“These issues have remained unresolved…”

The minutes from the last Memphis Animal Services Advisory Board meeting before the pound was raided by sheriff’s deputies in October 2009 can be found here.  From that meeting:

Janet [Hooks] said that the Shelter receives many complaints and the Advisory Board needs to focus on solutions, not complaints. Michelle [Buckalew] related that there are three problem areas that continually surface: (1) inhumane treatment of animals, (2) poor attitude of employees, and (3) lack of accountability. Further, for our Director and Administration to succeed we need good policy and procedures in place. These issues have remained unresolved over the past year and that is why they continue to be on the Board’s agenda.

So, one police raid, one new director and nearly two years later – how is MAS doing with regard to these unresolved issues?  Do you see major improvements, no improvements, or is MAS worse than ever?

The issue of accountability raised at the 2009 advisory board meeting is ironic considering that the current board’s very first order of business once installed this June was to shut out the public.  And of course any evidence of inhumane treatment and poor employee attitudes via the MAS webcams is next on the chopping block.

ACO looking for a spot for incoming dog being dragged on a chokepole.
If only the ACO would stop and look at the dog, she would see how scared he is and that he needs a kind hand.
ACO still dragging, poor dog still trying to avoid.
The ACO finds a cage but at this point, the scared dog is trying to meld with the wall.


Dog carried to kill room.
This pair of troublemakers also carried, also to be killed.
Sweet face dog to die next.
Little dogs to kill room.
Skinny dog to be killed.
Looks like newborns next to die.
Just come on and die already dog.


Memphis, please – stop the killing.

20 thoughts on ““These issues have remained unresolved…”

  1. This is just SICK, poor little guys so scared but
    still drag to the KILL room….If this is not abuse
    what would you call it. I can see no changes to the MAS Shelter and also the same sick Os still
    working, if that’s what u call it.

  2. Apparently hiring a $92,000 director to “fix” the shelter hasn’t done much. Way to spend the taxpayer’s money, Mr. Mayor.

    “Janet [Hooks] said that the Shelter receives many complaints and the Advisory Board needs to focus on solutions, not complaints. ”

    Well, since that hasn’t worked, let’s try focusing on complaints. Maybe if we address them one by one, we’ll resolve them and have a solution after all.

  3. In these webcam shots, it is the TOTAL lack of all contact, the desensitization of the workers to the living beings they work with – they have totally disconnected in order to do their jobs, and that is NOT acceptable. I don’t know what it was really like in 2009, but from what I have read and heard, it sounds worse than ever.

    When can we create a caravan to come in and save the ones slated for killing before the move to Valhalla (aka The New Shelter)? And no, we don’t obey the law, we come in, break the locks and take the animals outta there, then put the workers into the cages and leave them there overnight. I am so SICK of AC’s BS. Time for ACTION, oh wait, I ‘ve said that before haven’t I? Sorry and no offense meant, but you southerners need to leave politeness behind and get your boots on the ground and kick some serious BUTT. I will happily join you. HAPPILY. AGAIN: NO OFFENSE MEANT IN THAT STATEMENT for those sensitive souls out there.

  4. This is so extremely sad. There are no kill shelters everywhere. To run a no kill shelter takes a little more work and true animal lovers to become involved. My guess is that the MAS shelter workers, as well as the people of Memphis, have become desensitized to the killing and abuse that go on at that place, and they just don’t care anymore.

    1. Crystal and all- I totally agree! It turns my stomach when I see those webcam shots. I really think that the employees (most of them) NEVER cared. Dang, I get in such a bad mood seeing the workers dragging the dogs – just not giving a damn about the animals….why work in a place WITH animals, if you don’t like them?! Oh, that’s right- it’s the only place you can get a job when you are a convicted felon in Memphis……my bad.

      1. Actually, I think people like this take these jobs because they lack power in their personal lives and a helpless animal is the ONLY one that people of this low caliber can feel power over. What a rush it must be for them to hold the power of life and death over these poor animals. Second to that, convicted felons and such have exactly these kinds of psuycological problems, so they fit the job profile mighty well. And of course, having people higher up to kick the blame ball to helps…it is rotten from the inside out.

    2. I disagree Crystal – I think many care, and more would if they were allowed to know the TRUTH of what goes on in there. This is where we come in, we must place the truth before their eyes every day of every week. Its the only way. Action speaks louder than words.

      1. I agree again! It is not enough to talk to each other in this insulated bubble we call a blog…it is our duty to let the general public know in Memphis. A full page newspaper ad, more billboards, flyers, whatever it takes to get more locals on board to petition, picket, volunteer, show up at meetings, etc. It is time to make it happen because the misery has gone on long enough!

  5. Clearly Matthew Pepper must not be the one in charge. He is a puppet for Janet Hooks. She has the power to stop all of this. How is it that she is escaping any and all blame? She is the one constant in the MAS horror story! She was there then and she’s still here now. Nothing has changed? I don’t have to wonder why.

    1. Ernie Alexander was a puppet too. Janet Hooks should have never been appointed to her position in the first place. Director??? please give me a break.

  6. Speaking of the raid from 2009, I wonder what’s taking so long to solve those aggravated animal cruelty charges against the 3 former employees? What happened with all the evidence? It doesn’t take 2 years to solve animal cruelty charges.

    1. The reason why you haven’t heard anything is because nothing is going to happen. It’s called ‘sweeping things under the rug’.

      1. No it’s called not having any evidence and trumped up charges by a disgruntle vet. It doesn’t take 2 years to solve animal cruelty charges, aggravated or not! Raid? What Raid? Pleaseeeeee give me a break!

  7. Everything is too quiet right now…I don’t know anything that is going on….no news! This is really scary! I agree that southerners (I am one) should leave good manners behind. Janet Hooks told me, at an advisory board meeting, that the media only was interested in “bad press.” I replied, tell us something good and we will get the news out…she did not reply! MAS is a disgrace and as far as I know, always has been. I’ve had “dealings” with them since the early 80’s and it ws nasty and unconcerned then. Still is! I hope the Rotary Club is serious and will talk to some of the rescues, fosters and advocates that came to the meetings. They will only get the truth by having discussions with the people that know and have nothing to lose. Far be it from me to want a second chance felon to lose there job where they are responsible for “caring” for living beings! Why aren’t these people employed at the impound lot or on a garbage truck where they can beat the crap out of metal and garbage…not dogs and cats, chickens, guinea pigs, etc.? It’s not just the felons….employees are only as good as the management….from Wharton, Hooks, Pepper and on down the chain!

  8. I hate to sound like a broken record ladies and gents, but it is TIME to stake out the appropriate locales and have a presence – physically, as in people and bodies, on at least one day per week, every week no matter the weather (I guess barring a major hurricane or something like that). Up here, we have people who have, rain, shine or snow, been standing a large intersection for 9 years protesting the war, every Saturday and this includes the 91 year old Pete Seeger!! Every Sat., they are there, sometimes its just Pete, or sometimes its three or four or two, but they are there with their signs. That’s what this needs, with a panoramic set of hollow-core boards with enlargements of the webcam grabs stretching for as far as your pocketbooks can make it stretch. Pick a day near the shelter, for instance, when it is open, and be there for say, three or four hours with your touring “horror show” and hand outs. It is going to take more than billboards and letters, although we should keep that up as well. In a dispute, it is not possible to NOT get dirt on your hands, and it is not possible to win without unwavering courage.

  9. Ugh, it really makes me sick looking at this blog, seeing all the dead dogs one after another. I really wish there was something more that I could do from the other side of the country but short of running out there every day to adopt out all of the dogs (which would never be able to happen anyway, even if I lived there) I think Ive done it all. Anyway, I wasnt around for all of this in 2009, but I hardly doubt its better, so its either worse or the same.

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