26 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Candle Light Vigil details for MAS? I’m actually off work Saturday night. The Sunset Symphony is Saturday at Tom Lee park. Any ideas or details?

    1. Locals will need to chime in but depending on what time the symphony starts, it might be good to set up a vigil start time for a little before in order to get the incoming traffic.

      1. Yes, I agree with Shirley. If people can gather at the Symphony and be prepared to light their candles, signs with For Those Lost at MAS or something to that effect. I would also let Jen Diprizio know if you are all going to do this in the public venue, maybe she can get a story out of it. OH! How about signs that say “MAYOR WHARTON – HOW MANY DEAD IS TOO MANY?” or something like that – get at the Mayor.

    2. protest & vigils are a double edged sword. If you have sufficient numbers to make a good showing, then your cause can get the recognition it needs. If only a few show up, then it can look to the politicians as if it is only a few malcontents, and your complaints will be dismissed as such. Memphis typically doesn’t show up for protest and rarely vigils. So please if you plan on doing this, make sure you have the numbers so you don’t hurt the cause. We have not done this simply because we do not feel we can get the numbers to show up to make a good showing of it where we will be taken seriously.

      1. On the other hand, most people are hesitant to be the first one on an empty dance floor but are very happy when someone else gets out there. They they feel much more comfortable joining in. (I lived with a musician for 13 years, hehe.)

      2. Well I asked off just for a vigil. If it happens or not I’m here for the Shelter.

      3. I would disagree with you NKM here for one simple reason: this is not a protest, it is a vigil, and it only takes ONE person to feel grief or sadness and to demonstrate that out front. We have no control over how others interpret our actions at any point in time, ever. That doesn’t mean we don’t express ourselves for the risk of being misunderstood. Haven’t you ever heard of the 100th monkey? It is just fear holding y’all back. That’s all. Screw what they think, do it anyway. They don’t KNOW what to think at this point in time anyway.

  2. This is an email sent to all Memphis city council members and its animal advisory board members. It is an offer of FREE help. It was sent 10 days ago. Still no response…


    (Email to Memphis City Council)
    Re: Memphis Animal Services

    Dear Council Members:

    I’ve been following the blog that has caused all the stir over your Memphis Animal Services (MAS) facility. MAS’ haughty indifference by MAS to expressed concerns shocks me. But my work as a national advocate has taught me that the city of Memphis, like the rest of our society, is simply caught in a period of transition. The old is struggling to keep out the new. Old ways truly do die hard, don’t they?

    For 100 years our society has abrogated it’s responsibilities to the dog catcher. The solution has been since the 1800s to control the excess population by execution. It is no wonder that Memphis Animal Services is no different. They and their director are just following in the footsteps of their predecessors.

    But this is a new day. Our society is changing rapidly. No longer will families allow legislators and officials to simply write off these “pets” as personal property. All across the nation is sweeping a new movement based on reforming this ugly, antiquated shelter industry. Dogs and cats are not things to be owned. These “companion animals” are now our family companions. They eat with us, sleep with us and go on vacation with their families.

    Like almost every other city, it is very apparent that Memphis has not kept abreast of these dramatic changes. But that can be resolved rather easily. All it takes is your commitment to change, a vision, and an understanding of this shift in society’s morés.

    My mission is to change the course of this antiquated shelter industry – to bring it up to what people of today expect. I am writing not to attack you all nor to condemn your efforts. I am writing to offer you solutions. I am a national shelter reform advocate. I am not a consultant as I do not solicit nor do I accept donations for my work. I survived lung cancer and with whatever time I have left this is my way of passing on a lifetime of knowledge and experience for FREE. I’m hoping this offer of assistance grabs your attention. I am here to help.

    First, I’d like you to read a recent interview about my Adoption Center model. It explains in plain language what my Adoption Center model is and the marketing campaign called Shelter Revolution. Then I would ask each of you to spend a few valuable minutes to read through the overview page on my website, Shelter Revolution. The answers/solutions to your problems are in plain English there.

    Interview = http://tinyurl.com/3u45umo
    Website (Overview Page) = http://tinyurl.com/3vyyfns

    My Adoption Center model is far less costly in the sense that the current terrible international reputation Memphis is garnering right now will cost your city for years to come. What is the price tag of bad press of that degree? This notoriety will not go away by avoiding it. If for no other reason than to elevate your standing as this movement grows, I strongly urge you to embrace this new cause.

    I am here at your disposal. Please contact me. I await your call or email.

    Respectfully yours,

    1. Great letter, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

      For the rest of you, with the help of several people who I believe are on this blog, we have rescued the “tail-chewing” dog. Now its just a matter of getting him north. Looks like to me he has a long way to go, but I wanted to thank you all for your current and continuing help.

      1. Bless your heart for taking this boy. I hope that he has a long and happy life with someone who will give him the love and security he so deserves (they all deserve).
        Any details on breed? age? condition?

      2. Oh you are the one taking him – excellent! Let us know how he does once he gets to you Morgana!

        I pulled a mom and litter of kittens this weekend to foster (since there was one of the “we have 36 kittens that will be killed today if not rescued” pleas on FB), and they are having such fun at my house and mama cat is the sweetest thing ever. I have a friend interested in adopting two of the kittens when they are old enough, so yay, and we will likely keep one, or mama perhaps.

      3. Thanks for helping the kitties! Are you fostering them for a rescue group or did you actually just adopt them yourself and plan to find homes for them yourself?

    2. Don’t expect a response. It was mentioned in the April 2011 Advisory Board Meeting that a local merchant had offered to donate GPS devices for the ACO trucks more than a year earlier and still had not received a response from the powers that be. It has become painfully obvious that our elected officials do not want to be bothered and feel if they ignore us long enough we will go away. That is why we need to keep up the letter writing, phone calls, etc and let them know that it isn’t going away.

    3. If you sent the letter to the city site listed MAS Advisory Board email address, that is answered by the Deputy Director of the Division, not the Board. I have heard this complained about by the Board several times. You have to send it to the individual email addresses.

  3. I was wondering about him and hoping that he was out of MAS. Thank you Morgana, for taking this wonderful boy.

  4. Oh how I wish the Mayork the Shelter director, the Board, would look at the information on the adoption center and follow suit. It’s a beautiful letter, and the idea, while so simple, is really revolutionary. I long for a facility like this.

  5. Shirley, I am just fostering them myself but House of Mews and Villy with Meows and Bow Wows are helping out with meds, wormer, and letting us post them on their FB pages for all these kitties that I and several other people that just independently went up there to get these cats to safety. The “irresponsible public” really pulled together last week to get all the urgent dogs AND all the urgent cats/kittens out Friday and Saturday, as most rescues are way past full here right now.

    1. It’s so sad to me, knowing how kind-hearted and generous the pet lovers of Memphis are, that only the “adoptable” pets on the kill list are given a last minute chance to be saved. The vast majority of dogs at MAS are behind closed doors in the stray area and there were dogs from that area on the kill list too but no one was allowed to know about them. They were all killed without a single plea having been issued or a single pet lover laying eyes on them (virtually or physically). I know MAS can do better and it would be so easy to do it.

  6. I believe we need to focus on specific issues. It will take a little time, probably until a new shelter administrator is in place, to make major changes…but if we keep up the pressure on individual issues, we may see results. No let up until each issue is successfully addressed, every communication includes reference to the same issue. Then on to the next. One of the biggest issues, that will have an ‘expanding’ result if it is accomplished, is opening the stray hold area. If this area is opened, more strays will get adopted and rescued. Every letter written should include the explicit request that the stray hold area be open again to the public, and that potential adopters can view the strays and notify the shelter of their interest (I’d even say demand, as taxpayers have a right to see where their dollars are spent). Once that is accomplished…focus on firing the incompetent staff…send webcam shots of mistreatment of animals, improper cleaning protocols, inappropriate staff behavior, etc to all, including the media list. You get the idea. In addition, it’s time for the state of Tennessee to follow other states with animal shelter laws and standards (CAPA).

  7. A little headway.

    This is a video clip from the WREG Sunday evening program, Informed Sources. This segment deals with the Memphis Animal Shelter and the current problems.

    The guests are Ben Ferguson, national radio host and political analyst Susan Adler Thorp, BOTH very respected in their fields.

    All agree (except Otis Stanford) the Mayor must do something to correct MAS.

    Here is the Link:

  8. Otis Higgs actually ran for Memphis Mayor many many years ago! By his comments, I hope he never entertains the idea of running again. I am so glad that the others agreed that the problems at the Memphis Animal Shelter are important and need to be resolved by Mayor Wharton.

  9. Ooops. sorry. My mistake. I thought that was Otis Higgs on the discussion panel. Previous comment said it was Otis Stanford. Well anyway, I hope this Otis (Stanford) never runs for mayor.

  10. SOME SPECIAL NEWS: I have written Maria Daines, the musician in UK, and asked her to write a special song for the fight in Memphis! This was her reply today:
    Hi Morgana,

    Thank you for your support, I posted your cd a couple of days ago, hoping
    you’ll receive it by the end of the week with any luck. Re Memphis, I’m
    going to try to write & record a song for this situation in the next few
    weeks, we’re in the middle of a big project but soon as that’s finished I
    will do my best to concentrate on Memphis, it’s absolutely disgraceful
    what’s happening there, another friend has been keeping me up to date with
    the situation and I receive links and news regularly and follow
    developments in hopes of a change for the better very soon.

    All my best
    Maria xx

  11. PETITION UPDATE: We are at 5599 signatures today, 5.25.2011. PLEASE KEEP SENDING OUT AND LET’S GET THIS THING DELIVERED. Thx

    1. Jeanne: OMG! Thanks for posting that!!! MAYOR WHARTON: You have made your city FAMOUS, or rather, INFAMOUS, even as far as the City on the Bay…infamous for being CRUEL. I am thinking I might have to sue your city for your “incomvenient truths”….hmmmm.

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