Mayor Wharton, Please Clarify

Screengrabs from Mayor Wharton’s FB page. Click to enlarge.

This is what the Mayor posted above:

The dogs in MAS’ stray area haven’t gone through behavioral screenings or health check-ups. Once we allow time for their owners to claim them and we determine they are healthy and have a good temperament, we offer them to the public for adoption.

Is that true Mayor Wharton?  Because it would seem to be at odds with the “Lucky 30” policy that was implemented after Matt Pepper took over your city’s pound.  That is to say, there are only 30 cages designated as adoption cages for the hundreds of dogs MAS has on hand at any given time.  If MAS is truly offering all the healthy, friendly dogs it has for adoption, how is it that 77% of the pets are still being killed?

Does a dog with an ear infection qualify as “healthy”?  How about a coughing dog?  These are both treatable conditions and given that MAS has a vet on staff, I hope that pets in need of vet care are provided with same.  I haven’t seen evidence of that but I’m open to hearing any that anyone can offer.

What constitutes “good temperament” at MAS?  If a dog dislikes being hoisted up by a noose around the neck or picked up by the forelegs, does that disqualify the dog from being deemed “good temperament” by MAS?  Are behavioral evaluations performed outside the shelter by a qualified individual after the dog has gotten a 10 minute walk?  Because what appears to be visible on the webcams is a worker of unknown qualifications taking a dog out of a kennel he’s been hosed down in, walking the dog around the shelter amidst hundreds of other barking dogs suffering in their kennels, and then putting him back.  Maybe there’s more that is not visible on the webcams as far as the behavioral evaluation goes.  Again, I’m open to hearing about it.

I’m trying to sort out where the disconnect is here.  Because if what the Mayor says is true, why are so many dogs from the stray area visible on the webcams daily being taken to the kill room?  Why can’t I find any listings for them online?  How come when I inquire about wanting to help dogs in the stray area, I usually receive no response from MAS?  Which was Mr. Kissyface – unhealthy or unfriendly?

31 thoughts on “Mayor Wharton, Please Clarify

  1. Given the number of HW+ dogs that they had up for adoption, I think it’s safe to say that “health check ups” happen AFTER a dog has been selected for the adoption floor, not before. After all, we don’t want to waste money doing health evaluations on EVERY ANIMAL, do we? I mean, we’re just going to kill most of them, so why bother, right? Yes, health check ups for “the lucky 30” only, everyone else can die. Literally.

  2. There’s a storm a’comin’, and the water is gonna get higher and higher – be prepared, Mr. Mayor.

  3. Glad to see you’re continuing the fight FOR the animals. It’s unbelievable how much effort these folks are putting into maintaining the status quo rather than preventing the killing of so many dogs and cats who deserve a chance to get out of that place alive.
    Mayor, you aren’t making any sense at all. And we’re not going away!
    We care, even if you and your minions do not.

  4. To all those who attempt to silence and sabotage the work of non-violent advocates who are asking for no more than kind and compassionate care to be shown to the animals who have been entrusted to our care………please know that “we have a dream” too.

    Animals have no voice, just as children, the elderly, women caught in domestic violence, the mentally ill …….homeless on our streets. Let us not quibble any longer over basic rights. Let us show all living creatures which are members of God’s beautiful creation, the love, tenderness and care that we would want for our very selves.

  5. Why does that “Heather Guess” woman continually snap at those who want to advocate for all the animals instead of just the “lucky 30” and fails to acknowledge anyone’s valid points regarding everything outside those lucky “30” dogs in the adoption area? Is she related to the Mayor or what?

    1. Good question! I don’t know why, but she is totally unwilling to take off her blinders and see what is really happening. Truly sad, for she could be an advocate for the animals. Oh wait, then she wouldn’t be so welcome to speak out or volunteer.

    2. There is always one or another killing apologist who defends the shelter against all criticisms, attacks advocates, and uses the line, “you’re just hurting our efforts, if you cared you would volunteer.” I see that line all the time like it should be end of the conversation. Don’t question; just come work for us for free and accept our abuse.

  6. Matt Pepper must be some kind of “special guy” to have the power he has to continue the cruelty that goes on at this shelter. It is rampant everywhere in the country…ACO’s unwilling to see that with a little “WORK” (oops the w word!) all this can change.

    1. The only reason why Matthew Pepper is still running MAS…the only reason why any of these shelter directors and staff continue to run animal hell holes…is simple…we haven’t gone far enough. While Shirley has done one of the most consistent jobs and is starting to see some progress, most of us are only picking at the edges. We need to decide if we are willing, like Shirley, to take that last step and confront, protest, rally, lobby, and blow those whistles or at least support those who have the guts to do it!

      1. MIss Molly Moo: Millions of people hack at the branches, but sometimes only one works at removing the roots.

  7. At the very least, the stray dogs & cats should be posted on a “lost pets” page so that owners can search for their lost pets. True, evry black lab or black cat looks the same to you & I, but not to an owner looking for a lost family member. At least help people by posting these animals on your website!

  8. Sharon, you took the post right out of my fingers. She is the “head cheerleader” for MAS, or so it seems. Too much koolaid, I suspect.
    Keep up the great work, Shirley; you are an inspiration to so many now.

  9. Heather is drinking too much of the Kool-Aid that Jeanne and Eleanor brewed! Her post to me about volunteering . . . I’ve been thru the orientation and have volunteered! I also complained to authorities about the filth in kennels. Ooops — was told by MAS that I should’ve gone through the proper channels of “authority.” THAT is why I don’t volunteer anymore! MAS will not allow volunteers who aren’t afraid to open their mouths to injustice!

  10. Yes, Wanda, I think you are exactly right. I have heard similar stories from others who have volunteered (or tried to) but were not willing to act blind to all the abuse. How on earth is this helpful in any way? I would love to be involved, and I would be willing to travel to Memphis to do so, but I am not very good at keeping my mouth shut in the face of injustice against helpless creatures who only want a home. Heather is all over the FMAS FB page offering her 2cents’ worth, and I just roll my eyes.

  11. “One day the absurdity of the almost universal human belief in the slavery of other animals will be palpable. We shall then have discovered our souls and become worthier of sharing this planet with them.”
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

      1. Yes it is…and he was a wonderful man. When I think of him I just think of bravery. I really do believe that he would want us to continue our efforts to get better treatment for the animals.

  12. keep up the good fight!!!! we are all in it with you… i live in this “kill zone”. i am ashamed to say it, but i do. i attend the meetings and i have a voice. i have used it. sent the letters and emails. i am fighting right along beside you!!!!! GOD BLESS YOU FOR ALL YOU ARE DOING!!!!

    1. Without people that actually live in the area and attend meetings to make their voices heard, it can be an even bigger uphill battle than it already is. It takes volunteers of all sorts to get changes made. Thank you!

  13. As stated above, keep fighting the good fight. There are so many of us out here that support you and appreciate everything you are doing!!! As for Heather, I guess the fact that a few were saved out of the thousands killed is good enough for her. It’s not for me!

  14. You all need to harrass them on why are owners of missing dogs not allowed to view the strays or why don’t they at least post pictures? There is no expense in pictures and no risk of liability to the general public.

    1. To clarify for everyone – AFAIK, if someone comes to the shelter and says “I lost my dog and want to look for him here”, he will be escorted through the stray area by a worker in order to look for his lost dog. For any owners who can’t get to the shelter because of work conflicts or because they are housebound or for whatever reason – their only hope is that their dog managed to elude the ACOs and is not at MAS. They can’t browse the photos and descriptions of all the pets at the shelter as they come in because, unlike other shelters who have Chameleon, MAS does not do that.

  15. The fact that such blatant contradictions seem to go unnoticed/unaddressed by the Mayor and the folks at Memphis Animal Storage is, I think, telling. Not sure they can keep this up much longer, however, given the attention you’re providing.

    Your courage and determination are greatly appreciated!

  16. MAS only had 43 animals listed for adoption on Petfinder today. Their Friends of page on Facebook doesnt have many listed either.

    No adoption events are listed for the rest of June or July.

      1. Does anyone other than the Friends people try to get the animals adopted? They seems to do a fairly good job at that. Read thru all their posts for a while. At least someone is doing something for the animals in there today. They have posted some new animals today. Guess they have to work in the parameters the city sets?? Whatever, at least they are trying for the animals. Have read lots of other Facebook pages about the shelter, but they don’t seems to be doing anything for the animals in there right now.

  17. I wrote to the Governor of Tennessee about the MAS situation and got back a very confusing, almost xenophobic response about illegal immigrants.
    Found the Governor’s fax number, going to write about the possibility that whoever responds should read the content of the enquiry. Duh.

  18. I think some of the steps in this dance might have to be changed….and the record too. It seems to be stuck.

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