Memphis City Council Member Responds to Complaints Regarding MAS

Bringing up from the comments:

Thought you would all like to know the response I just received in regard to a petition I signed pertaining to this so-called “shelter”.  This is the email in its entirety.
Monday, May 16, 2011 8:34 PM

So what?
Councilwoman Janis Fullilove

From: Kim Venturo []
Sent: Monday, May 16, 2011 06:51 PM
To: Fullilove, Janis
Subject: Stop Allowing the Abuse at Memphis Animal Services to Continue


The public keeps demanding that something gets done at how animals are treated at Memphis Animal Services, so letters will continue to be written until the MAS becomes a safe-haven for animals. A kill rate of 77% is absolutely unacceptable unless every means has been sought out to find them a home and there is no other method. Memphis Animal Services is not making this attempt.

It kills pets who are not medically hopeless and suffering or been declared a danger to society by a qualified party. Such as the amount of bully breeds put to sleep for no reason other then their breed. Animals who are sick do not need to be killed to prevent spreading. A plea to the public for foster homes will find them somewhere to get better while they await adoption. The public is not as irresponsible as some tend to believe. Bartlett Animal Shelter was in danger of flooding and they sent a plea that ALL animals had to be out by the end of a week. EVERY animal found a foster home. The same could be done for illnesses, and fosters can also pay for medical treatments in some cases when lack of money is a problem. This is not a reason to murder.

Not only does MAS not give animals a chance with diseases to find a home by making a plea to the public, they basically ask for diseases to happen and spread by: failing to vaccinate all incoming pets as per standard disease prevention protocol, failing to remove dogs and food from cages during cleaning as per standard disease prevention protocol, failing to keep cats separated from the sight, sound and smell of dogs in order to reduce stress and make the population less susceptible to disease, and failing to provide daily aerobic exercise for dogs for social stimulation and in order to reduce stress and make the population less susceptible to disease.

No dog, cat, etc should ever be put to sleep as long as there are cages available. Killing animals to make room for animals who may or may not come in is unacceptable. Killing those animals before room is ABSOLUTELY needed gives them less time at finding a home, and sparing death. By killing when there is room the kill-rate obviously is going to rise. Not lower. And a high kill-rate is not something to brag about.

More cats could additionally be spared from a sad unneeded death by taking up a “trap, neuter, and release” program. Feral cats obviously cannot be adopted out into the public, nor do they want to be. But that doesn’t mean they need to be killed. They just need to be fixed so that more ferals are not produced. Over time the feral population will decrease on its own. As of now by just putting to sleep feral cats, it does nothing to stop the population from growing as long as other reproductive feral cats are still alive. Feral cats can manage to survive on their own and are happier to do that then to die at the hands of someone they fear. And most times, people are willing to feed them as well. By fixing feral cats so they can no longer reproduce, but releasing them back from where they came it WILL diminish the population. AND the added bonus comes up of not having a high kill rate. The money from not euthanizing so many pets and disposing of their bodies can be spent on somehing
proactive like this instead.

The killing of pets who have never been made available to the public for adoption, rescue or foster is unfair and wrong. It doesn’t give every animal a chance, and destins animals to die who could have been spared if employees had only taken the time. It does not take money to take a picture of an animal and put it on Petfinder. Send it to a rescue who could probably take the animal from the shelter and make room for more pets to come into MAS without killing others, or give potential fosters a chance to realize “hey I could save this dog/cat from death by fostering” if a dog/cat is never made available to the public. MAS also fails to utilize their Chameleon software to interface with PetHarbor so that every pet is viewable online by the public.

As the death rate continues to stay the same the saddest part is at MAS’s failure to properly train and/or enforce humane handling of pets by the staff. Cats and puppies are captured ON WEB CAM being picked up by their scruffs and fronts legs. These animals who are basically sentenced to death never experience a moment of kindness at the hands of the employees, and instead their last moments are spent fearing the people meant to shelter them. At the very least find someone who knows how to handle an animal correctly. With an unemployment rate as high as it is, I’m sure some new employees could be found willing to work with animals every day, and in the correct manner. Who knows maybe even for less pay? So more can be spent on the animals.

The Enraged Public

Kim Venturo
Myrtle Beach, SC

Note: this email was sent as part of a petition started on, viewable at To respond, email and include a link to this petition.


Finally, we get a glimpse of that uncaring public we hear so much about in Memphis.

Local taxpayers, are you getting your money’s worth out of your public servants?

81 thoughts on “Memphis City Council Member Responds to Complaints Regarding MAS

  1. Wow! “So what?” what an intelligent, caring and responsible answer. And they say the public is irresponsible! Are the city council members elected officials? This email needs to be seen by all of Memphis.

  2. Well, Janis just got an e-mail from me questioning her values, integrity & ethics. I asked her to kindly EARN her taxpayer funded paycheck and resolve a serious issue that has gained media attention across the country. I highly doubt she has the brain power to comprehend the words. She is just too ignorant to care.

  3. Wow, seriously, what the hell? And they have the gall to accuse ‘the public’ of being uncaring? I think they’re projecting.

  4. And one wonders why things are bad in Memphis.
    Not just MAS but most everything.

    Couple her answer with the statement given by Bobby White, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, at the MAS Advisory Board meeting and you have a glimpse of why things are so bad.

  5. Is her name really FullILOVE? what a misnomer.a joke. can you take this to the press? Think she was drunk.. on drugs.. or just so unconcerned as to be NOT SO FullILOVE? what “public servant” paid by YOU the taxpayer has the nerve to respond to her constituents in this disrespectful manner.. any press she gets is well deserved..she should be ashamed of herself..

    1. Anyone who has the track record that Janice Fullilove has( police called to her house 70 times in two years) probably should be more careful about the comments they make to the public. This is not a person that should be in city government. Between the drinking, drugging, and lying she does she is not capable to judge anything.

      1. That is about par for the course for HER!!! You need to post about this on her public page!!!

  6. Ms. Fullilove is full of something, but it ain’t love…
    I suspect she felt free to respond so callously because you are in South Carolina and not Tennessee. Not justifying it (not by a long shot) but I have an understanding of how politicians think…if you can’t vote *for* her then that means you can’t vote *against* her either.

    1. That is what I thought at first.
      Then I received a copy of an email sent tonight to a Memphis citizen. Yep, same answer.
      He sent a complaint about MAS and the answer from Fullilove was “so what”.

  7. wow.. i made the drunk/drug comment without knowing her history.. just google the name.. pretty interesting.. I believe in rehab.. and redemption but maybe in the case.. hmmmm.. no matter what the case this was not a respectful answer to a very well written impassioned letter.

    1. I think if she were a stray at MAS, she’d be taken down the hall immediately as a hopeless case. Too bad heh?

  8. I also see that the letter writer is not from her district.. who really who cares.. they can’t vote for her.. obviously she does not give a damn..

    1. see my comment above.

      That is what I thought at first.
      Then I received a copy of an email she sent tonight to a Memphis citizen. Yep, same answer.
      He sent a complaint about MAS and the answer from Fullilove was “so what”.

  9. According to her Facebook page, she supports the Pedigree Adoption Drive.

    So what?

  10. Ok, so lets give Mrs Fullilove a chance and help her finish her sentence. She does have a chemical dependency on prescription pain killers (which is very document btw) so maybe she hit “send” to soon. *Maybe* just maybe she meant to say. “So what….are our options?” “So what….about firing pepper?” “So what…if it is an election year, get Wharton out now!” “So what…is this hoobie hob about strays?” *maybe* she meant “say what?” Like she was just as shocked as the next Guy. I mean I’m trying to be fair.

    1. Nice try Kim. She is one hard cookie and the way she lives her life tells me that she is what she is. And I don’t want to go there!!!!!!

  11. Had to raise my eyebrows at her bio on Twitter:
    “Sensitive, compassionate and loves the people of Memphis” (just doesn’t give a damn about the animals of Memphis, does she)

  12. I just posted on her “Fan page” a photo of one of the dogs being dragged and asked her what if it were her beloved little dog being treated like this. One good thing I do have to say about her response it that at least she showed her true colours instead of lying and glad-handing that she would look into it and various other LIES!!!

  13. I’m not surprised, she is a drunk and a drug addict and really has no business holding any public office, she needs to be in REHAB. Ugh.

  14. So what? That does explain a lot if she is typical of the folks who are running things in Memphis. Tell me that ain’t so . . .
    Next step?

    BTW, that was a wonderfully written letter and stated quite succinctly exactly what we’ve all been saying throughout the past few weeks. Nice job to the writer.

    So what? Still shaking my head over that one.

  15. As a Memphian I can tell you she is a disgrace. She is a drunk and has gotten arrested about a million times. Pathetic.

  16. My letter to her:

    I find your response to this letter and petition reprehensible. Animals are here on earth and alive, and they deserve to be treated respectfully and kindly while they are alive. There are proven methods of changing and creating 10 policies which will eliminate the need for euthanasia in shelters. Look up Nathan Winograd, or the No Kill Solution.

    This situation is entirely preventable. Do you like your community disgraced like this? How wonderful would it feel to turn the situation around and have no animals killed, and a shelter that was a model for other shelters around the nation?

    You are in office because you are supposed to be a public SERVANT. And apparently you’ve forgotten that with your comment of “So what?” as quoted below.

    Is it that you just don’t care about animals? You know what they say about people that have no empathy for animals, they go on to commit crimes against people and are quite often sociopaths. Are you a sociopath? I think not, otherwise you wouldn’t be in a position where you thought you were going to help people, the community, and society.

    So perhaps dig deep down inside you and find your morality, humanity, and empathy for all of the creatures on this earth and realize that your animal shelter is a DISGRACE, and needs some rapid transformation. There is proof by the cameras that are installed. The cruelty and inhumanity is being recorded every day.

    Please do something. Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

      1. Thank you, it was really hard to be nice. I tried to be inspirational, attacking gets you no where.

  17. Time for billboard ideas, I think. How about “Save your soul! Get out of Memphis now! Your public servants have already embraced the darkness and you and your children will be next!”

    Or “Memphis kills puppies and Mayor Wharton is fine with that.”

    Or “Mayor Wharton spends $92,000 of YOUR tax money every year to kill puppies. Tell him to stop.”

    1. If somebody local scopes out a good locale and finds out the cost, we can start a chip-in if it seems a worthwhile expenditure to spread awareness.

      As for ideas, I only got one thing on the brain this morning: So what?

      1. It should be put in a very prominent place where loads of tourists can see it!!!

      2. I’m in. How about a call-and-response thing where you list a simple horrible fact and then the response from the City gov–City council says, “so what?” And then “Memphis citizens, what do YOU think” or “is this that YOU want to see at your shelter?” Include a large photo depicting the abuse.

      3. Please Jeanne, Don’t make us choose just one. How could we possibly narrow it down from a veritable sea of fine candidates?

      4. Ya, I was already thinking so many photos, so little time, money and billboards to spread them across Memphis on! LAWL, paper the city.

      5. This is too tempting. Hmmmm, how about “This is your city” and then a photo of Fullilove pole dancing and “This is your city on drugs”? Sorry, just spitballing here….

      6. I love the billboard idea. What about adds in the Memphis Flyer and the commercial appeal too?? This needs to be taken seriously and people need to be made aware of what is taking place here as well as in other shelters doing the same thing throughout this region. Put their dirty laundry in the open. I love my city and there are some good things going on here, but this is crazy and unecessary to do this to those voiceless, helpless creatures who only want to please us and get love back…

  18. I just asked her where her “campaign donations” really go:

    When you beg for financial support for your “re-election”, does the money really go towards that or does it go towards your habits??? We, as the public have the RIGHT to know where “campaign contributions” go and if they are being properly used towards a campaign and not other things!!!

  19. Fullilove is a public embarrassment. She makes our city look bad, as if we needed help with that. I know her stepson well, and he is horrified daily. It’s disgusting. She is not your “typical” Memphian.
    Memphis is filled with caring people who work hard to make it a better place for everyone-people and pets alike. But as is typical in politics, religion, and everything else, it’s the loud azzhats who make everyone else look bad. I guess the good guys just need to get loud. I’m workin’ on it.

    1. Actually, with her response – and I still can’t get my brain around it – she is helping us a lot. Can’t believe her credibility is anything but questionable.
      I think a flyer is a good idea if we could figure out whether it was legal and feasible economically. (Maybe we could get a grant to help the animals – by getting rid of the idiots . . . )
      Perhaps a full page ad in the local paper would be another option. I know we’re talking big bucks, but the word has to get out there somehow.

  20. Just a thought…can both emails be put into a mailer and mailed to every resident in her voting district?

    1. Forget the mailer (too costly)- a few of us will hand deliver, to each resident, and will enjoy every moment of it – we will get the word out to those few that are not aware. We are on a mission- we won’t stop until we get the changes we so desperately need. It WILL happen!

    1. There is a facebook group Memphis kills pets! I can’t believe that an elected official would respond like that. I have no faith in the elected officals of Memphis and the employees at MAS except one. We all need to unite to help the poor pets of Memphis!

      1. @ Kara,
        there are more employees at MAS that are good. Not many, but more than one.

  21. All of them are worthless liars on the city council, but the THREE worst ones are Fullilove, Wanda Halbert (another liar who has posted already on her FB page that the dogs and their supporters can go away) and Barbara Swearingen-Ware!!!

  22. Such human qualities as morality, compassion, decency, wisdom and so forth have been the foundations of all civilizations. These qualities must be cultivated and sustained through systematic moral education in a conductive social environment, so that a more humane world may emerge.
    – His Holiness the Dalai Lama

  23. How in the world did this lady get a job on the city council? And why is she still there if most people think she shouldn’t be there? Sounds like Memphis needs many new leaders from top to bottom.

    By the way, great letter!

  24. So What?

    Wow. That’s it? So What?

    Is that all the info your brain could process during a reply to an email? A two word statement full of indifference? I guess hoping for a three or four word reply was asking too much of you,much less hoping for anything intelligent and thoughtful coming to your dysfunctional brain.

    An infant could have come up with a better response.

    Well,Councilwoman Fullacrap, that will be OUR response to your tears, come Election Day when your sorry a$$ is out of a job.
    So What?

    Wow….so what? Still cant get over that. Memphis’s death camp must have a job requirement of IQ’s under -2 or less ONLY. “Intelligence not required, and in fact is discouraged.”

    That woman is a great walking advertisement for birth control.

    P.S. If this loser of a councilwoman was taken to a death camp, and had a lethal injection headed her way, she may still mutter two words. But they wouldnt be “so what?”, I can tell you that.

  25. My email to the Councilwoman:

    Councilwoman Fullilove,

    Recently, a group of compassionate pet lovers, who were expecting you to offer……something of value and intelligence (we expected too much of you, apparently), re: the mass murder of pets in that garbage dump of a “shelter” you have in your disgraceful city, expressed their concerns to you. Indeed EVERY civilized, intelligent, compassionate, honorable person is concerned with their fellow precious living souls being murdered needlessly…(that you’re not, says all that we need to know about you.)

    Your response was lame, and I do mean LAME. A two month old fetus in her Mother’s womb could have shown more interest, and offered more advice, concern, compassion and reverence for life, to this concerned group of individuals than you did.

    Your lame response….”So What?”

    This indifferent, incoherent, ignorant, arrogant, speciesist, and just plain immature and devolved non response, has to rank right up there in political history, as one of the most absurd, rotten, mindless, careless, ridiculous replies to a citizen’s concern, ever given by a Council member.

    You, like your death camp (it’s not a shelter so I cant call it that) are a disgrace.

    Let me put it this way:

    You are walking down the street, having a great day. All of a sudden, you are grabbed, thrown into a “Human Animal Control” truck, against your will, because ignorant city council members such as yourself do not value life, and you are then taken to a death camp.

    You are then given a lethal injection, and your precious life comes to an end.

    A furious relative, we’ll name her “Jane”, writes to the Mayor, and describes the injustice of what happened to you, and receives a reply from the Mayor, as follows:

    To Jane,

    So What?


    Mayor John Doe

    Are you beginning to wake up from your hibernation yet, Janis?

    Do you now GET IT?

    Get over yourself Councilwoman. You are just one of many precious living souls sharing this Earth with other, EQUALLY as precious living souls, such as our four legged family members….Cats and Dogs, etc.

    We all love life. We all deserve life. Equally.

    So, in short, grow up and become a mature woman who takes life and citizens’ concerns seriously.

    YOU are part of the killing problem, instead of being part of the No Kill Shelter solution.

    Your response to the letter from pet lovers made you look like an uncaring nitwit. You are better than that. Arent you?

    I guess we’ll find out, wont we?

    Take care,

    Matthew DeLuca

    1. Wow! That is a great letter. I agree with everything and couldn’t have composed a better way of saying it. Thank you. Now let’s just hope she can actually read.

    2. My mother posted a couple of the worst photos, which I had put comments on, on her private FB page.

    3. Bravo Matt! I agree that this was an awesome letter. Thank you!

      Maybe come election time when Memphians say “So what” to her it will start to sink in. Probably not if shes never sober but we can hope..

  26. I hope she rots in the hell she has coming to her! After she gets arrested a few more times and her videotaped drunk ass falls off a few more barstools! What a joke of a human being!

  27. I have gone down her FB page where she is asking for money for her reelection campaign and just made the comment “so what?” after every plea. She is the WORST.

  28. Visit her “Friends of Janis Fullilove” page on Facebook and show her how fullilove we are for her fullohate.

  29. I am in Memphis and am posting a link to the email on my Facebook page. I am ashamed to see that any Memphian (or person) could be so heartless about what is going on in our city.

    1. I also just sent her the exact email here. I am curious to see what she says to a Memphis resident.

  30. Is she serious? Thats it? I think Id almost prefer the “faining interest” type comments.

    I think Carla said it best: Wow! “So what?” what an intelligent, caring and responsible answer. And they say the public is irresponsible! Are the city council members elected officials? This email needs to be seen by all of Memphis.

  31. What if we met her arrogance and a$$holiness attitude with compassion instead of vitriol? We would certainly take her by surprise…

  32. Janis Fullilove has just posted on my mother’s Facebook wall and here is what she had to say:

    Janis Full O Love said:

    Ms. Hastings, I appreciate your comments, but you and others have totally taken what I said out of context….Nuff said

    1. out of context? But the “So what?” was the entirety of the message. What context is she talking about? Maybe she typed it in invisible ink?

      1. Well, you know Shirley, we really don’t know what she may have said before or after the “so what” remark, so we really shouldn’t judge….

      2. Well it doesn’t count if she SAID something else. Because it was an E-MAIL. As such, only typing counts, haha.

      3. Lol I love the snark on this page. I was going to say the same thing as Shirley, how can you take TWO WORDS out of context? It must be the “before and after” thing again, like the puppies magically flying into the trashcan.

  33. This was emailed to Janis Fullilove, Memphis City Council member ——

    Oh, gosh, I have just been “nice” as long as I can stand it . . .

    HELLO! If the collective you keep doing the same thing, the collective you will get the same results.
    MCC absolutely refuses to enact, much less demand enforcement of, reasonable laws; instead, it blindly followed the village idiot when he proposed those inane, insane mandatory spay/neuter laws and enacted them! No chance of MCC doing the smart thing and demanding the enforcement of the one law on the books that could/would make a difference – THE LEASH LAW! As I have been telling a succession of MCC members for more than twenty years, most if not all of our animal and shelter problems could be resolved if that one law was enforced. Yet, you all seem more than willing to do almost anything BUT that which is most effective and needed.

    One more time for the slow section – Enforcing the leash law will make our streets safer for citizens and reduce the animal kill rate! And, no city with a high ongoing low kill rate has mandatory spay/neuter laws because of the adversarial relationship such laws generate within the community.

    MCC also fails to properly fund MAS! You expect MAS to do magic somersaults and somehow run an effective and efficient shelter without the money or manpower necessary to do so! This will result in future human fatalities and the continued killing of animals. One might think a politician would care about losing a potential voter but, well, you only lose one every few years or so, right? Not enough for you folks to get really excited about . . . And, Lord knows if you don’t really care about people dying, you certainly are not going to care about the thousands of animals dying at MAS each year.

    Re: Matthew Pepper — How about taking the shackles off his efforts and the gag out of his mouth before he turns tail and runs like so many of our previous shelter administrators? Then who will we be left with? I can tell you – the “volunteers” you are giving free reign over the shelter! Some job they are doing . . . HAH! How is that 77% kill rate working for you? (By the way, at least one of those volunteers, probably more, contributes to these problems on an ongoing basis – think of that one volunteer as a double, maybe even triple, agent provocateur with a huge personal agenda.)

    I can’t believe I am wasting time expressing my thoughts on this issue again – it isn’t like any of you have enough sense to recognize common sense, peer-reviewed science, or even reason when it is presented. There are none so blind as those who will not see — especially those with a personal and/or political agenda.

    In case it is not already crystal clear to you, unless and until MCC gets off its collective ass and does the right thing, this problem is NOT going to go away. This thing is bigger than you or me. It has a life of its own. Far too many people know the truth now for it ever to just go away. I lost the battle over the mandatory spay/neuter laws but you will lose the war. People will no longer sit idly by and accept hot air about a high kill rate when they know it does not have to be that way.

    Quit giving “lip service” to caring and do the right thing for a change!

    Donna Malone

  34. Dear Janis Fulilove,
    I hope that on judgement day you stand befor the Lord and passionately plead your case. List of all the good thing you have done, the people you have helped and the difference you made. After hearing why you believe you should be spared from hell the Lord should look at you and say “So What?”. Then delete you from mind and thought just like you deleted the emails from concerned citizens over the treatment of animals at Menphis Animal Shelter.

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