I know you’re out there.

What is happening in the effort to reform the Memphis pound?  As far as I know, nothing.  While I am hopeful that there is in fact meaningful work being done of which I am unaware, it pains me to know that may not be the case.  That is not to say that there is no one doing anything at all.  Indeed there are kind-hearted people working to save what few pets they can from MAS and others, such as those who attended the recent advisory board meeting, who are trying to give voice to the homeless pets in Memphis.  All of these efforts are valuable and I am very grateful for them.  But they are not change.  They are status quo.

Like so many other communities, Memphis is spinning its wheels in the Save a Few, Kill the Rest, Blame the Public ditch.  The city leaders who either sit idly by or actively defend the pound’s regressive and barbaric practices are enablers.  Concerned citizens who accept excuses such as, “We’re trying but we just can’t do it” are enablers.  This is a very comfortable position for MAS to be in – surrounded by enablers and easily resisting change.  Human nature tends toward comfortable positions.

But unlike most other pet killing facilities, MAS has a vacancy in the director position.  Historically, we know that this is the moment that real change can occur.  Because leadership is everything.  When Washoe Co brought in Bonney Brown, the killing began to end.  When Tompkins Co brought in Nathan Winograd, the killing began to end.  When Austin brought in Dr. Ellen Jefferson, the killing began to end.  Is there any reason Memphis couldn’t be added to this list?  No, there isn’t.  But if Memphis isn’t added to this list, it will be because compassionate locals did not step up and demand it.  And that would be a tragedy.

Will anyone in Memphis stand up and take the lead on engaging the mayor in a political campaign to reform MAS?  We’ve already established there would be lots of support locally and nationwide for this effort but we still lack the person willing to do it.  Will anyone step forward and make their voice heard in the hiring of a compassionate director at MAS who is committed to bringing the killing to an end?  The time is now.  This is a chance to effect meaningful change but without leadership, the opportunity will be squandered and there will likely be another sorry excuse installed as director.  From there, it will be Save a Few, Kill the Rest, Blame the Public.  The enablers can stay in their positions of comfort and the pets will continue to suffer and die as a result.  Memphis needs one person willing to lead a campaign for reform and one director committed to saving lives.  With that, the whole nightmare ends.

I know you are out there.  The only thing I don’t know is, what are you waiting for?

Leave a comment

72 Comments

  1. Cathy Karr

     /  September 20, 2011

    I’ve been attentively reading every article you’ve written about this insanity. I am in FL which limits any location assistance but I have posted today’s missive on my and other fb pages with urgent comment and a call for action to those who read it and crosspost. Perhaps someone will actually be roused to consciousness.

    Reply
  2. mikken

     /  September 21, 2011

    I thought that SOS Memphis and No Kill Memphis were teaming up?

    Reply
    • ezbuddy

       /  September 21, 2011

      I’ve written letters to SOS and No Kill Memphis, without a reply. I’ve written the mayor numerous times, with no reply. I’ve written Ms Hooks twice, with no reply. I’ve written the ex-director three times, with no reply. I’ve written all the city council persons three times, no reply. I’ve written to Memphis’ web site twice, with no reply. I’ve written to the “club” the mayor has supposedly charged with doing an audit for MAS twice, with no reply. I’ve written to the local news paper, with no reply. I’ve written to our state representative, it bounced back.

      Is there anyone else I should be expecting no reply from to write to? I surely expected SOS & No Kill to accept support, but maybe my keyboard ain’t working right!

      I can’t personally go to these people’s place of business or homes, as I don’t get around like the rest of you do & is much more difficult than you know. Otherwise, I would be out there in people’s faces. Snail mail letters are next.

      What else do you suggest I do?

      Reply
      • If you’ve not done so already, I suggest you to http://www.rescue50.org/ and look at the “For groups and advocates” section to find out what else you can do. Good luck, and thank you for caring!

      • patience

         /  September 21, 2011

        It’s not your keyboard. You need to start using what’s at the other end! Teh Google is your friend and the telephone is a wonderful tool to establish relationships with people who can help you if you let them. Be open-minded and listen to people; they will be more likely to listen to you then. Is there someone you could help at an adoption event? Personal contact is the best entry and having a friend who can vouch for you makes a world of difference. Even meeting and getting to know people who aren’t the ‘leaders’ is fulfilling and can lead to unexpected opportunities.

        It is very difficult and frustrating at the beginning; there is also a very steep learning curve. Search and listen, ezbuddy; you’ll find what you need.

      • If you have ever written anything to SOS Memphis, wew have never received it. Direct your emails to sosmemphis@yahoo.com. We have not received anything from you so don’t include us in the mix of people in Memphis whom you have not received a response from. One of the worst things that animal advocates do is criticize each other without getting all their facts straight.

      • SOS I agree 100%! People jump to conclusions too quickly. Emails get lost, they go to spam folders, they get sent to the wrong address. ALSO, PEOPLE HAVE LIVES AND ARE SOMETIMES BUSY. I defend you guys wholeheartedly because I know how much you care and how hard you are trying to make a difference. Negativity like this is infuriating and serves no positive purpose and certainly doesn’t help the animals at MAS.

  3. Debbie Miller

     /  September 21, 2011

    Not being from Memphis I do not know if Cindy is still even in the area, but Cindy Marx-Sanders a woman who used to be on the advisory board and whose term was not renewed by (I believe) Matthew Pepper would be a wonderful choice for Director or to assist the director.

    I apologize for not following your blog as closely as I used to. I still check in regularly but because of your blog, I am now very involved in my community shelter and humane society. I also am the proud mom of two foster dogs, as well as my own three (one of my three I adopted a few months back from our shelter),

    Wiley Cat is doing great and will be neutered soon by a wonderful doctor who I’ve met along the way who runs a low cost spay and neuter clinic (he also believes in the cause) 30$ to neuter a male cat :)

    Thanks Shirley for doing what you do best, being an angel to these poor souls. Our shelter is getting reformed, I will fill you in once some changes are made that are not public yet but there is a light at the end of our dark tunnel. First and foremost our terrible dog warden Andrew (who gassed 37 dogs at one time in a homemade gas chamber) resigned two weeks ago, he turned in his notice which was effective immediately. Things are looking good.

    I learn a lot from your blog. Keep it going!

    Reply
  4. I just liked Mayor Wharton’s facebook page so I could post a comment. I thought you might be interested in an event scheduled for tomorrow:

    Tomorrow from 4 to 7 p.m., it’s Black Tie Yappy Hour at Memphis Animal Services. All black and white animals are only $10. Please consider giving one of these animals a new forever home. Thanks, Friends of Memphis Animal Services, for your continued help.

    I posted my comment under that. I encourage everyone to do the same.

    Reply
    • I’m guessing they mean “all black and white animals that we say you get to look at” and not really ALL b & w animals at MAS. The doors to the stray area remain locked, last I heard.

      Reply
      • At least they are trying to INCREASE ADOPTIONS in SOME way! Change has to start somewhere. It will not happen overnight. Find some way to be positive if it is at all possible. 37 lives were saves. It may not matter much to you but it sure matters to those 37 animals.

    • That is a start. Is this event also in all the local media? Posted on flyers around town? Do they have more events in the plans – likely monthly events? Are they telling people where they can preview these event animals online — like on petfinder — with nice photos and bios posted?

      Reply
  5. I tweeted and Facebooked: Memphis TN needs a good #nokill leader for their #animalshelter – are you the one? http://ow.ly/6AX0V SAVE #pets #cats #dogs Pls RT

    Reply
  6. Frankie

     /  September 21, 2011

    Good luck on your director search. Does Marlboro County have a manager ?

    Reply
  7. ezbuddy

     /  September 21, 2011

    Patience: In the beginning? How long do you think I’ve been doing this?

    I used to write those paper n’ stamp things, to EVERYONE who was mistreating & killing animals. Done more animal relocations & rescues than I can count. Given good homes to more cats & dogs than any responsible person should. This isn’t new, just unheeded, unresponded to & I can’t believe Memphis is going to do much to stop killing.

    But I’m not going to stop trying!

    Reply
    • patience

       /  September 21, 2011

      I know you’re not new at this. I read what you write on here.

      But no one is responding to your emails and letters. Maybe you need to let people know who you are by meeting you and talking to you. That’s all I’m saying. Having the experience you have and being local gives you something in common right away. Emails are easily deleted, letters thrown away. Meeting someone and talking and listening just sometimes work better.

      I’m sorry if I offended you. I certainly didn’t mean to. It’s just that I’m at the beginning after searching for a long time. I’ve talked to a lot of people and I’ve tried to listen to even more. It’s sometimes been frustrating, but I’m learning more each day.

      There are people here working on reform, ezbuddy. I wish you luck in your search.

      Reply
  8. It is easy to look at Memphis from another state, or even within the city, and say “I would do this or that” but try accomplishing something with the people who are running this city. It is like telling someone to ask Tony Soprano to stop doing what he is doing. It is not that easy.

    SOS is a wonderful group who really cares. If they did not answer you email it is because they did not receive it (it may have gone to their spam folder) or it was because they were busy saving the lives of animals and chose to put that first over answering emails.

    I have written everyone in this city, every board member, director (when we had one) and the Mayor. NOT ONE SINGLE RESPONSE. I have been blocked from Wharton’s FB page. I guess they pass out the “blacklisted people” so maybe nobody in this city is even receiving my emails or I’m on the “no need to respond” list.

    If you call the Mayor’s office or MAS regarding the shelter, nobody gets back with you EVER and they are too busy to talk when you call. I have called several times asking the simple question “who is in charge of donations” and they passed me around to several people trying to find an answer. Shouldn’t that be a fairly easy question to answer?

    I have been begging and pleading for them to meet with me to discuss getting out and recruit volunteers at events, pet stores, etc., I offered to pay for banners, tables, anything needed and do it all myself and with volunteers AND NO RESPONSE. As you very well know, I can’t get out and do this myself without their consent because I can not act as a representative of MAS without their prior approval because I would prefer not to get sued.

    I attended the last board meeting and got “gaveled” for offering a $5 solution to the “lack of space” they insist they have when it comes time to hose out the kennels each day because it wasn’t on “my card” as the issue I wanted to address. I talked over the gavel and told them anyway. Get a $5 leash with a clip on each end and clip the dog to the outside of the crate until it is hosed out. Yeah, rocket science I know.

    When I asked about keeping the old shelter open (the question on my official “card”) for additional housing for the animals scheduled for euthanasia (run by volunteers and donations), I was told it could not be done (along with a snicker from them) because FedEx owned the building. Then as soon as the meeting was over, an attorney who is interested in the shelter director position told me that it IS possible and he was currently discussing this with FedEx and it looks very promising.

    When I suggested a different building instead THAT one, I was told “you can do whatever you want to do”…meaning on my own. They absolutely WILL NOT work with the citizens or even listen to us.

    These people have ZERO interest in changing or even listening to input and ideas. Outside of holding them at gunpoint, I don’t see what anyone can do. They think of animals as “property” to be disposed of when its convenient for humans. The city attorney who spoke at the meeting literally kept referring to the horses and livestock as property to be auctioned and/or disposed of without even missing a beat. Literally like her heart had been removed surgically.

    I have given up on MAS working with the people. It is just not going to happen. They are more concerned with their egos and their power trips than the animals. They do not see animals as we do and they never will. And they will continue to hire directors they can bully or who feel the same way they do. Its hopeless.

    So, I have decided to do it without their consent. It will be a long road ahead of me as I have never attempted anything like this in my life but I am going to reach out to the community and ask that they help me create a private shelter that is run by the CITIZENS of Memphis through donations and volunteers. The shelter will be an actual SHELTER, filled with loving volunteers, not callous, jaded city employees who only want a paycheck and who do not “get” the “animal thing”. The shelter will ONLY rescue animals from MAS and other local shelters that are scheduled for euthanasia.

    And when it comes time for one of our shelter animals to have to say goodbye, we will have the “Rainbow Room” where they get to go and have any treat they want, even a cheeseburger, and all the love they can stand. No animal will be euthanized without being in the loving arms of a volunteer who tell him what a good boy he has been or what a good girl she was.

    Will this “dream” shelter be open next month? No. Next year? Highly unlikely. But will we one day have a REAL shelter in Memphis that actually shows animals the care and compassion they deserve? You better believe it. If I have to die trying to make it happen then that is what I’m gonna do.

    I hope to live to see the day when MAS is no longer even needed. When they all lose their jobs, they will wish they had worked with us instead.

    Please visit Save A Pet in Memphis on Facebook for updates. Email me at saveapetmemphis@gmail.com if you would like to be put on a list to donate or volunteer. Or if you have any resources or connections that would be helpful in getting the ball rolling. I am hoping we can find someone to design a website or us at a reduced rate.

    I’m tired of waiting on MAS to change. They won’t. Its time we do this without them.

    Christi Long

    Reply
    • ezbuddy

       /  September 21, 2011

      NOW I know who you are! You were standing right behind me. I was on the wheels.

      Yes, I saw how they blew off your suggestion & how they had only apathy for your & other’s questions & suggestions. I also suggested just having a volunteer walk the dog while the cage is being cleaned, but they didn’t even hear me. Volunteers love doing stuff like that but I also don’t understand WHY they won’t use them or offer any help to those who want to help them, their jobs and especially the animals.

      Maybe it’s because volunteers would only show how much employees are NOT needed & can do a better job of careing for the place & the animals. Make ’em look bad & over-paid.

      Your ideas sound great. Sign me up. I am limited but will help wherever I can. I’m sure others here WILL help too. (Won’t you?) I believe you are right again about expecting NO help from MAS, or changes. I don’t expect much from THEIR pick of a new director either. It’s really up to those who care & demand change, even if we have to do it ourselves.

      Reply
      • JustAVisitor

         /  September 21, 2011

        Three cheers and then some for your incredible persistence! Another outsider question for local folks: do you belong to a church, synagogue, mosque, club, association, anything like that? If so, are you “in” it enough to be able to get an information session set up where rescue advocates could talk about a vision for a more compassionate Memphis?

        I’ve read the 50-state guide and it is pretty awesome as a document… it just sounds like approaching officials has been done & won’t get further, so approaching neighbors may be what’s left.

        Living so far from TN, I have no clue about the hiring process for the new MAS director, and I’d really like to see an Austin-like shift happen again, but I’m cheering for any movement forward.

      • Hello EZ Buddy! I remember you! Please send an email to saveapetmemphis@gmail.com with your name and contact information and I will put you on the volunteer list. Even if spreading the word on FB is all that you can do, that will be a great help. I just appreciate your willingness to help in some way. Please like my page “Save A Pet in Memphis” on FB also as I will be posting updates and am always posting about pets in need. Thanks so much! I appreciate you!

      • JustAVisitor

         /  September 21, 2011

        PS: re: “They do not see animals as we do…” — this is so much easier for me to understand for ACOs themselves, some of whom might not have seen much compassion in action, than for the administrators and politicians (and chatty FB posters) who may have seen more of the world and who probably live in safer neighborhoods.

  9. Ann Mitchell

     /  September 21, 2011

    Christi….we need to get together, will you please email me @ coldwaterann@aol.com…..we have the same idea, just don’t know how to put it together

    Reply
    • Ann, that is AWESOME! I will send you an email. Would you also send one to saveapetmemphis@gmail.com with your contact info? Please like Save A Pet in Memphis on Facebook as I will be posting updates and seeking volunteers there. Let’s get together and figure this all out. It CAN be done, we just have to all ban together and make it happen.

      Reply
  10. JustaVisitor, thank you for caring about the animals of our city from afar! My plan is to get a force of volunteers who do nothing but seek donations from individuals and small business and corporate monthly sponsorships.

    Once we get a commitment in a dollar figure that will allow us to find a property and pay for it, then we will proceed. With enough donations, we can have a “real” shelter for the furry angels of Memphis and any and everything they need. It will just take getting out there and knocking on every door in this city to make it happen.

    It will take a large group of volunteers to accomplish this so please send an email to saveapetmemphis@gmail.com if you would like to volunteer in ANY area (even if only online or over the phone).

    If anyone has resources and/or contacts who could be beneficial such as attorneys, CPAs, web designers, etc., please put them in touch with me. This project is in the embryo stage so I need all the help and advice I can get!

    Please like Save A Pet in Memphis for updates also.

    Thanks to any and everyone who is willing to help in some way! You are greatly appreciated!

    Reply
    • Stephanie

       /  September 23, 2011

      Christi,

      The most immediate thing you need to do is incorporate as a non-profit because that’s the first step towards getting your 501(c)(3). There are also pretty strict rules in TN about who can solicit donations. You wouldn’t want to run afoul of that and end up jeopardizing your chances of having the IRS approve your application for 501(c)(3) non-profit status.

      Reply
      • I am very aware of needing a 501c3. I need donations to help pay the 501c3, attorney, CPA, website, etc., among many other costly things. I’m not Bill Gates. I will need help.

        I am not going to try to get an appointment at FedEx and Kroger to discuss a sponsorship without already having 501c3 status. :)

        We all know people who know “someone” who can get us an appointment with someone to discuss sponsorships. We just have to ask and be persistent. We can get individual donations from trusted family members, friends and clients to help us gain 501c3 status so we can then try to LEGALLY obtain donations and sponsorships from businesses and individuals.

        I own a pet related business and have hundreds of animal loving clients and contacts. I would like to put that to good use. I also get requests for donations for causes on a weekly basis. So, I know people can ask for donations. I have never asked if they an legally ask for donations. But I realize some people are actually that anal so there is always the risk.

        If you would like to volunteer or help in some way, please contact me at saveapetmemphis@gmail.com. Thank you for anything you can do or any advice you have. If you have more detailed information about the laws pertaining to this, please send a link. I appreciate any information I can get. Thank you!

      • Stephanie

         /  September 23, 2011

        You can find information about charitable fundraising in TN at this link: http://www.tn.gov/sos/charity/co-info.htm. There’s an exemption from registration for organizations that receive less than a certain amount, but you have to file for that exemption too.

  11. Frankie

     /  September 22, 2011

    Don’t forget to apply for the 501 status as soon as possible. That can get you a discount on many day to day items.

    Reply
    • Frankie, do you have a 501c3? If so, I could use some help in this area. It is a pretty involved process and it seems it would be best to go through an attorney or CPA. Which do you suggest? Part of the initial donations is to go toward the costs of establishing the 501c3. If anyone has experience in this area and would like to help, offer advice or suggestions as to how to make the process go as quickly and smoothly as possibly, please contact me at saveapetmemphis@gmail.com. I am aware of the IRS forms and info available online, I need someone to help me sort all of that out. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

      Reply
  12. YesBiscuit, a local attorney named Scott Kramer is interested in the director position and would be an excellent choice. Many people have voiced an interest in seeing someone like Scott as director of the shelter. We could see real change if he was appointed director and was ALLOWED to implement No Kill. That is where the problem comes in. Just because he would want to do this or that doesn’t mean he would be allowed to do it. I am hoping with an attorney in this position, he would know more loopholes to get around the obstacles.

    How does anyone make the change needed when the city officials over the shelter insist on doing things the antiquated way and refuse to listen to the director or the citizens? How do we get them to respond to letters and requests for meetings? Please give us some pointers on how to make this happen.

    I have Nathan Winograd’s Books Redemption, Irreconcilable Differences and also the community packet. How do you suggest we engage the mayor after hundreds of failed attempts? When we are continually ignored, how do we do this? As much as I want change, I do not want to be arrested or shot for barging in his office and/or stalking him. Outside of that, I honestly do not know how this an be accomplished.

    We have protesters here and several organized groups who also keep hitting the same walls. Could you please tell us step by step, in detail, as to how we can get every single city leader and representative who are all supporting each other in being against the “animal lovers’ of Memphis to suddenly become “engaged” or to change how they think about animals?

    If you can explain to me how to do it, I will do it. But I honestly do not know how. I could use some tips and advice. Just saying “something needs to be done” isn’t going to help us get it done. Tell us precisely how to engage the Mayor in a political campaign to change MAS and we will do it. We are not experts in this area, we need help and advice.

    Please promote Scott Kramer on your blog. We need someone like him and we need someone to speak out on his behalf. If you know how to help us get him hired, let us know that as well.

    Thank you for caring about the animals of Memphis from so far away. MAS may not appreciate it, but those of us who actually care about animals appreciate it more than you know,

    Reply
    • Your step by step guide to engaging the city in a political campaign for reform, written by Ryan Clinton who followed these steps to help make Austin a no kill community:
      http://www.nokilladvocacycenter.org/pdf/politadvocacy.pdf

      Reply
      • I received all of this information when I ordered the community packet from the No Kill Advocacy Center as I mentioned in my post. I realize it is a long post so you may have just skimmed over it.

        The question I am asking is how to you “take the Mayor to lunch” as Ryan suggests or “have a meeting with the shelter director” (when you have one) when they refuse to speak with your or respond. The Mayor is a very busy man, its not like you can just be bop into his office and go “hello! you got a sec?” You have to get an appointment. How can I get an appointment with the Mayor AC Wharton, Shirley?

        I’m not asking for a link, I have already read all of that. You are aware of the situation in Memphis, you know how difficult things are with regard to our city leaders. So tell us…how do we can an appointment with Mayor Wharton? I honestly have no idea so please tell us so we can get this ball rolling.

        If things were so simple to correct, every single shelter in this country would be No Kill. We DO care, we ARE trying. Its NOT working.

        Could you post some additional information about getting past the obstacles that the animal advocates of Memphis are facing? We are at a loss. Help us.

      • I can’t do your work for you. If I could, I would.

      • Shirley, in response to your comment “I can’t do your work for you”….if you actually wanted to help, you would. You would offer advice and suggestions if you had information that could help us. Either you have no information or you are unwilling to help. Which is it?

        I have been one of your supporters over the last few months and have defended you when so many people said so many negative things. I think I am now getting the real picture. Some people had rather point a finger and criticize from afar than actually take time out to help. You can spend a lot of time writing columns that criticize, but only write a one line response to someone asking for help. What is wrong with this picture?

        I really thought your heart was in it and you really wanted change but now I am thinking you only want to complain and criticize. Going after the people who are trying to do something, isn’t really the way to get things done. Constant negativity and criticism against the people who are trying to do something only makes them want to stop trying. Offering support and motivation always works better than criticism. As they say, you can always attract more flies with honey.

        You have not written ONE WORD about my passion to create a new shelter. Wouldn’t someone who wants less animals to die at MAS be a little more supportive of ANY effort to save lives?

        Nobody is perfect. All cities are not the same. People are not the same. Conditions are not the same. A lot of us have hope for change and are doing WHAT WE CAN. We were not all born to be Nathan Winograd. If we were, there would be one on every corner and kill shelters would not exist.

        If you want to criticize MAS that is one thing, but when you are coming after the people who I know are trying to do everything they can to make a difference, you are being unreasonable and out of line.

        If you really wanted to HELP you wouldn’t be so snippy to people asking for advice. You must have a lot to offer since you seem to know we are all doing everything wrong. Surely you could take a few moments out of your day to tell us what we can do right.

        Your “I can’t do your work for you” statement only told me that you have NO ANSWERS to our problem. And it was cold and uncaring and served no positive purpose. It was one notch away from “so what”.

        So sad when the very person who was supposed to care really doesn’t care enough to help when asked.

      • Yeah, I only want to criticize. In fact, criticizing MAS gives me such a hard-on that I’ve been doing it for months – nay, years. I spend hours looking at hundreds of webcam photos trying to pick which dead and abused pets to share and which I am relegating to anonymity, as if they somehow are less deserving. I have helped bring national attention to the wrongdoings at MAS because yay – I got to criticize.

        You want to tear me down because I can’t tell you from my keyboard in SC how to get a lunch appointment with your mayor? You want to tear me down because I haven’t written about YOUR passion? This is my blog. I write about what I want. Feel free to start your own blog.

        If you don’t like me calling things like I see them, you must be new to the blog. My understanding is that there are other blogs available on the internet for your perusal. Perhaps you will find one more to your liking. Memphis has plenty of people trumpeting the good deeds at MAS – including the “Friends”, the mayor, the city council, and quite a few pet advocates. As I’ve stated before, I’m not here to jump on that bandwagon. I am here to shine a light on all the shit they try to sweep under the rug. There are not enough people doing that so I stood up and volunteered.

        I am just about ready to puke over these bullying tactics used by you and others in Memphis. I have laid out clear guides, offered suggestions/input/feedback many times both publicly and privately to the advocates in Memphis. For this, I have received threats, been called all sorts of things that would make a sailor blush, and lost sleep with my heart on the floor over the plight of homeless pets in Memphis. But it’s all been worth it because I got to criticize.

        I can not do your work for you. I can only offer examples of success, suggestions, and ideas. Which I have done, a hundred times over on this blog and a hundred times more via private e-mails. The situation in Memphis will not change until someone in Memphis forces the issue. I am not in Memphis, therefore I am not that someone. As far as I can tell, there isn’t anyone in Memphis willing to do that – yet. But when that person emerges, I will be offering my support. And when Memphis eventually gets dragged, kicking and screaming on a chokepole into the present day, I will be cheering them on and holding them up as an example of how desperate wrongs can be made right. I will say to other communities, “Look at the brilliant success in Memphis!” and I’m sure I will hear back from those communities that I am a bitch who only likes to criticize and I don’t know about their community because I don’t live there and they are unique and if I really cared I’d get them a lunch appointment with their mayor. I’m ready. In the meantime, I’ll be right here.

  13. Erica

     /  September 22, 2011

    I have sent e-mail after e-mail in regards to the director position. With NO response. I know that most ‘government’ office have some sort of policy on how they accept applications, but I am unable to find a listing for the director position – quite possibly because they haven’t posted for it yet. If anyone has any suggestions on my next move – please give them to me. I know that there is a local attorney that is looking into the position…but I also know he’s spoken out about how easy it would be to go No Kill and that may have been enough to get him blacklisted from the position – IF the mayor and his crew stay true to form. Regardless I still want this shelter! I am unable to attend Advisory board meetings, as I am in Ohio with 5 kids and can’t just take off for an out of state meeting – but does anyone think it would help if I e-mailed the Advisory board? Janet Hooks?

    I just need advice and suggestions on my next move….if you’re ‘local’ you might have a better understanding of how the government in Memphis works. If you have a shelter that is union then you might have info I can use. ANY help would be appreciated. I am on pins and needles waiting to hear back from people. I don’t want to blow up their e-mails and phones…but if that’s what I have to do to get their attention I will. I have already been playing around with a cost of living calculator for Memphis – to see just how much I would need to get paid to be able to provide for my family there – and in hopes that I can submit a ‘bid’ for the position with a decrease in the salary to help put me towards the front of the candidates. If it’s going to shave some money off of what the city has to pay out then it would be benefiting them from the beginning, right?

    I love the idea of creating a private shelter, but I know that’s going to take some time to get off the ground. I just really feel that right NOW there needs to be someone put in place at MAS to help NOW. If the right person gets the job then nobody would have to go the route of developing a new shelter from the ground up. I’m just concerned that the ‘acting’ director will get the perm. position and while I do not know the gentleman personally I have watched him on the webcams and seen him do some of the stuff we have been so upset about – dragging animals on choke poles and improper handling of animals on their way to the kill room. I don’t think MAS needs to continue with the same attitude the employees have now and fear that if the city doesn’t look for some new blood that the shelter will continue to be plague with the same issues..only we won’t get to know about them because of the no more webcams!

    Please give me some suggestions, ideas, places to e-mail, more ideas of what I CAN do to get their attention. I already e-mailed the Mayor and told him that I knew if I could get this position that I can ‘fix’ it so that MAS is no longer the monkey on his shoulder. I thought that would be enough – just to know that he wouldn’t have to deal with all the nonsense that has been going on by putting the right person in the director position. I just fear that because he wants HSUS to do the evaluation – and HSUS & I have had our headbutting sessions so much that I am sure if they see my name they’ll instantly blacklist me from even applying. Can anyone help me out?

    Reply
    • patience

       /  September 22, 2011

      City elections are Oct. 6. There won’t be much movement until then. If Sylvia Cox wins in dist 2, you might want to get in touch with her since MAS reform is one of her big issues. I doubt you’ll get much response from anyone till after the elections. I don’t think they’ll post the director position till then or maybe after HSUS inspection and I don’t know what is going on with that. Applications are probably just being filed or trashed until position is posted. You might want to talk to No-Kill Memphis or SOS Memphis to get a better understanding of Memphis and its politics.

      Reply
      • Erica

         /  September 22, 2011

        Thank you Patience. I didn’t think about elections – but am glad they are right around the corner! Is MAS in District 2? Sorry I don’t know how Memphis districts are divided up. But I will definitely talk to No-Kill Memphis and SOS to see what info I can get from them.

      • JustAVisitor

         /  September 22, 2011

        Wow!

        Sounds like she’d be a good person to talk to no matter what:

        http://www.sylviajcox.com/issuespriorities.html

    • I would send your resume and cover letter via certified mail with signature confirmation. That way you will have proof that is had been received and it will show who signed for it and you can call and ask to speak to them. You will have to call on a regular basis, not just send the occasional email. They stay about 800 calls behind and I assume the emails are 10 times that amount.

      Or you can FedEx it with signature confirmation but certified mail is much cheaper. Emailing doesn’t really get you anywhere. I have sent at least 100 emails and have not received ONE single response.

      We need a qualified, compassionate director for MAS along with a separate private facility and an army of fosters because it will be MANY years before MAS could be close to No Kill, Low Kill or even Medium Kill. Killing is what they do and until the right person can convince them it would be cheaper to go the No Kill route (good luck on getting them to listen), nothing will change at MAS.

      We happen to live in a city where a large percent of the population does not value animals. Look at our dog fighting statistics, along with spay/neuter, strays, cruelty, etc. We have a lot of people here who just do not “get” the “animal thing”. But those people are also voting (well, some of them) and the powers that be had rather focus on issues that they care about.

      When a huge majority of the city doesn’t care about animal welfare, its hard to motivate politicians to spend a lot of effort in that area. Most of our current city leaders only care about votes, tourists, and anything that makes the city money. They see hiring a No Kill director as being costly. They refuse to seek donations to help out the shelter. They refuse to do PR and marketing. They can’t even get a decent website. We have to look at this realistically.

      THEY DO NOT CARE.

      We do. So its time we do this without them.

      Reply
      • LoveMyGirls

         /  September 23, 2011

        People of Memphis don’t care about PEOPLE, much less animals. They don’t care about themselves or others! And the Memphis politicians only care about getting money in THEIR pockets under the guise that it is for the city!

        Erica, I wish you the best of luck!! And A LOT of thick skin!

      • Erica

         /  September 23, 2011

        My skin is beyond thick! LOL I will definitely do the snail mail thing…and talk to Sylvia Cox. Short of going to Memphis and kissing butt I will do everything I can to try to get this position. I’ve wanted it so badly I can taste it. i already got my fiance to agree to move if I can get the job – and my kids are all on board. Thankfully because if I didn’t have my family’s support then I’d be sunk! I’m just wonder how much pull the shelter director really has…I mean if I went in and said that in a business sense it doesn’t make sense to kill those animals because adoptions bring in money.

        Sadly I understand the mentality of Memphis. My city is VERY similar. Which is also part of the reason that I know that kill rate CAN go down when you use the rescues, fosters, and volunteers. I watched my local “pound” go from killing, killing, killing to see them lower the kill rate slowly over the years. It’s still not the best but we finally have a director that is trying. That in and of itself may not be enough – but it sure as hell is a start! There just needs to be a director that cares about the animals – that would be the best thing in the world…because if you DO care about the animals then you’ll be open to working with fosters, volunteers, and rescues. All of which *could* be happening right now but isn’t.

        We’ll see where this goes…and maybe Sylvia Cox will have enough pull to see someone get the director position that cares about the animals. (fingers crossed)

      • JustAVisitor

         /  September 23, 2011

        Erica – If you can at all fit it into your schedule, I would highly recommend going to Memphis and talking to as many people as you can. See if someone in Rep. Cohen’s office would talk to you about the local political scene, also — but of course think about his interests. How is this going to improve his district?

        Although my advice rant (below) is something I offer freely to anyone, incl Scott Baker or other contenders, if you make a plan to go down and find out more, set up a chip-in. I’m good for $10 towards your travel costs!

  14. LoveMyGirls

     /  September 23, 2011

    I hope you had a clear screen to watch your cameras tonight! Those worthless volunteers wasted their whole evening doing nothing except saving the lives of 74 animals tonight during “Yappy Hours” (4p-7p) 37 were adopted making room for 37 more to placed in the adoption area.

    I know 37 is small next to 11,000+… but it’s HUGE to those 37 pets who won’t be sleeping in a cage tonight & will be getting love & hugs forever now!

    Hopefully your blog tomorrow can have something POSITIVE in it for once… I am sure you have it in you… somewhere deeeeep down… there HAS to be a positive thought…

    Reply
    • Wonderful news! 37 in one night by one local rescue group is great news. Now if we can get other pet rescue groups having the same success and then increasing it!

      There are ways to save more shelter animals even before an animal shelter is reformed and rescue groups working together and increasing their adoption rate is a great way to start to reduce the community kill rate of homeless pets.

      Reply
    • 37 pets – I think that’s somewhere around what Washoe Co does every day – with half the population of Memphis. But yeah, I know, Memphis is “unique”.

      The dog adoption hallway at MAS is reportedly kept at two-thirds capacity out of laziness. The hundreds of dogs in the stray area are kept behind closed doors out of laziness. The killing apologists want a gold star and balloons? Peddle it elsewhere.

      Reply
      • patience

         /  September 23, 2011

        No we’re not unique. That’s the problem.

      • I have heard many times, both on the blog and off, how Memphis is unique and has nothing in common with other communities that have gone no kill. The only thing those other communities have in common is that they quit making excuses and embraced the programs of the No Kill Equation. Beyond that, they are still each unique, if you will. There is no reason Memphis couldn’t join the list while recognizing and maintaining its individual identity.

      • patience

         /  September 23, 2011

        No, we’re not No Kill and we’ll probably never go to No-Kill. But we are working to make shelter conditions better for both the animals and the people there. We’re working to reduce the number of animals going into the shelter (Ever hear of Spay in the City?) And we’re working both to bring MAS more into the community and to bring more of the community into reforming MAS.
        I’m sorry we don’t come up to your standards. We don’t come up to ours yet. But please don’t tell us we’re not trying. We’re here. We know.

      • The stats for the first half of 2011 are sickening. I hope the second half will be better. But without compassionate leadership committed to ending the killing of healthy/treatable pets, I am keeping my hope in check.

      • patience

         /  September 23, 2011

        I understand that. I hate it too. And while I keep my hope in check some too, it’s still there If it ever disappears, I’m moving to the Pacific to live on an island by myself. And then I’m going to write a book about it and go on talk shows.

      • Stephanie

         /  September 23, 2011

        I’ve been at MAS a lot lately, and I’ve yet to see the adoption hallway (or healthy hold area at the back of that hallway) not be at or near capacity (meaning 1 or 2 cages unoccupied). It can be difficult to tell if a cage is really empty when there are lots of visitors because the dogs are out with potential adopters.

      • Good grief Shirley, your negativity and criticism of actual efforts being made is so demotivating and depressing. Its like the parent who makes the child feel like they can’t do anything right. No matter how hard they try, its never good enough. Those children always end up giving up. Are you just TRYING to make the entire city of Memphis throw in the towel?

        If you can dig deep down inside and find something positive to say about what IS being done, that would be much more helpful and motivating. MOTIVATION is the key to change, instead of the equivalent of beating people with a stick. I hope this is not how you get your pets to “do better”. Positive reinforcement works with humans as well.

        I think what takes place at MAS is an abomination. But when they are doing SOMETHING positive and increasing adoptions, shouldn’t you say “good job” instead of just more negative criticism?

        No wonder the “Friends” are so dang hostile and defensive. Who wouldn’t be dealing with this mess. Sheesh.

  15. How can a city that houses a place like St Judes not have any compassion? It’s there somewhere.

    If I were in charge of the world (I know, I’m not) we’d start with our very young children and teach them to be compassionate to all living things. Perhaps for the older folks it’s too late, but if we can reach the children we can prevent another generation of the same.

    It’s just so very sad to me that this is even happening – to animals and to people.

    Two thumbs up to those who were able to find homes for 37 animals last night. Most of us rejoice when even one animal’s life is spared – and we realize, one life at a time, is huge to that animal.
    I hope you don’t have the impression that anyone on here is just trying to cause trouble or be critical. We simply love animals and do not like to see them mistreated and killed when it really doesn’t need to be that way. (Success breeds success so I hope that another off/on site adoption event is planned for the very near future.)

    Amazing how that “irresponsible public” steps up when you give them a chance. . .

    Reply
    • patience

       /  September 23, 2011

      It’s here db. We’re working on it every day. But even at St Jude they have to temper compassion with reason and make hard decisions. Even they don’t have the resources or the ability to save every child who needs them. The people who work there (especially those who work with the children) are absolutely unbelievable.

      There are people working on helping fix both MAS and the community it’s part of. Most of them work under the radar and don’t make the news. They just try and sometimes fail and try again.

      We face lots of obstacles here. This is the biggest;

      http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2011/sep/23/census-calls-city-poorest-in-nation/

      I know you’ve been on the CA, so I imagine you know the kind of comments this will produce. Those don’t help either. Neither does the “irresponsible public” talk, but I could write an encyclopedia on that. And I’m too long-winded, as it is!

      I know you want to help us and help the animals. Thank you for trying to understand us too.

      Reply
    • Frankie

       /  September 23, 2011

      I think every adoption carries it’s own weight. Thirty seven is a tremendous number of pets finding homes and if the adoptions were thought out, the return rate should not be high. I read a blog containing Nathan Winograds assessment of the humane society he runs, and he said off site adoptions are not productive. His suggestion to Ms. Brown was to continue having them as a way to socialize the dogs and cats. I found that a novel concept. That way if one does get adopted it’s a bonus, but understand that most offsite adoptions fail.
      We take dogs to Sacramento to meet potential adopters, but we have adopters come here to fill out the final paperwork and take the pet home. We are onsite for two hours and then we do a home check while we are there on the interested parties. They follow up here. By the time they arrive we have called the vet references and of course seen their home while in Sacramento. We have only had one animal returned in 7 years. Until that animal is placed in a permanent home I cannot say I have suceeded. Getting a dog out of shelter is not success, getting it in a permanent home is.

      Reply
  16. frankie

     /  September 23, 2011

    @db, a friend has started a mission close to all of us, putting humane education back on the table. That was the first program deemed not necessary when some shelters put all the focus on adoptions. I think her site is up; it is called ” Growing Kinder” She is an amazing lady who has run shelters up and down the coast from Portland to Sonoma to Growing Kinder. She is one of those persons who improves a place just by being there, but her jobs kept getting cut, so now she is on her own and I wish her well

    Reply
  17. “Save a Pet in Memphis” has been taken out to the back forty so if you want to engage her in conversation, please use the e-mail address she posted above.

    Reply
    • Arlene

       /  September 24, 2011

      Good for you Shirley. About time she was taken out and shown that back forty. You have had more patience than I have. I find it interesting that these people talk between themselves and about you no less, and they are doing it on your blog! No manners at all. Good that they’ve been delegated elsewhere.

      Reply
  18. Erica

     /  September 23, 2011

    I think it is important to point out that so many times we’ve heard how things are getting better – only to discover at a later point that one good thing was done, but that’s where it ended. I can’t speak for Shirley but I can say that while it IS wonderful that 37 pets found homes last night – can MAS keep it up? It’s so hard to believe when historically speaking they do one or two things to increase adoptions but there isn’t a day-to-day change at the shelter. I am one who wants continued change….yes, maybe last nights adoption event did turn out great – but will they do it again? Because if they did adoption events like that even on a monthly (or better yet weekly) basis we could begin to see change and possibly a light at the end of the tunnel. Yet – even having those adoption events doesn’t completely solve the problems with mishandling, improper cleaning protocols, and not vaccinating upon intake. I see both sides of this story…there are some people that are trying very hard to enact change – and I think it’s great…but when you have city government not working with you…will that change continue and become permanent?

    Shirley makes no bones about how her blog is set up to focus on some of the problem shelters have and try to engage the community in that area to enact change for their shelters. And that is exactly what has been happening. If not for this blog would No Kill Memphis ever have been formed? Maybe – but I doubt it would’ve happened so quickly. Would the community rally together to save the pets of MAS without Shirley drawing attention to the issues? Again – maybe at some point, but doubtful if no light was shined upon the situation we would see change enacted as quickly as it could be.

    There are a million places to go in order to find information on the No Kill Movement and other options to help shelters as well. Shirley doesn’t proclaim to be THE answer to everything. She shines the light and the community follows it – and it is up to the community to see that change happens. I know that it can be frustrating to be trying to enact change and you keep hitting a brick wall. It is important to remember this isn’t Shirley’s fault – it is the community’s fault – in turning a blind eye on things, or electing officials that don’t have similar values to what the community wants. If Shirley tried to do everything there is no way anything could get accomplished. Her knack lies in revealing what is going on. Some people volunteer in shelters, some run rescues, some do transports…it is important to remember we each have our own niche and it is up to ALL of us to come together and use each person for whatever their gift is in animal causes to see an entire group working together to enact the change that is so needed.

    I don’t fair to rag on Shirley when she is doing all that she has to help. Promoting the e-mail/snail mail/phone call campaign. Shining the light on MAS in the first place so that we knew there was a problem and we could all come together to try and fix it. She’s been there right along with the rest of us sending e-mails, making phone calls, etc. If it wasn’t for Shirley OR her blog how many of you would’ve had a clue about how bad things are at MAS? I know I wouldn’t have known – nor would I have been doing what I can on my end – states away- to try and help. Instead of division we need to come together – instead of complaining we need to find our own answers – instead of playing the blame game we need to work together. The ‘fighting’ and bickering over little things here and there are doing nothing more than giving the Mayor and other government officials in Memphis, along with the FoMAS, and the shelter folk – a way to just sit back and laugh at all of us. We may not all agree on everything – and that’s ok because we are each individual people who think differently from each other – but I think its safe to say that we all do agree that things at MAS are not great and there needs to be change. Stay focused on the light at the end of the tunnel. We’re all here to help each other. Shirley doesn’t have all the answers – none of us do – but working together we can find the answers and right the wrongs.

    Reply
    • Arlene

       /  September 24, 2011

      So well said, Erica. Thank you for saying what I couldn’t put the words together for.

      Reply
      • Erica

         /  September 27, 2011

        No problem. It really irritates me when people jump on Shirley’s blog and bash her like that! She does this on her own – no paycheck – and many times no thank you’s either. She goes over and above what many other bloggers would do to help. It broke my heart to see such callus remarks and slamming when Shirley has done so much to help. Short of going to each community and holding everyone’s hands to walk them through the process – which, let’s be real – there is NOT enough time in the day (or an unlimited amount of funds) for that to even be a thought! I had to re-word that a few times until I said exactly what I felt needed to be said -politely as possible, of course. LOL

  19. angela brown

     /  September 23, 2011

    I have just logged in and started watching the cams. I haven’t watched in over a week, I just couldn’t take anymore. What I’m noticing, is the yellow kennel cards appear to have a picture of the dog/cat in that kennel, EVEN in the ‘stray area’. Are they now allowing people to view that area? Are they now allowing those babies to be adopted?

    Reply
    • Not that I know of Angela. Stray area still off limits to adopters last I heard. A reader sent an inquiry to MAS regarding this last week and received no answer. In my experience, no answer means they can’t think up some weak defense so they ignore.

      Reply
  20. Jan Courtney

     /  September 23, 2011

    Yes Shirley, we are out there. We cannot go into the Mayor’s office with guns a’blazin and demand change. We are working our tails off. We are doing everything we can with the limited resources and a lack of committed volunteers. We have a core group that is doing the work of ten people each and those angels are doing all they can to effect change. But it’s going to take time and the correct strategy. There have been continued postings by you and some of your readers that nothing is being done in Memphis, but that is a fallacy.

    We hate it just as much as you and your readers do that one more animal gets euthanized.

    We hate it just as much as you and your readers do that one more animal has to sit in the stray area without being seen.

    We hate it just as much as you and your readers do that one more animal is dragged by a choke pole to the kill room.

    We hate everything about Memphis Animal Services that you do, but we are chipping away at a very, very big rock. I would love for change to come in a snap of my fingers.

    I go home at night totally depressed at some of your photos. In fact, my heart sinks and I feel nauseous, and so do your other readers.

    But we are not sitting around eating bon bons and watching the webcams. We are out there raising money for marketing efforts and other needed items. We are out there protesting peacefully in front of Wharton’s campaign headquarters. We are out there doing a LOT of creative things to get the message out that MAS is a hell hole. And we have more up our sleeve. I think because you are in South Carolina that you may not be hearing all the good things that a few of us are doing here in Memphis, but again, we have to be very careful and methodical.

    As the interim leader of SOS Memphis, I personally have to fend off attacks and criticisms almost every day, but I am learning (but not quite there yet) to have thicker skin.

    We have a membership of 530 on our SOS Memphis Facebook site and although not all 530 our actively working towards ending the travesty at MAS, this does provide a means of promoting the message about the mistreatment of the animals at MAS.

    We have not yet drunk the Kool-Aid and don’t plan to enter the dark side anytime soon. We still have our heads screwed on straight and continue to fight the good fight.

    Since I cannot think of any further cliches to use, I am going to end now, but wanted you to know…..WE ARE STILL OUT THERE. WE ARE NOT STATUS QU0 AND DONT’ PLAN TO EVER BE STATUS QUO WHEN IT COMES TO CURRENT CONDITIONS AT MAS.

    You have my/our promise.

    Jan Courtney
    http://www.sosmemphis.com

    Reply
  21. JustAVisitor

     /  September 23, 2011

    Ok this may be long, but heck, I love giving free advice; judge its value yourselves! (Shirley, of course this is your blog, and I completely defer to your view of whether this is constructive.)

    I believe that folks in Memphis care about a great many things, and the job of change seekers includes finding out what those things are. Kids getting home safe? Finding a job? Better care for elders?

    Kindly read on…

    “What can I do?”

    If Erica and/or Scott Kramer (sorry I said Baker above) could start a website (Google sites gives small ones out for free) and take a leadership role, that would really help.

    Here are some other actions, generally under 2 hrs in length — some more like 2 minutes. Could you do one of them?

    Animal Advocacy:

    Are you involved with an awesome group that rehabs pets, trains therapy dogs, takes dogs into nursing homes, etc? Are you anywhere near Memphis? Ask a rep from your organization to make a pitch to a neighborhood or grassroots group in Memphis.

    Grassroots Work:

    Ask if the book club or coffee klatsch or brotherhood or whatever of your church/shul/masjid/union/lodge/etc would host a visit from an advocate who can talk about how much well-cared-for animals contribute to their community.
    Do you teach a confirmation or Bar/Bat Mitzvah class? Do any of the kids need a service project? Have them help Meows and Bow Wows or somebody…
    Do you teach (or send a student to school) at a local college/university? Could they invite Dr. Sue-Ellen Brown (of Tuskeegee Univ., who has interviewed a fair number of African American animal welfare activists, to speak on campus?
    Do you know of a nursing home nearby? Call ’em to find out if they already have therapy-dog visits. Find out who would really like to have that, even if funding needs to come from somewhere else.

    Labor/Staffing Issues:

    Call Austin’s shelter and find out if they re-trained staff or fired/hired new.
    Write to your current city council member and see if you can find out more about MAS employees’ situation.
    Call your local bar association and ask for a pro-bono (i.e. free) appointment with a labor lawyer to help you understand any contract info you can obtain.
    Call Baltimore (another economically struggling city), where they seem to have a pound/shelter partnership that saves lots of animals, and see if anyone there will claim their employees are satisfied.
    Bug the No Kill experts (e.g. Winograd) for any other evidence that a job at a no-kill shelter is better (less turnover?) than a job at a pound. Give that evidence to your council person.

    Economic stuff:

    How much do those euthan. drugs cost? Could a no-kill shelter maybe hire more people with the same money?
    Contact your city council member and mention how inspired you are by the therapy dogs that help veterans cope with PTSD, and gee if we had more people trained to handle animals well, we could get into that business.
    Find out if Puppies Behind Bars operates in a prison around Memphis, and if not, ask what it would take to bring them in. Mention to your clubs and/or your reps that graduates of the program will need *good* jobs, like they would have in a compassionate shelter.

    Watching Your Back:

    Has anyone called the FBI (or whoever else would be appropriate) to ask if they’d please look for evidence of wrongdoing connected to MAS? If people really are selling pit bulls to dog fighting rings, uh…, that’s not something you want volunteers going up against on their own.

    Applying Compassion Broadly:

    Consider that current MAS employees are some of the people of Memphis. So are (at least some of) their sisters, brothers, cousins, parents, friends, children, etc. When making public statements, think about how your message might sound to them… do you think hardened ACO’s from a city pound are possibly as redeemable as a hardened ill-treated dog?

    Reply
    • Frankie

       /  September 24, 2011

      @just a visitor. Many of your ccmments were germane giving positive direction. I found the ” getting a black activist to speak to the black population” a tad offensive. Would you be getting a white activist to educate the white population?
      Living in California I did find some humor in your suggestion to ask Winograd if he could save money on fatal plus with no kill. The weary truth is, it costs a lot of money to house animals. It doesn’t look like Memphis has any. Thanks for reminding the blog that MAS employees are part of the community too.

      Reply
  22. jcs

     /  September 23, 2011

    As noted above, a lot, ‘we’ ARE here, and ‘we’ ARE trying to do something about the long-standing issues at MAS

    The local government has been dysfunctional regarding MAS for at least a decade.

    Many people in this area have been trying for at least that long to get chronic problems resolved at MAS. Many have been trying for EVEN longer.

    The real recent mystery is Mayor Wharton. He came in 2 years ago like he was REALLY going to get some actual changes implemented at MAS.

    Two years later, he closes off from the public the MAS Advisory Board meetings and says there will be no web cams in the new MAS facility.

    Neither the Mayor, his spokesperson, nor anyone else downtown will provide any ‘real’ response or any actual straightforward answers to any valid questions posed to them by Memphis citizens. Any chance of them paying any attention to anyone suggesting who to hire for the MAS Director position is VERY remote, at best.

    As noted by someone, we have to act within the bounds of the law. We cannot become vigilantes.

    There have been billboard ‘ads’, banner ‘ads’, news stories by most of the local media, demonstrations (protests), petitions, $8,000 reward fund for Kapone, etc. But the city continues ITS ‘status quo’ because they think we will eventually go away and they also think that most of the public does not care.

    That IS a problem (apathy from the general public), and that is one of the biggest obstacles. As long as the general public lets the city continue to “get by” regarding MAS, getting any real change will continue to be a huge struggle. Many people are much more concerned about taxes, crime, unemployment, schools, blight, poverty, and on and on ….

    And we have had enough credibility problems lately with dog fighting accusations that were false and with threats made toward Matthew Pepper and at least one City Council member.

    If you are not IN Memphis, you really do not know who “is out there” and what they are doing. Come TO Memphis and work on this for a while and see what it is like and what ‘we’ have to deal with …..

    Reply
  23. ezbuddy

     /  September 24, 2011

    You said it right, the general public of Memphis DOES NOT care. The general public is those who will continue to vote, along with their cousins, brothers & sisters, moms & dads, for politicians catering to them, as long as they “appear” to be doing things for them.

    City government is broke & continues to downsize & lay off workers. The population is concerned with jobs, employment, hunger, illness, medical bills, utilities, phones, loans & kids. The shelter & animals are not on their radar. Their own lives & problems leaves no time, money, efforts or thoughts for anything else.

    Consider the small percentage of Memphians who want a better life for the shelter pets against the majority who don’t care and we don’t stand much chance of drawing positive change. When we shout about conditions, we are viewed as those “trouble-makers” or those “”people who don’t care about people” and other biased phrases. We aren’t seen as the good guys. We are seen as those who want resourses diverted away from “people” projects.

    WE are people too, but not ENOUGH of us to mean anything to those who know they will be voted back into office by the folks who they are catering to. Big hearts don’t equal big votes in this town.

    Change could come from sctatching their backs, so that they will in turn scratch ours. Showing them ways for MAS to be less costly, with volunteers & volunteer sponsered outside adoptions, could be benificial, but another problem, which ‘Save-A-Pet-In-Memphis’ mentioned, is MAS won’t go along with ANYTHING & offers absolutely no support.

    Reply
  24. Sharon

     /  September 26, 2011

    Odd, this post was orginated to ask “where are you?”, and when some showed up discussing what they want to do to make a difference, Shirley said nothing. If you want change, showing those who are actually willing to do the dirty work, while you critsize their efforts or in your opinion lack thereof, some respect for their efforts is better then the attitude given in this post. You can’t sit there with a sharp finger pointing away, dismissing any efforts being made to stop this madness and continue to have a higher than thou attitude and think you will be a part of the solution.

    Your frustration should refrain from being directed at those who are trying to help. Perhaps a bit of self reflection is needed here and although the page highlights a lot of what needs to be changed at MAS, it’s followed by criticisms to those who are actually getting their hands dirty and dealing with the obstacles on the front lines. So sad. Attitude is EVERYTHING. It’s the same attitude that you see with the shelter directors and Mayor, “don’t critisize what I do, if you don’t like it go some place else”. If your attitude isn’t helping the dogs, because it’s so negative, find a medium, or at the very least display some kind of support for those in which you demand step up and do something when they share what they are doing or wish to do. Working together with those who share the same goals is the answer, not pushing them away with an attitude. Many people have pointed out the issues with this shelter, great, what are you going to do other than complain about it? I used the word “do”, not “say”.
    I see a group here with some great ideas and it’s wonderful to see. Kudos to you all who are “doing”. Is South Carolina a no kill state?

    Reply

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