UPDATED: Open Letter to MAS

I would like to help one of the healthy/treatable, friendly dogs in the stray area at MAS who is not listed online and is not available for viewing by potential adopters visiting the shelter.  My understanding is that there are hundreds of dogs in the stray area at any given time.

I don’t want to have to get someone in TN to file a Freedom of Information Act request for records.  If anyone can give me ANY details on one healthy/treatable, friendly dog in the stray area, I will do my best to try and help that dog.

A photo would be wonderful.  The ID number of the dog would be very helpful as well since it may not be possible to identify the dog to shelter staff otherwise.  Gender, age, neuter/vax/heartworm status would all be welcome information too.  But I will be happy to take anything I can get.  I just want to help a dog who otherwise has no one advocating for his right to live.

Will anyone at MAS send me information on one dog in need?

(Non)Update:  The response from MAS has been underwhelming.  As in nothing.  I don’t understand it.  One of the ladies from Meows and BowWows donated a digital camera to the shelter at the last meeting.  What will it take for somebody at MAS to take that camera into the stray area and take a picture of a dog for me to try and help?  Or use your cell phone.  Or do a line drawing on the back of a napkin.  Or just e-mail me a vague description like “brown and waggy”.  I guess what I’m not getting is why dog after dog is visible on the webcams being taken to the kill room when there is an offer to help one of them?  ONE DOG.  Will you let me try to help one dog from the stray area?  Jesus Harold Christ…

44 thoughts on “UPDATED: Open Letter to MAS

  1. I volunteer at MAS and will be there tomorrow. I will be happy to ask “someone” to escort me back to the stray area (am not permitted to go alone)and find you a dog! I think that is an incredible offer from you- thank you!!!

    1. Thank you very much Jody. I am hoping to hear from someone at the shelter today but if I don’t, I will be glad to take you up on your offer tomorrow.

      1. I am saddened to say I failed you today! Matthew Pepper asked me to take some time off from the shelter so I won’t be volunteering there for a while (?)..The worst part is that the dogs lose one of the few dog walkers/socializers. Apparently I did a few things that was frowned upon (NOTHING to do with my treatment and love for the animals) – I have my own ideas what this about but will keep them to myself – don’t want to jeopardize my volunteering opportunities for the future- it IS all about the animals and I KNOW it! So sorry!

      2. I’m confused Jody. Please tell us what happened, if you feel comfortable doing so. I would think MAS would want to keep volunteers like you coming back as often as possible, not telling you to take time off.

      3. Jody I am beyond shocked and Pissed that they told you to take time off – WTH are they thinking?!?!? This is insane!!!!

    2. Are you the Jody that got that poor starved pit out – Big Boy now Stanley? If so THANK YOU for caring, he looks like such a sweetie and I am glad he is getting help!

      1. Yes, ma’am- that is me! Visited Stanley yesterday- amazing what sunlight, good food and antibiotics (and human touch) can do for this dog in need- he looks so much better. I had him neutered today and x-rays taken- vet called to say the reason he walks funny (almost bow-legged) is because he had a fractured pelvis- actually the sockets were badly fractured and has ruptured knees. Poor guy has been in some serious pain. Vet wants to keep him there at least another week. He is so very, very sweet- his hairless tail wags and wags and wags!

      2. well bless you Jody! Poor guy must have been absolutely miserable.. its amazing the spirit of these animals who have been so mercilessly abused yet still love people. Makes me want to cry! Are you taking him home when he is released, or have you found a permanent home for him yet? Poor guy. If you need anyone to go over there and get him out to walk or anything this weekend let me know, I’d be happy to!

      3. I have not found him a permanent or foster home, yet – I guess I should have thought this through – just knew he needed out…..I will soon, ask everyone to help me find him his forever home. He is at Berclair Animal Hospital off Summer if you want to visit him. Imagine what we could do for all of the other dogs at MAS that need us – IF we were allowed to know about them!

      4. Jody, thank you SO much for getting that poor dog out of MAS. It saddens me that he has those awful fractures but I’m happy he is in a better place now. Again, thank you for your compassion and caring.

  2. Way to go Shirley. I think we should start a betting pool (proceeds into that fund for MAS dogs and cats) on whether you actually get an answer. I’m in for 5$ says you don’t. “Have a great day!” hehe

  3. The Mayor needs to allow the public into that stray area. This animal abuse at it’s worst.

  4. Still no word from anyone at MAS. I look at every dog taken out of a stray kennel on the webcams today and think to myself “Are you in need of help? Is anyone advocating for you?”

    1. I’m afraid to say this out loud for fear that it will have a further negative impact on Jody but it was obvious to me that Jody’s association with YesBiscuit is what caused Matthew Pepper to tell her not to come back to MAS for a while. As I read in minutes from past board meeting agendas, Diane M. is a cheerleader of Matthew and we pissed her off the other night. I am also certain she is still reading this blog even though she says we are not effective. I am also sure Pepper blocks any email concerning MAS as no one from local government has responded to any of my emails. Instead of this making me feel defeated, it actually makes me very angry and more determined. Those poor animals. I seriously think this man is evil.

  5. TO ALL:

    I follow the yesbiscuit blog on a daily basis…and am constantly horrified by what I find but I thought maybe we could all use some inspiration on a shelter that truly works to help save its pets and shows a community that cares when given the information and access to animals. This shelter had *150* animals adopted in a single day.

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwN6WbyqjtU&w=640&h=390%5D

    Sometimes a little hope and inspiration can go a long way in showing someone what there capable of.


  6. I live in New Orleans and have never been to Memphis. I sent an email to Mayor Wharton and that Hooks woman telling them I was horrified about what was going on at MAS. I also told them I wasn’t visiting Memphis and spending my hard earned money in that city until I saw some positive changes at MAS. I haven’t gotten a response. (Not surprised about that.) I plan on emailing the city council too.

    1. I believe your email was blocked & that is why you did not get a response. The last board meeting, Mr. White showed up & asked that the emails to AC, please stop & that they were being blocked because of the large amount of emails being sent. I sent one & I too did not receive a response. Mr. White’s idea was better marketing to help the dogs be adopted. What a bunch of idiots!!!! Can we call the police to show up???

  7. The shelter where I live posts photos of strays so people can find their lost pets. How can a shelter not perform that service? When a pet goes missing, owners are usually panicked and all over the place looking for their lost dogs and cats. Making the information available about what dogs and cats are found seems to be what the shelter should be doing. It simply doesn’t make sense. Well, nothing about this Memphis shelter makes any sense.

  8. I tell ya – they like the killing! That’s the only logical reason for them to continue when they have people who want it to stop.
    Maybe it’s a power trip, maybe they think they’re getting back at all of us for criticizing them, but clearly, they like the killing.
    I’m sorry for all those dogs (and cats, I’m sure) who might have made someone a wonderful family pet. Too bad they ended up at MAS.

    1. All I can say is that if technology ever progresses to the point where viewers can be interactive with the webcams, they’d better have a firm grip on those leashes when they are heading to the kill room. I be clickin’ that “TAKE DOG AWAY” button over and over all day long.

      1. Oh man, you aren’t kidding. The few times I’ve let myself watch those cams, I kept wishing for an applause button when someone was interacting humanely (thank you, Jon), an encouragement button when someone looked like they were at least trying (there’s a couple of younger employees that look like they just need some guidance on how to do it right), and an interactive choke pole for those inhumane employees scruffing animals or dragging/stuffing/poking/hosing them without regard.

      2. You know I just now discovered the webcams at the MAS website. DUH!! Just thought I’d share this since I’m thinking others may not know where to find them since I didn’t. I thought only YesBiscuit had access to these webcams. I’m looking at the cages now…makes it all more real. Poor sweet things :(

  9. I appreciate my local county shelter more and more. They aren’t perfect, but one of the things they do for strays is post them up on CL in the lost & found section. They have a good description, kennel number, place where the dog was found, and an invite to come on down to the shelter with the shelter hours. And once the stray hold is over, it’s wonderful to see the dogs then posted in the pets section when they are ready for adoption. Every dog is given a name. We aren’t in a major metro area like Memphis, so the numbers coming thru the shelter aren’t the same. But when MAS has people actually volunteering to come down there and perform a very similar service for strays and other animals ready for adoption and doesn’t take advantage of it?? Can’t even take advantage of the offer to help one, ONE dog??? I JUST.DON’T.GET.IT.

    If they’d just take the damn photo and give the cage number, I’d bet a good number of us across the country that can hardly sleep for the fate of all these animals would even *help* get them posted somewhere, anywhere so people outside of MAS know they exist.

    I managed the Petfinder listings for my rescue for years. I’d be happy to walk someone through it. If they get the dog up in Petfinder, it even has a Facebook share link so you can put it out on FMAS without having to duplicate work.

  10. I really wish you wouldn’t use the name of Jesus like you did at the end of your letter. I really take offense at that.

    1. I too have come across sites on the internet that contain words or phrases that offend me. I generally don’t go back to those sites.

      1. Lawl, I always wondered what the H. stood for. Thanks for clearing that up.

      1. No, I’m definitely not Jeanne Chancellor and don’t know what RAOT is? Wrong person.

    2. MAS Advisory Board Meeting January 12, 2011

      “Diane McManus – Matt Pepper is doing a great job”

      Funny Diane that you do not like us using the name of Jesus in a way that you find offensive yet you obviously “drool” over this dweeb Pepper who just yesterday I compared to the anti-christ.

      Pepper is fine with killing innocent animals whose crime is only that they were born and unloved. And you are offended by a comment in a letter?!!! You see Diane, we are cool with Jesus because we are actually doing His work.

      How could you think Pepper is doing a good job? That is something I TAKE OFFENSE TO!!!!

  11. Melinda-That is the difference between your local shelter and MAS, you lack funding but have the compassion and your adoption rates are much higher but MAS is piss poor morally and the fudning becomes irrelevant.

    Diane-I am offended you are making this about you, instead of the animals in need at this shelter and the entire purpose of the blog. I am offended you are offended over such a ridiculous thing. Get over it!

    1. Sharon. Over such a “ridiculous thing?” Pathetic.
      A lot of us have been working for years to help the animals.

      Actually, I don’t like the blog anyway and I don’t think this particular one will accomplish your purpose….to help the animals. So I think I’ll take the idea of “Yes Biscuit” in the following post and just not come back.

      “I too have come across sites on the internet that contain words or phrases that offend me. I generally don’t go back to those sites.”

      I can’t imagine a request not to use the name of Jesus in a disrespectful way causing such an angry outburst as yours.

      1. diane – their anger is over the horrors happening behind closed doors at mas – dont you get that? your concern for niceties of language is outrageous in contrast to the terrible things you condone

    1. Mayor can take his response and stuff it where the sun doesn’t shine. He not only does not answer emails, he is flat out lying when he says his MAS staff is trained and compassionate. I’d like to know just what they are trained in. The cameras tell a story different than the one the Mayor is trying to sell us. The show a staff that has not a shred of compassion, kills without remorse and actually seems to relish hauling terrified dogs with chokepoles that are not needed the majority of the time.

  12. This needs to be published in the newspaper in the community section. I bet you’ll get a response then!

  13. When you lose your dog in Memphis, can you go look in the stray area yourself?

    Or do you rely upon the workers to tell you if your dog is back there?

    And I’m certain that every stray that comes in is documented, does that documentation involve a photograph? If not, why not?

  14. Um so back to the lady who wanted to help a dog.. How is that search coming?! Because there was new post made on Yes Biscuit about a Siberian Husky who needs help – Nova #227367 in cage 509.

  15. diane – if you have been working for years to help the animals as you claim, why have you been so ineffectual? according to those who have done it (nathan winograd, bonney brown, etc.) the kill rate, as a percentage of intake, for a facility like mas can be drastically reduced in a matter of months; what is it, do you think, that you are doing wrong?

    1. One thing you have to realize is that Memphis is sitting in the heart of an area where heartworms are very prevalent. In the shelter probably 50% or more of the dogs test positive. I would imagine it is higher than 50% but don’t know for sure. Dogs with heartworms are difficult to place even with rescue. A larger dog can cost $800+ to treat. There are not that many people out there that want to adopt a dog with expenses like that. Sad, but true. The other factor is the % of Pit Bulls which are also harder to place. Most urban southern shelters have large numbers of Pit Bulls, and a good guess is most of them have heartworms. It is not as easy as you think, but everyone would love to see the numbers get better. How many people on here will take a heartworm positive Pit baby? If you contact this shelter and let them know how many you can take I would bet they will fix you up if you can offer a stable safe environment for them.

      1. AnneMarie,

        I have contacted the shelter, repeatedly, with an offer to help ANY DOG IN NEED in the stray area. A heartworm positive Pitbull would qualify as ANY DOG IN NEED. No response.

        Treating a Pitbull with heartworms need not cost $800. Check with your veterinarian regarding lower cost treatment options. Depending on the load, some vets recommend simply placing the dog on preventive. There is no mandatory crating for an extended period and the cost is something the owner would be paying for anyway in the form of maintenance. It may not be everyone’s ideal treatment but when the alternative is killing, it sounds pretty good to me.

      2. anne-marie
        if you read your reply carefully youll realize that you are defeated before you even try; you believe they have heartworm and you believe no one will want them but you dont know beccause you havent tried; look up the policies that are needed to improve your statistics at the no-kill-nation website—just that much effort could change everything; you are giving up too easily and i promise you the right policies will work

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