Good Work If You Can Get It

If you are an ACO at MAS and willing to be on call overnight in case the police need your services, you get overtime pay.  And it sounds like a pretty sweet deal because apparently when the call comes in from the cops, you get to decide if they really need you:

On August 9, 2011, when police called [ACO Kimberly Lockett] for help on an animal cruelty case, she told the dispatcher animal control officers don’t take animal cruelty or abuse calls after hours.

According to police records, three dogs were in bad condition. They didn’t have food or water. They were so weak they could barley walk or stand. The dog’s owner was charged with animal cruelty.

So weak from starvation they could barely stand.  Yeah, that doesn’t sound urgent or anything.  Nothing that couldn’t wait until the next day – which is when an ACO not getting overtime pay responded to the scene:

That officer determined the dogs were starving to death. They were flea and tick infested with open sores. The officer also wrote, “If the dogs had remained in the same condition it would cause immediate death for all three dogs. The condition was not safe and unsanitary.”

Immediate death.  *yawn*  Go back to sleep and dream about your overtime pay.

The shelter operations manager, Chelton Beamon, stands behind Lockett’s (in)actions.  And at the end of the video clip, the anchor relates a city spokesperson’s explanation as to why ACO Lockett did not respond to the call:

There was no immediate threat to those dogs.

I guess, being an outside agitator, I’m probably the only one having trouble reconciling the words “immediate death” and “no immediate threat”.

42 thoughts on “Good Work If You Can Get It

  1. Damn them all to he##! Those poor dogs – to have to “live” like that and then to not have anyone care enough to help them. The whole stinkin’ situation makes me sick to my stomach.

  2. Evidently it’s not just a job to the staff at MAS – nor even a job they’re not going to bother to do well – it’s a job they’re not going to bother to do at all.

    Cripes. At MAS, it’s just crap all the way down, isn’t it?

  3. If I was the police officer I would of hung up and called a vet. If he called the ACO he must of understood how poor condition the dogs were in why not make sure they received proper care?

  4. So, the reason they’re paid overtime is to make sure there is someone there to answer the phone and say “No”? The city could save some money and end up with the same result if they just had a voicemail system that told callers not to bother. How can you know if a situation is critical if you don’t check it out? Are they trying to make the case that the shelter workers can tell more about a situation from a remote location than a police officer who is actually on the scene?

    1. Well voicemail costs a monthly fee. They could probably hire a turtle to take the overnight emergency calls for less than the cost of voicemail.

  5. Why is anyone surprised? If you are, you should not be……PAR FOR THE COURSE! When animal advocates, (I am including myself) have discussions it’s “preaching to the choir.” The people that don’t wake up every morning thinking about MAS & cruelty have got to be reached….How…I do not know…everytime some movement is started in MEMPHIS, it seems to die out because someone does not agree with someone else and everything just seems to go away….I don’t understand it. If the animals are the real concern…people’s “quirks” should not interfere with the common goal. There is so much work to be done….and I believe it can be done.

    1. I agree completely. Why can’t we, as a group, not individually, get together & make something happen. The problem is not getting better. As it was said, we are preaching to the choir & obviously not reaching anyone who can make a difference… yet.

      It is just as inexcuseable for the director to excuse the ACO as it was for the ACO to excuse herself from doing what she is paid to do, OVERTIME pay too!

      1. I keep crying ACTION like I am directing a movie! It is time to stop whining and get really serious, or else, imho, ya’ll just want someone else to do it for you. A few people down there are exempted from this, and you know who you are.

  6. So, the cops come out, decide that there’s a problem enough to warrant a call to an ACO, ACO says no, Iand no one else sees the dogs until the next day.

    What if the owner had decided to get rid of the dogs before the daytime ACO came out? No evidence, no charges would stick. And three dead dogs with no one accountable.

    Clearly, Memphis continues to pay and pay and get nothing in return. Where is the disciplinary action against this ACO, Mr. Mayor?

  7. Shirley,
    This story broke on a very weird day for me: late last night there was a dog emergency near my house that required police intervention. The MPD called Animal Control, and Officer Winbush, who was the over night officer, was on the scene within 30 minutes. He was incredibly compassionate and professional and handled the situation quickly and with real concern for the dog and the humans involved. I was very impressed, and this morning wrote a letter to the editor. I also made sure I told his supervisor that his reaction was exemplary. I thought you and your readers would feel a little bit better to know this.

  8. Sh*t rolls down hill. These people aren’t human, or inhuman enough to not care. This isn’t even a job to these cretins anymore. MAS job description must read something like this: 1. Do you have compassion? If the answer is no then they are hired on the spot.To get hired at MAS you MUST POSSESS NO BRAIN AND NO HEART!

  9. I’d like to see the complete ACO and police reports before I jump to any conclusions., It doesn’t appear that I’m the only one lacking curiosity here.

    As for your poll – it is nothing but shameful. At times, an ACO’s life can be just as much at risk as a policeman’s. And cruelty investigation is even worse. Not a one of you could ever do their job. You people are so cruel it makes me cry.

    1. You may be right – maybe not one of us could do their job. Apparently at least one of them is unwilling to do it either.

      You know what makes me cry? Someone paid to protect pets from cruelty who gets a call from the police and hits the snooze button. There was no reason those 3 dogs had to suffer for hours more, once they were found. Anyone who allows suffering or makes excuses for those who do should be ashamed.

      1. Do you know she was asleep? Do you know she wasn’t on another call? Do you know what time she was called? Or what time the second officer arrived? Do you know if the police left the owner there or if they arrested him then (for cruelty or something else?) Do you know if the police made sure the dogs had food and water before they left? Do you know if ACO Lockett is trained for cruelty investigations? (AFAIK, there are only a few ACO’s who specialize in this at MAS. Before last year there were none).

        I’m sure none of these questions are important. Only that there is another bad MAS employee to prove how awful they all are.

        I don’t know ACO Lockett. But there is no way I’m going to condemn her based on this incredibly shoddy reporting. But I’ve seen the ACO’s of MAS at work, more than one and in more than one type of situation. I’m proud of them and I honor their dedication to their jobs. I’ve seen more than one bend over backwards to keep an animal out of the shelter. I’ve heard even more about their compassion and professionalism.

        I couldn’t do their job for love or money. I’m thankful they can.

      2. No offence, Patience, but didn’t you say goodbye on another YB posting? Cause I am wishing you would now. Jesus Christ on a bicycle! Stop making apologies for people who don’t do their damned jobs at the expense of those who cannot speak for themselves!

      3. She’s said goodbye more than once but she keeps coming back. That’s just the level of magnetism we CRAZY PEOPLE have I guess.

      4. Of course I keep coming back. I enjoy the witty repartee.

        I’d love to leave. I keep trying. And I certainly have better things to do than sit here and play gadfly. I certainly don’t do it in the belief that any of you pay attention to (or actually read) anything I say.

        Maybe I do it because I’ve seen too many advocacy blogs lose their focus on advocating and become the means of destroying people’s reputations and lives. Maybe it’s because I believe in innocent until guilty, don’t believe in guilt by association, and have never believed something just because I read it on the Internet.

        Or maybe I was just born to be a pain in the ass.
        Your choice.

        As always

      5. @morgana

        Please, I’m blushing. Or is that my blood pressure going up?

        Whatever. But I just spit iced tea out on my keyboard.If y’all are lucky, it will short out and die.

  10. How can anyone defend the inactions of the ACO? How does anyone defend the continueing abuse, mishandling, lack of compassion, stealing someone’s family member, fudged records, lieing and killing 77% of every animal they come in contact with?

    Defending them must mean you are part of them. Do YOU work there, Patience?

    1. No, I don’t work there. Am I defending her? No. Am I accusing her? No. I am asking for the whole story before I make up my mind.,. It’s one of those odd compulsions I have now and then.

  11. This is so disgraceful and pitiful. If I were a Memphis tax payer I would be so angry that my hard earned money was being spent so that people like Lockett and Beamon can sit around and do NOTHING! While my local shelter (Austin TX) is far from perfect, I can tell you that whenever I am down there, all the employees are VERY busy doing their jobs. That effort shows, with high volume adoptions, return to owners and public trust.

    1. Amanda, you think Austin’s shelter is far from perfect? …It IS perfect compaired to MAS. Austin’s 90% + saved rate is what we dream of here.

  12. Do you know what is even more shameful, Patience? The 3 dogs will be dragged to their deaths at the end of a catch-pole by an uncaring worker at MAS and we’ll be able to watch it on live web cam. OR, they won’t be given medical attention at MAS and they’ll die in their cages because the public won’t be able to get to them in order to help. Now, that is shameful – not a poll that accurately asks the why that woman would have gotten her ass out of bed. We all know Kimberly Lockett is a sorry excuse for an employee and she doesn’t give a damn about a dog in need much less 3.

    1. Tammy, you might want to watch the abc24 video. The dogs look like they’re doing ok.

      And I’m sorry, but I can’t agree with you about ACO Lockett. I see a picture and a local news report .I guess my computer doesn’t have good enough resolution to recognize what everyone else here has seen.

    2. Amen, Tammy. Hey, I’ve got an idea: stunningly simple: Patience, why don’t you run right over and tell the shelter you want to adopt those three as soon as the case is settled? That would solve it all, right?

      1. I’d love to. But my two cats are both ex-ferals and they only like dogs as occasional visitors.

        I will have some money soon though. Maybe I can pay their adoption fees or HW treatment if needed. Thanks for the suggestion.

      2. Patience: While I want to say “you’re perfectly welcome”, I just can’t help thinking that there are always excuses from people who complain the most. Always. But don’t mind me, you go ahead and MAKE DAMNED SURE that those three dogs are never dragged to their deaths at the end of a catchpole at MAS. That I want to see.

  13. Patience, maybe you are right about some pre-judgeing before all the facts are known. But do you understand WHY so many are so pissed at MAS & their employees? Do you think everyone is wrong when we see abuse & MAS sees “getting into position” or excuses? Does it bother you knowing so many are dieing without even doing the basic things to easily save them instead?

    1. Patience, we/ I don’t want to alienate you or offend you. If you know any of these ACOs or people who work there, you are probably just the person we need. Someone needs to convey to them the difference in compassion & concussion. No one wants to be a hard ass on them, we just want them to do what they know is right, stop killing & put more effort into placing dogs/cats where they will live. DO YOUR JOB, MAS.

      You could say things to the MAS crew that I will never have the opportunity to. How do you tell them, “Be nice,” because they certainly haven’t heard me & don’t seem to be answering letters.

      1. And perhaps they were the ones who showed me what compassion truly is.

        Don’t worry about offending me or alienating me. If you spend enough time on the blogosphere, your skin is thick, your wit is sharpened and once in a while you find a surprise you’re not expecting. Sometimes even a good surprise.

  14. patience Says:

    August 25, 2011 at 10:17 am e

    Do you know she was asleep? Do you know she wasn’t on another call? Do you know what time she was called? Or what time the second officer arrived? Do you know if the police left the owner there or if they arrested him then (for cruelty or something else?) Do you know if the police made sure the dogs had food and water before they left? Do you know if ACO Lockett is trained for cruelty investigations? (AFAIK, there are only a few ACO’s who specialize in this at MAS. Before last year there were none).

    IDK if she was asleep or finding a cure for cancer or drunk dialing old boyfriends or what – I only know she was on call in case the police needed her help with a pet.

    IDK if she’s trained for cruelty investigations, I only know she was on call in case the police needed her help with a pet.

    I know when police needed her help, she refused.

    I’m pretty patient, patience but like most people, my patience has limits. Please do not engage in further trolly behavior here. I won’t be approving any more of your comments if they contain so much as a whiff of trollishness. And after I run out of patience for not approving trollful comments, you’ll be heading to the black hole. So knock it off please.

    1. Seriously. And she *lied* to the police dispatcher, saying that they don’t come out after hours. So the next time that dispatcher got a call, she might pass on that false information (thinking it was true), setting up a situation for more cruelty to happen WHILE THE ACO COLLECTS EXTRA MONEY FOR NOT DOING ANYTHING.

      How Mr. Beamon can defend her actions is beyond me. She never saw the dogs, so how did she know that they weren’t in immediate danger? She was able to make that call over the phone, apparently. Without talking to the cop on the scene, apparently. She lied to the dispatcher. She left a cop standing there without help. And for this, she gets a car (a car! to RESPOND TO CALLS!) and extra pay. Memphis pays, MAS pisses it away.

      1. A CAR too! Hell, I want one too. I deserve it, doing as much overtime as she did. I can say NO just as easily as she can!

  15. She is trained (hopefully) to pick up dogs. Even if she didn’t know about abuse cases she could of picked them up, given them food and a place to spend the night. If she was busy then she could of gone when she was finished what she was doing. Then the story would of been about understaffing.

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