Since MAS does not list its pets online (except for a lucky few), we have no way of finding out information about a pet in need except to ask MAS. When we ask, they say “File a FOIA request”. When we file a FOIA request, they say “We need the ID number in order to pull the record”. [Return to beginning of paragraph and read repeatedly until dizziness occurs.]
When I saw this cat being hanged by a worker at MAS, I wanted to help the cat. Even if the cat was feral, I hoped we could at least neuter and earnotch the cat then release him, with permission of a colony caretaker, on the caretaker’s property. It turns out the cat was killed by MAS. I couldn’t help but wonder about the records for this cat and what information they might contain. When Kim, a TN resident, filed a request for the records with the webcam shot of the cat, she was told basically, we need the ID # (which she has no way of getting without MAS providing it) but we know exactly who this cat is and have a statement already prepared about him. If they know exactly who the cat is, why are they attempting to deny the records request for lack of an ID number? [Return to beginning of post and read repeatedly until dizziness occurs.]
Here is the response from the city regarding the records request:
———- Forwarded message ———-
Date: Jun 28, 2011 2:37 PM
Without additional identification of the particular animal, for instances its ID number or information on where the cat was when the shelter took possession of it, there is no way for the shelter to provide the requested documentation.
If your concern is relating to the use of the cat tongs, below is Mr. Pepper’s response:
Cats tongs are meant for that very purpose. He is not suspending the cat; the Animal Care Tech featured in the photo indicated that the cat got loose and into the sink in the dog area (hence; the dogs in the picture). The cat was very unsocial and not easy to handle. The techs were transporting it for euthanasia – it has been euthanized. Billy indicated the cat began jumping around (common behavior for cornered feral or unsocialized cats) after he grabbed it. Dr. Coleman and I have both reviewed this photograph and agree that seems to be an accurate description. The reality of working in a high volume shelter with animals, such as this, is very different than the appearance as we all know.
Here are the tongs used and as you can see by the description there intended use is around the neck. Billy indicated he did so and it began jumping (again, not an uncommon response).
Gently restrain feral and fractious cats with ACES Cat Tongs. Anatomical design prevents “too-tight” closure around cat’s neck. Best designed product on the market. Includes replaceable rubber jaw covers permitting wider opening variation and even gentler handling. Two lengths: 28″ and 38″.
Administrator of Animal Services
City of Memphis
3465 Tchulahoma Rd.
Memphis, TN 38118
Jill M. Madajczyk
Sr. Asst. City Attorney
(901) 576-6540 (direct dial)
When I look at the webcam shot of this cat, I see a cat clearly suspended in mid-air by the tongs around his neck. Apparently, Matt Pepper and associates do not see this and seem to indicate this use of the tongs is 100% approved by shelter management. What do you see? Please weigh in whether you are a layman like me or a pet professional (or volunteer) who has, or has not, used tongs on cats. Also, how might Memphis taxpayers be able to view MAS records, which they are entitled to do by law, while the city has Operation Bob & Weave in full force?