This is apparently a response Mayor Wharton is sending out currently to people who write with concerns about MAS. The indented portions are the mayor’s words. My comments are not indented.
The shelter being portrayed is not the shelter I see.
I think this is the crux of the problem.
Aside from the inappropriate actions of two or three employees (issues we have addressed through job termination and appropriate disciplinary actions), most of the rest of the shelter’s “image problems” have been tied to pictures from the webcams I had installed at the shelter about a year and a half ago.
“Image problems”. Really? [insert your “it’s not just a river in Egypt” quips here] And it’s all just a big misunderstanding over those pesky webcam images? REALLY?
People have used our webcam online access to produce still photo images to which they have ascribed narratives and captions that in most cases have not matched the actual events. What’s worse is that we have not been able to properly explain events and photos because the photos are circulated and shared with citizens across the country before we ever see them. Keep in mind that there is no media or communications staffer in place to answer all of the questions posed or to mount information campaigns that help to share appropriate context and background for the images people have viewed in such a negative sense.
So we should ask questions beforehand, but there is no one to answer them if we do, but we’re wrong for not getting answers beforehand?
Candidly, budget cuts and other circumstances have not allowed us to even have a full complement of employees at the shelter.
A prime example of what I have shared is the “dogfighting” allegation that has caused so much controversy of late. Please see the attached raw footage of the incident below:
As you can see, the still image and the perception it has caused does not adequately match with the event as it played out.
And much bigger than this particular issue, please be aware of the larger progress we have made at the shelter:
Whoa. Does “larger progress” mean that the video referenced above – which shows negligence and cruelty on the part of trained MAS workers – is a reflection of some smaller form of “progress”? That’s how I’m interpreting this comment. And I hope I’m wrong in my interpretation.
- Although still too high, we have the lowest euthanasia rate in 5 years;
You have an abysmal kill rate that is slightly different from what it’s been in recent years.
- Our pet placement has increased dramatically over the last year
And still the tragic rate of killing continues unabated.
- We have passed a spay and neuter ordinance in the last year to curb the number of pets in our community
Your goal is to curb the number of pets in your community?! Good lawdy Miss Clawdy. Don’t you mean you want to increase the number of pets in the community by reaching out to the public to form a strong foster network and to promote local adoptions? There is no community anywhere who has ended the needless killing of shelter pets by passing mandatory neuter laws. MSN has a 100% failure rate, everywhere, ever. Any questions?
- We have received and distributed grant funds to offer low-cost spaying and neutering for interested pet owners
You’ve handed out some Petco vouchers to people who can make it to the various locations you selected for distribution. People who lack transportation, have to work, are housebound or who otherwise need assistance with getting their pets neutered are mostly out of luck in Memphis.
- A new animal shelter is online to open within the next 3 months.
Whoopdedoo. A new killing facility with the same staff and policies which have made the current facility a national disgrace. How excited you must be.
We are not resting on our laurels by any stretch of the imagination.
I’m sorry but it would take a stretch of the imagination the size of I-95 to believe MAS has any laurels to rest on.
There is more work to be done and we can only achieve success with more citizens being willing to become engaged by adopting pets and encouraging others to do the same.
There are plenty of citizens willing to be engaged. Your representative Bobby White told some of them to bugger off (I paraphrase, heh.) Others have been driven away by the bullying tactics of your “Friends” group. At least one that I know of was fired because she wasn’t on the same page as your pet slaughterhouse. But you keep hittin’ that blame-the-public pipe. Cos it’s been working out great so far.
I got your laurels right here: