Mayor Wharton Issues Statement on Trash Can Family

Don’t get too excited though:

While this may be an isolated instance of poor judgment, we apologize for the perception this photo has created. Our webcam captures approximately 63,000 images each day or 2 million images per month. While we are not ignoring this single image, we can assure you our employees are well trained and compassionate. Further, we are looking into this matter. Should we conclude that disciplinary action is needed, we will take the appropriate action. The city of Memphis has made great improvements to the facility and will continue to do so.

Memphis Animal Shelter’s euthanasia rate has decreased from 77.4% in 2010 to 73.1% currently. Additionally, adoption numbers are up. This time last year, 674 versus 950 thus far in 2011.

I made a slideshow of isolated instances of poor judgment at MAS for Mayor Wharton and anyone else who’s interested.

At least the mayor isn’t hitting that “40% increase in the adoption rate” pipe anymore.  But really, quoting the adoption NUMBERS instead of the adoption RATE to try and fool people into thinking MAS is adopting out more pets relative to how many they take in?  That’s hellalame.

Oh and a 4% decrease in killings for the first 4 months of the year compared to the previous 12 months?  To quote our beloved public servant in Memphis:  So What?

Memphis – Have you had enough yet?  Take action.

Leave a comment

28 Comments

  1. K G

     /  May 18, 2011

    And those who are disagreeing with him and questioning him about this, such as myself, are being banned from being able to comment on his page and our comments are being deleted!!!

    Reply
    • Matt

       /  May 18, 2011

      “And those who are disagreeing with him and questioning him about this, such as myself, are being banned from being able to comment on his page and our comments are being deleted!!!”

      Ah, they must have been taught those tactics from “Best Friends” Animal Society.
      One word on the BF forums about Wayne Pacelle or Jane Hoffman being killers…boom…account deleted.

      Makes you want to sing the National Anthem, doesnt it?

      Reply
    • beth

       /  May 19, 2011

      WOW! Just like FMAS page – they just don’t want people to know the truth!

      Reply
    • Keep sending them to the top dogs in the Government – the Govenor!

      Reply
  2. db

     /  May 18, 2011

    Does this man not realize that many are watching the webcam and see what’s happening?

    Reply
    • Just remember db – everything you see on the webcams may be an isolated incident and you have no idea what you’re seeing anyway so just sit down and shut up. Thanks for your concern.

      Reply
      • db

         /  May 18, 2011

        That’s okay. My emails to the mayor are going out regularly and at least I had something from him to respond to. Too bad he thinks we’re as dumb as some of those council-people he has working for him. This is not going away.

  3. Tammy

     /  May 18, 2011

    Mayor Wharton, since I can’t post on your facebook page anymore then I’ll post on here. You are a blind, ignorant fool if you think the puppies in the trash can was an isolated incident. Open your eyes, Man. You have a bunch of uncaring, mean spirited, and untrained employees at MAS. That place is a nightmare to every animal that enters and YOUR “compassionate” employees make it that way. You are not an honorable government official. You’re just some lucky schmuck who happened to get elected. Go watch your sports game and praise the President coming to a local high school because that’s all you’re good for. I hope every picture captured on the web cam gets documented as abuse at MAS and you are held accountable for allowing it to happen. I can’t wait to see you on the evening news explaining your lack of judgment to the city of Memphis.

    Reply
  4. Susan

     /  May 18, 2011

    Are we absolutely sure that even the 674 versus 950 is even true? In Chameleon, if you don’t know what you are doing–and sometimes, maybe especially, if you do know what you are doing–it’s pretty easy to count an animal twice or even three times. For example, Mama Kat comes into the shelter but goes to foster care to deliver her four kittens. So one intake and one outcome (hopefully logged as foster care and not “lost”). So when Mama Kat and four kittens come back from foster care, it’s possible that if the family gets adopted, it counts as 5 adoptions when it was only logged as one intake. It’s not how it should be done but it is one way to fudge a euthanasia *rate* (e.g., count each time an animal comes in or out of foster or goes to the vet as an intake but then you kill the animal only once so the rate looks lower.) I’m not saying that MAS is lying; I just want proof that the numbers–which are still disgraceful and horrifying–are even valid. Audit, anyone?

    Reply
    • Anne

       /  May 19, 2011

      i’m not familiar personally with Chameleon (just AIMS and PetPoint), but wouldn’t the kittens (even though they were born in foster) still have to be entered into the Chameleon database with some sort of Intake (such as ‘Born in Foster)?
      Every other system i’ve worked with, the animal must receive an Intake before they can process an Outcome- otherwise your stats would be screwed up just like you said (end up with more Outcomes than Intakes)

      On another note- do we think that MAS is actually sending pregnant cats (or any cats) to foster? :-)

      Reply
      • AFAIK Anne, and I know someone will correct me if I’ve got wrong info – MAS does not have a foster program. They have something called a foster category on their stats but it’s actually people willing to adopt sick/special needs pets, pay to have them vetted and all other expenses, then return them to the shelter at some future time when the shelter can collect the adoption fee from someone else.

        There are some rescue groups in Memphis, I know Meows and BowWows is one example – that do offer true foster programs. It’s a great way to save lives.

      • Susan

         /  May 19, 2011

        What makes me suspicious of the numbers is the large number of animals “missing” or “lost” in the shelter. As Anne correctly points out, the intakes and outcomes are supposed to add up. And didn’t we find out months ago that the blue juice numbers weren’t adding up? But maybe that was another “shelter.” During the ASPCA $100K challenge the desired outcome was more adoptions as well as more animals RTOed (Return to Owner). I know of at least one case where someone came in to surrender an animal, found out that the shelter was not no-kill and changed their minds about going through with the surrender (all in the span of less than 5 minutes–the animal never received any shelter services or even a cage). Voila, a “return to owner.” I’m not saying that is wrong or harmful but I am saying that all systems (whether Chameleon, AIMS, PetPoint, etc.) allow for some degree of manipulation/distortion of data. I guess my point is that if they are going to claim “improvement” they better be able to show that it isn’t just creative accounting.

  5. Laura

     /  May 18, 2011

    Yeah, he sounds real concerned. Has it aired on CNN yet?

    Reply
  6. Elizabeth

     /  May 18, 2011

    Can we use some laps in judgement and put him and his idiot council members in trash can? Or drag them by a chock pole? I mean everyone’s entitled to a “bad” judgement call… Right?

    What an a$$hole! Thank you sir for making it know that animals don’t mean a thing to you- come election time when you lose votes maybe then you will open your eyes. Congratulations wharton on being a stand up guy and a great mayor… You make me sick.

    Reply
  7. Matt

     /  May 18, 2011

    Memphis Animal Shelter’s euthanasia rate has decreased from 77.4% in 2010 to 73.1% currently.

    Ooooooh a 4% decrease, meaning you kill roughly, one less pet per every two weeks, or every month?

    While that is good for that one lucky pet, it is, essentially NON PROGRESS to those of us who know that killing 1% of healthy pets is wrong.

    Forgive me for not breaking out the ticker tape and scheduling a parade just yet.

    4% less murders are considered acceptable “Progress”?

    “So What?” responses to complex letters of concern from citizens?

    Hey Memphis, ever hear of “shooting for the stars”?

    You’re shooting for the cord on your ceiling fans.

    Serious question, no sarcasm…Has evolution hit Memphis yet?

    The Flintstones look like the Jetsons compared to the city of Memphis.

    Wonders never cease……

    Reply
  8. Donna Miller

     /  May 18, 2011

    You didn’t really see what you think you saw. Besides, the matter is under investigation. The employee has been disciplined. The pictures have been taken out of context.

    How long are we going to hear those same empty words? The reason things like this continue to happen at the “shelter” is because the employess have a union protecting them. A union doesn’t belong in an animal shelter.

    Privitize the place!

    Reply
  9. Donna Lake

     /  May 19, 2011

    Oh please, I DON’T like to puke this early, the statement says “Employees with Compassion” Where in there as* ????? You say trained, LMFAO, to do what
    choke, jab, drag, pull, stuff a large dog in a small area….Hose the cage with the animal still in it…I think you may have one employee….that cares….

    Reply
    • Anne

       /  May 19, 2011

      ha! did you read ‘mad merc’s’ response to the article?

      Reply
  10. Is the link to the slideshow not working for everybody? I’ve heard from a couple of people that it seems to be getting stuck and not loading. I’m not all that familiar with the Kodak website – I just saw they made slideshows so I used it. Anyone having trouble can e-mail me and I’ll send you an invitation to view the slideshow via the Kodak website. That SHOULD work…

    Reply
    • beth

       /  May 19, 2011

      unfortunately, can’t get it to work – I imagine the media should view the slideshow too – but remember, 60,000 webcam shots per day….What a crock of crap!

      Reply
  11. rebecca

     /  May 19, 2011

    they say out of thousands of photo these are put up…hello there should be NOTHING like this going on one photo should shame you!!! Get the dogs adopeted work with rescue organzations to get them adopted out!! stop killing all these animals and get people in there that care!!!! get those crimimals out of there (who puts animal abusers in a shelter???

    Reply
  12. Denise

     /  May 19, 2011

    Here’s my email to the Mayor and our “esteemed” lol, City Council. I think I got the point across.

    Email: I am one of the millions across the country who has watched in utter horror the goings on at MAS and have joined the letter writing campaign sponsored by Yes Biscuit and Word Press.

    I am extremely appalled, disgusted and saddened by the arrogance and utter lack of compassion exhibited by some of our city leaders and city council members regarding the goings on at MAS. It appears it is still the status quo to “sweep it under the rug” so as not to bring attention to the matter. Too late. All across America people are watching and keeping tabs on MAS. THESE animals, for the most part, are being treated inhumanely, being tortured by choke holds and made to lay in their own feces and urine. These animals were at one time someone’s beloved pet or found dumped by some irresponsible owners who no longer has time to care for the pet. The webcams tell the story, one only needs to watch. Evidently, putting a stupid fish on the Pyramid is more important than what is happening at MAS even after the “famous raid” by Mayor Wharton, which is no deterrent to the behavior of the employees there.

    I am a lifelong Memphian and I have been to MAS on numerous occasions. I can tell you, this is NOT an “isolated incident” Mayor. Look at the web shots; read the captions, open your eyes…..ALL of you. Why even suggest to us out here that the incident is being “investigated” when the previous “criminal investigation” under the previous director isn’t over? Investigated how, and by whom? I, along with thousands of others would really like to know this information. We are not fools, we care about these animals. People around the nation and the globe are watching, and cannot fathom such a facility as our MAS here in Memphis. In fact, a lady from out of town was lucky enough to adopt a dog through one of the rescue groups here at MAS from this so called “shelter”, having saved another innocent dog’s life. These animals are scared and hungry when they are brought to MAS and their situation is exacerbated by the treatment they receive when being put in a very small kennel or taken to the kill room. This is abhorrent and should not be tolerated under any circumstances, but it continues to go on, every day. There are no checks and balances and no one is being held accountable. Why is this? We don’t want excuses, we want answers. We don’t want lip service, we want results. Is any of this in the future plans of MAS? Why or why not?

    I read an avid animal lover’s letter to you same people the other day, and I was horrified at the response he received from one city council member, Janis Fullilove. Her response, in it’s entirety? “So, what?” How utterly arrogant and ignorant. Yes, Ms. Fullilove, I saw it. You, of all people, showing such a lack of compassion when you are an embarrassment to the Council and to this City. What agenda do YOU have to improve MAS? None, as I can ascertain by your snide remark.

    I have applied to work at the MAS numerous times; only to find out weeks later that someone else was hired, before I was even notified. I am not a certified technician and I doubt many of the employees there are, but I can guarantee you I would treat every animal that comes into MAS with love, compassion and a determination to make that animal feel as much love as I could before it is taken to the kill room. It only takes a little time to do this and much less energy than the way they are treated now. I would be glad to go to school to obtain the necessary certification to care for these animals. It appears the employees there now care nothing about the animals, only the cushy paychecks they are receiving. Their behavior still goes unchecked and all they receive is a slap on the wrist, if even that. It is disgusting to us all out here who are animal lovers.

    We know there are bad shelters elsewhere. However, it appears MAS is one of the worst ever. If things do not change, everyone should be fired, the shelter closed, and a new one built and run by a private organization who will We pay your salaries and we deserve answers. Our animals deserve a chance. They deserve our compassion and love until they are put to death. It is my hope that you, Mr. Mayor and all City Council Members respectfully consider what is not only written in this email today, but the urgency required to initiate change immediately at MAS. Desperate situations call for desperate measures.

    I implore you, do something, before it gets even worse. I thank you for your time.

    Respectfully,

    Reply
  13. Jessica

     /  May 19, 2011

    Its still amazing to me that they would rather waste time with their stupid charades making it sound like all is fine and blocking people from FB rather than simply trying to implement change. It boggles my mind. I feel like Im back in high school again or something.

    Anyway, Ill be watching CNN news tonight to see the “trashcan family” story. Hopefully it will do some good..

    Reply
  14. vida

     /  May 19, 2011

    So the Mayor is still carrying water for his guy Pepper, sigh. I don’t think that privatization will cure all ills, unions don’t cause cruelty to animals. And some private shelters are horrible too. I think it’s the people in charge who allow this to go on, and that can change. I tend to fear privatization for the same reason I fear private prisons, the brutality is worse in those and the workers are the cheapest they can find. And understaffing makes the profits higher. So, I’m not a great believer in that. At least you can vote the animal abusers or abetters out of office, you’re stuck with the private shelter corp.

    Reply
  15. I say that since the Mayor is aware that abuse is running amuck at MAS, then perhaps the Mayor needs to be charged with animal neglect and abuse also for allowing it to continue. Someone bring the Animal Police to the office and file charges!

    Reply
  16. Make sure by the way you have the press there also on the day the Mayor gets charged with being a party to animal neglect and abuse!

    Reply
  17. Morgana

     /  May 20, 2011

    Mayor Whartone is simply a weenie. He can’t see that if he actually listens, we could help him get re-elected. It takes LESS energy to be kind than to be cruel. He can’t stand up to the pressures of his office I suggest impeachment on grounds he is incompetent.

    The petition is almost there – please get it out there!

    Reply

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