, city council, mayor or city manager. Also, check with your state Department of Agriculture to inquire about oversight of the agencies in question.
      ALDF does not have an investigative unit, so it is imperative that local authorities fully investigate the case. Laws that may apply would be state and/or local laws. To obtain local ordinances, contact your city council, local humane organization, visit your local library, or check online at http://www.municode.com.

      For situations in which your state’s anti-cruelty statues may have been violated, see ALDF’s website about criminal animal cruelty cases.”

  17. Where do they find these heartless goons that treat living creatures so cruelly? If I was a taxpayper there I’d be picketing this place daily. Praying for these poor animals. And what is wrong with people who dump animals in these hell holes. All of it just wrong wrong wrong…Praying for all of these animals.

  18. So what did this dog do?? It looks like an yellow lab, probably cant get a good grip on the floor. But then again maybe this dog mauled a school bus full of kids. Who knows? Clearly time stamped their for 24 hours. Any visibly food or water bowls? How did they clean the cage? Where did the dog deficate?
    Yes lets press charges against the shelter and shelter workers.

    Help me out, what are the Memphis Animal Shelter *myths* you would like to eexpose???? Ex. Myth When the animal shelter was raided, everything changed, they fired all the bad employees and changed their ways. Myth, Pepper *has* to euthanize 99% of the pit bulls BC they are vicious and will kill you.
    Please email me your myths with the truth to follow.

    1. I’m sorry! What did this dog do?? I don’t follow you. Please explain. And what about killing 99% ofthe pit bulls?

  19. This is just awful…I don’t even have words for these posts anymore, there is too many of them…this has got to stop! I signed the petition, but I think I did before anyway. Should we skip the mayor, doesnt look like hes going to bother with this anyway, and go to the governor?

  20. Was that dog even capable of walking? Broken pelvis?

    I want a vet report on that animal because if that dog was physically incapable of walking, then this is legally actionable.

    Matthew Pepper, you have one moment in time – now – to stop this. To turn the tide and save not only this shelter, but also your reputation from total ruin. Employers use Google, you know. Stop this. Enforce your own rules and regulations and stop letting the employees run roughshod over you.

    1. Possibly that dog in from Shelby Co. rather than within the Memphis city limits since Pepper said the ACO who was dragging him in was from Shelby Co. Poor boy. I couldn’t tell whether he was injured or so despondent he had given up on life and refused to get up. I’ve seen shelter dogs turn their faces to the wall and just lie there unresponsive. But he didn’t seem aggressive at all. Maybe very weak? To drag a sick or injured dog across the floor like that is just unthinkable. Pepper can try to explain this cruelty away by saying the guy who brought him in was from the county, but it looked like his own employee dragged the dog to the kill room. Just like all the other dogs we’ve seen get dragged down the corridor.

      1. Should read “possibly that dog came in from Shelby Co.”–oops.

  21. Why the hell does it matter where the shithead aco works? Once any animal comes into the building, it is the responsibility of Pepper and his employees to take care of that animal. This scummy passing-the-buck bs is beyond ridiculous and shows that there is absolutely no reason to let them continue to be paid for doing such a shitty job. Memphis residents need to scream and stomp a lot louder to be heard and seen over the ‘3 monkey’ attitudes that are claiming to work there.

  22. Shirley – I am so confused and heartsick at this. I am writing today – have sent emails but am going with the good ole snail mail; sometimes far more effective has it is easy to dismiss emails.

    Question: WHY do people keep bringing animals there. All of us have certain moments that won’t go away – like this poor dog here. For me, it was the german shepherd the other day – he looked so happy and interested when his shithead owner dumped him – then with no chance to even figure out what was goign on, cruelty and a frightening death.

    My question is -where is the media in Memphis? Has anyone every contacted the papers? Certaintly during our own craziness here in Toronto, the media was a HUGE factor in revealing/reporting (at times badly) and keeping people up to date with what was going on.

    It boggles my mind that the people of memphis are putting up with this. Are they even AWARE of it?

    Woudl it be helpful if we STOPPED writing the mayor and the Kill Facility and started writing the NEWSPAPERS?

    1. People keep bringing pets there because that’s what responsible people are supposed to do when they must rehome a pet and are unable to do it themselves. That’s what we WANT them to do. And of course there are irresponsible pet owners as well, just like there are irresponsible parents, drivers, etc. But even if an owner is irresponsible, we still want them to bring pets in need to the shelter. In this case, the shelter is failing. People either don’t know that or don’t know what else to do.

      Anyone wanting to contact the local media – I think it’s a great idea. Keep your notes brief and to the point.

  23. Since this is a Shelby County ACO, I wrote a complaint and e-mailed it to Shelby County officials last night. I received 2 immediate responses saying they are going to look into this.

    1. Thank you Ona. What a difference between the city of Memphis and Shelby Co officials – at least in responses. Many of us have been writing to Memphis city officials repeatedly to report incidents of abuse and needless killing without any responses. The is ONE incident reported to Shelby Co about one of their ACOs and they responded immediately. I’ll be interested to hear if anything comes of it.

      What a difference if it would have made if Memphis city officials had immediately responded with a promise to investigate when we reported the Memphis ACO hoisting the big dog up by the chokepole to the small upper tier cage – or any of the other incidents.

  24. I posted this to the facebook for “friends” of MAS and said that I understand they have no control over the shelter, as they keep saying “speak to the shelter, speak to the shelter”, but I asked what we could do if the shelter won’t speak to us about concerns.

    They promptly booted me out and I have lost my posting priviledges.


    1. Mel B- You and hundreds of others have lost their posting privileges, too…..it’s called they are trying to hide the truth and yet they also will be the first to tell you that they would never allow inhumane treatment of the animals at MAS – I call B.S. on that one! Can you say Karma?! I pray there is such a thing- b/c it’s going to come bite them in thd @ss – something the dogs should have done! We are not laying down on any of these issues and will continue to try to make some well-needed changes….we must be the voice for those that can’t speak…..

      1. They’ve been pretty tolerant of my questions for the last month or so. I guess they had enough of me.

        I can understand the rescue wanting to tread lightly so that MAS does not revoke THEIR priviledges (I’ve seen it before) but this is ridiculous.

  25. I was watching the webcams when this dog was pulled from this teensy cage. I’m not that familiar with the layout of this awful place, but I’m pretty sure the dog was was moved to one of the larger kennels in Canine Area 3 or 4. At the next refresh after the photos above, I saw the male employee trying to get what seemed to be a large dog into one of the larger kennels. Didn’t do a screen grab at the time but almost posted with relief that the big blonde dog was moved somewhere with a little more room. I’m still mortified by what is going on at the shelter, but I hope that for this one dog, things are a little bit better than they were yesterday.

    1. Thanks Melinda. In the last shot I received (posted above), the worker is heading to the kill room. To get to either Canine 3 or 4, he would have had to spin around (and spin the dog around obviously). If that’s what happened, I hope the dog has finally received the veterinary care he obviously needs and will be offered for adoption as soon as he is well enough.

  26. It is not a wonderful thing before putting to sleep or gas chamber. If this dog is healthy enough, he shouldn’t be punished like that and being dragged! I want to place the pole around the man’s neck, and squeeze so hard on him till he gets out of breath! What was wrong with the woman? Everybody is too lazy and didn’t want to clean the clean avaliable kennel, that’s why they placed big dogs into small cages. This isn’t the first. It isn’t only him, its other staffs as well. I am going to report this to Rescue Ink and see what those big guys going to do with those staffs! How about that! Maybe their voices will be heard! Rescue Ink will make a video on TV, and expose to public, and make people acknowledge of it? Lets see. What do you think of that?

    1. I love it! Seeing as how Rescue Ink is primarily involved with Pit Bulls, lets see MAS explain how they just kill them outright! I have been wondering where those beautiful pities are and now I know. I say Bring It On.

  27. Okay, I just had a thought…Since they are associated with PET FINDER and PF is associated with TLC, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, etc., why don’t we all start bombarding them with emails that we are aware of what is going on at MAS, displeased with the NON-ACTION, LIES & RUN AROUND and suggest that they dis associate themselves from MAS. That auto raise some red flags right??

  28. I am on the Face Book Pet Finder page now. This is what I am writing. I will most likely be booted but even if 1 person sees it, it will be worth it right??

  29. sorry, forgot to paste LOL …
    While I love the idea of Petfinder, (I am an avid dog lover and of all things 4 legged and furry), Petfinder, TLC, Discovery etc., may want to dis -associate themselves from the MAS where terrible abuse has been recorded and called on, but nothing is being done. Everyday, animals are going into this shelter and being dragged by a choke pole while staff laughs, shoved forcefully into cages that are too small, etc. etc. It has come to the attention of MANY outside the state of TN and is gaining momentum. Please either help us help these poor souls or dis-associate from them.

  30. Wow-response from Pet Finder…
    Hi Stefani — If you have concerns about a group on Petfinder, please email us at pets [at] petfinder [dot] com. Thank you. Sharpen your pencils people, we may have found our “IN”

    1. Hopefully someone else will clarify here but I was under the impression that MAS itself is not on Petfinder but rather the “Friends” are, just as MAS is not on FB but the “Friends” are. Presumably the “Friends” operate with the consent of MAS.

      1. You know, I think you’re right but MAS is listed on Pet Finders site (under the search key) so I would assume that there is some sort of connection. Pet Finder may want to look into them if they are going to keep them on their site as a “reputable” welfare group. Maybe I’m grasping at straws but at this point, if it makes people stop and think for one second, they might be inclined to help the situation. I’m hopping anyway. :)

      2. As much as I would love for MAS to burn in hell, I would hate for MAS or FMAS to lose their Petfinder privileges. This hurts only the animals.

      3. It would hurt the lucky few who get posted on Petfinder but as things stand, the 77% of pets at MAS who are being killed, sight unseen, are being hurt far worse. I’d like to see SOMEONE give MAS a wake up call and force them to straighten up and fly right. Their privileges could always be reinstated after they reformed to meet Petfinders’ standards, whatever those may be (I don’t know).

      4. Mel, I totally understand what you’re saying. I thought about that as I was writing to Pet Finder but I have to agree with YesBiscuit. Those poor dogs are in a no win situation right now and maybe, just maybe, they (MAS) will get the idea when they realize that this is much bigger than one person or one group and that they must be held accountable for their actions at all times. The majority of dogs on PF are not the majority that are being neglected, abused or worse…killed. This whole situation just breaks my heart!!

  31. They drag this poor dog like a mere bag of trash. I can’t believe thse people are so uncaring about a living breathing animal. Dogs are supposed to be Man’s Best Friend, but some men are not a dogs’ best friend.

  32. I do not even have words for this horrific cruelty to animals.This is not a shelter…it is a DEATH camp! I thought a shelter was there to help animals..not to torture them to death. The person in charge of this torture and death chamber is Matthew Pepper and he should be fired immediately!! I hope he does not have pets of his own!! I nor my family will visit the Memphis area until I see some action taken to stop this abuse. The Memphis shelter has a facebook page and tries to act like they are involved in the community and doing all these events to help out the animals. In reality we now know the real truth…they are DELIBERATELY killing animals as if it pleasures them!! Please remember this….in the end man will be judged by the way they treated their animals!!!!

  33. I know that many people don’t believe in God & I don’t want to offend anyone here. Although the thing I’m thinking is that there are worse things than any of us dying, because we all will. My hope/prayer/wish is that there is an eternal heaven for animals & an eternal hell for cruel humans that abuse them. The pathetic thing is that those p.o.s. ‘humans’ probably go to church & ‘praise the lord’, & go to courthouse & scream for their ‘civil rights’, & go to the park & b-b-q & lavish in the beauty of nature. They make me sick. What a backwards, ignorant culture.

  34. How much do these “employees” make, does anyone know? I would think that, if seeing the blatant cruelty wouldn’t melt your Memphis heart, knowing you were shelling out hard earned tax dollars to pay for it might.

    This makes me cry.

  35. This is such a disgrace to the shelter’s sense of purpose. Is that guy still working there? I cannot imagine how that type of abuse can be considered acceptable? That worker should be fired on the spot… Is there any way of submitting this type of abuse to the police department or animal care and control in that area? The evidence is right in front of us.. and that worker should be punished and used to set an example of what will be done to others who choose to abuse animals.

  36. Considering all the abuse on this blog and the one about the puppies dumped in the trash (among other things), hasnt anyone considered contacting the ASPCA or any other type of group that is supposed to be associated with animal abuse, since that is in fact what it is? Maybe some fines and jailtime will turn into a wakeup call, even if just for a few. Or has this happened already and I missed it? I know the ASPCA doesnt have a great reputation in general but Im getting desperate here..

  37. The point of the matter is Pepper has no control of any of the staff there, even when they don’t adhere to his very own policys, he still sticks up for them, when one is written up, the write up has to be handled in 10 days, he waits till the 11th day…well that just went into the trash, to Pepper, everyone outside MAS is a liar…the staff has policy about everything and with the cam pics, these people don’t follow it at all and still Pepper stands behind his staff..when you ride a dead horse to the ground you usually die with it…Pepper you need to bail now.

  38. This place has been a nightmare for YEARS. I rescued my Beau from them six years ago…and it was just as bad then. I am told they are not doing anything “illegal” (as if that is any comfort to that poor dog who died in so much fear).

  39. Animal cruelty and abuse is against the law. carrying a dog by the skin of his back, and dragging an animal by a choke pole would be considered cruelty if a citizen did this, but I guess they are above the law. Allowing an animal to starve or go without needed medical care is against the law also and is punishable by a fine or jail time. If it is behind the doors of a “killing facility” is it less of a crime? I think the laws are for all, no exceptions.

Leave a Reply