Is Clean Food and Water a Basic Right to Which Pets are Entitled at MAS?

MAS, in its response to my concerns about shelter practices, says this regarding the sub-standard cleaning protocols:

Having at this point looked at thousands of screen grabs from the MAS webcams in addition to countless hours watching them myself, I can say categorically that I have seen zero occurrences of food and water being removed during cleaning. In the grab below, food is visible in at least 2 of the dog bowls while cleaning is taking place.  No water buckets have been removed either.

30 thoughts on “Is Clean Food and Water a Basic Right to Which Pets are Entitled at MAS?

    1. I have seen water pails removed and washed only once! That was after there was an outbreak of distemper at the shelter, all the dogs were killed one after the other, and the whole place was sanitized. Other than that the water pails are never washed and never replaced when a new dog is put into the kennel after the previous dog is taken to the kill room. The kennel is not even cleaned before that happens. Dot is absolutely right.

      The food is always looking wet even though it is dry kibble. That is because of the hoses wetting everything in sight, including the dogs. Poor things have wet legs and bellies, and that’s only if they can get far enough out of the way.

      It doesn’t take a lot to realize that there are many things done wrong regardless of what the mayor’s list of answers says they do. The answers he gives are a joke! Not true for the most part.

  1. This could be easily fix…even if they are full (which they don’t appear to be EVER), but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and say they are at capacity. If volunteers were in a more welcoming environment AND actually allowed to volunteer – at every shelter I have ever been to the volunteers actually are the ones getting the dogs out of the cages, walking them – playing with them-showing them some attention and love, then there wouldn’t be a problem at MAS. Volunteers come in and each grab a leash and a dog and go outside for a walk. This can be done without fear of dogs coming into contact with each other if handled properly – you know like one dog per person. Fairly easy to do AND while the dogs are out getting some much needed attention then someone can come along and completely clean out the cage – including food & water bowls – by the time the cage is clean and the volunteer is done spending time with the dogs then the cage should be completely clean AND dry with fresh clean food & water. Problem solved.

    From what I have seen & heard the volunteers aren’t even allowed in the area just like the rest of the public @ MAS. I don’t think anyone realized when they made these changes how much it affects day to day operations. It really limits what CAN be done by allowing only employees back there. Every successful shelter I have been at really puts their volunteers to work! They aren’t just limited to sitting behind a desk answering phones – while that is still an important task – there are MANY other tasks that they can do. One shelter uses volunteers to walk dogs AND clean cages! They keep the administrative work to employees because when it comes down to it most places do not let the volunteers handle the adoptions, so it’s going to be a continued cycle of a volunteer having to stop an employee from doing what they are working on to handle it. Things would run much smoother if they looked at this from a different perspective and saw how other places handle similar situations. Sadly they seem to think MAS is the ONLY shelter that has this situations and problems….I’d wager a bet that they have all been there at some point. AND most of the time it has taken a change in leadership to someone who is fresh to the sheltering world and not a possible burn-out, to bring in that fresh perspective and new life. I pray that whoever does end up as the MAS director that it IS someone with a fresh perspective and not a shelter burn out that is just going to continue MAS on this awful downward spiral they have been on.

  2. You are assuming that the staff would welcome a chance to do more work! They don’t do too well now. I suspect they like doing things just the way they do them now; from the aisles.

    The volunteers may be willing to do some of the things that you mentioned, but the ‘big heads’ in the volunteer organization there have a control problem. They are not willing to accept anything new they haven’t come up with themselves. Sad sad.

    1. I know. That is part of the reason the search for a *new* director is so important. The right leadership can change things – as we all know. From the shelters I have been at – including volunteers for some of these things has actually resulted in LESS responsibilities for the employees. It has saved the shelter money because they don’t need to pay as many people to do the things that the volunteers *could* do.

      Plus – it needs to be said – FoMAS does NOT run the shelter…they may think they do, but they don’t. So if MAS gets a director and that person implements these changes FoMAS has no choice but to go along with the program or be told that their assistance is no longer required. It’s not like they are the union employees – they are VOLUNTEERS and it’s about time someone put them in their place! FoMAS should have NO say when it comes to the responsibilities of the volunteers – at least as far as deciding what volunteers are allowed to do. If the new director wants volunteers to walk dogs and clean cages then it is up to FoMAS to train volunteers on their responsibilities and make sure there are enough volunteers signed up for each day to help. Period.

      I think it’s past time that boundaries be defined AND adhered to when it comes to responsibilities at MAS – regardless of if you are an employee, FoMAS, or a walk-in-off-the-street volunteer. I think the boundaries have never been truly defined – or were allowed to be crossed during all the crap that MAS has gone through in the past few years. (And you are right it is VERY sad!)

  3. MAS either needs to hire more people to do it or have volunteers do it. It is as simple as that!

    How do the larger cities handle it? I am sure there are other cities that take in more animals than MAS. I doubt all of them have this problem.

  4. This is not a problem of not knowing what to do (IMHO) it is a problem of not wanting to do anything differently because most of them simply don’t care about the animals at MAS. Too bad there aren’t other “work opportunities” for those folks who really don’t want to be at MAS (I can think of several that might be appropriate). As far as the “friends” – sounds like they are on a major power trip.

    And the animals continue to pay with their lives . . . at some point these people will have to answer for this. I’m just sorry that they don’t have an open mind NOW about doing things in a better way for the animals who are there.

    It’s just so very sad – and so very unnecessary.

  5. It’s so sad to see how these poor innocents animals pay for some ppl’s decisions!
    What can we do, and/or how can we elect a better person for this position?
    We need someone that’s compassionate, and someone who really wants to take charge and this job!

    Even the emoloyees! Like the person in the image above…is it in common sense to remove (at least) the water and food containers??

    Even prisoners are treated better in jails! Even thought some of them have committed horrendous crimes…while these poor animals have done nothing wrong to be treated in such disgusting ways! AND YES CLEAN WATER AND FOOD ARE THE BASIC RIGHTS EVERY ANIMAL IS ENTITLED TO!!

    We need to do something! And we must act now!!!

  6. Even with only one kennel worker doing all the work, they could remove the dogs from the kennel when cleaning it. All they need is a leash. You put the end of a leash through the handle and then loop it around the dog’s neck, remove the dog and clip the end of the leash to the outside of a cage down the row. You also remove the food and water. Then you clean the cage. If you are cleaning with bleach you have to wait ten minutes before rinsing then you squeegee the cage before putting the dog back into the kennel. So even if they are completely understaffed they could do it.

  7. When a new Director is chosen, more than likely he will come from another shelter with lower wages. Then he will surely get the introduction by the mayor about YesBiscuit! & the rest of us “animal” people. He will be told to ignore us & how wrong we are, I’m sure.

    It is imperative that our introduction to the new Director is accurately portrayed with facts, information & an understanding of why we are here. We can’t pick the Director ourselves, but we can get on his good side & let him know there are people willing & able to help in any way possible to relieve the cats & dogs of distress and support efforts to save more lives.

    Who is available & willing to make first contact with a new Director and properly make peace that would be beneficial for the animals and our piece of mind?

    P.S.: Sugar & honey goes further than spit & venom.

    1. Assuming that it is a man hired! I’m hoping for a female director…you know how we women get when we get riled up! :)

      1. I don’t know about a better heart…I know some men that are “in touch” with their feminine sides. And I can see that some men DO really care about animals. I was thinking more along the lines of that motherly instinct that so many women seem to have – and how it would fit with the situation down at MAS. Plus I have seen some women walk into a place and clean shop…you just don’t want to get on their bad side or you will surely pay for it! You know the whole – “don’t tell me what I can and can’t do….watch this!” attitude that so many women seem to possess! Or maybe it’s just me? I hate when a man tells me I can’t do something – I do it just to prove them wrong! LOL

  8. It is a Dade County problem that seems no one tells the truth and they simply don’t have the ability to hire people with brains or that give a rat’s ass about the animals. Other counties that we would consider ‘evolved’ and we all know that in the south there are plenty who are NOT, do not have the constant problems of idiots in charge that we have. To stop the spread of disease every food bowl and water bowl has to be sanitized and the kennel floor and walls totally disinfected before a new dog is introduced. If we were able to do that in a boarding kennel for 15 years with sometimes up to 150 dogs boarding.. why is in not possible in this situation? HIRE MORE PEOPLE? Test their brain power and their knowledge about dogs.. and maybe how they feel about them.. BEFORE they are HIRED. FUND THE FRIGGIN’ ANIMAL CONTROL FACILITY that we have, properly!

    Find a way to have a facility down SOUTH instead of spending MILLIONS OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS for a FANCY new facility which is really not necessary IF THIS ONE WAS FUNDED WELL, AND OVERHAULED SOMEWHAT, AND RUN CORRECTLY!

    The pressure would be off of the Medley facility if they would take that money and build a decent facility down south.

    I will bet, if a journalist wants to do some digging, someone with pull has gotten the contract to build this ‘new’ facility which will not even begin to help our problems of overcrowding! In fact, it will be WORSE. Someone who has friends in high places in our corrupt County government is profiting mightily by this stupid decision to build a state of the art, but WAY too small and still WAY too far north, facility!

    MOST people down here in the Cutler Bay /Homestead/ Florida City area cannot drive to Medley OR Doral to drop off a stray dog.. and they cannot afford a day off of work to sit there up all day to get a low cost spay for their dog.. AND even worse.. most are not able to tie up a stray dog or enclose it in their yard for two days waiting on a MDAS truck so they dog is turned out onto OUR streets to fend for itself! A south Facility would give them some recourse other than dumping stray and unwanted dogs on Dead Dog Road!

    It WILL happen. Some kid is going to be bitten by a stray that runs off and cannot be found….. and the parents and the neighborhood are going to start screaming RABIES.. and all of us dog rescuers will be able to scream right back at our County Commissioners and MDAS administration.. TOLD YA!

  9. From the infectious disease point of view, the spray cleaning of the cages is very questionable. Feces are basically sprayed all over. Not removing food and water bowls while applying this questionable technique is more than a problem.

  10. I am totally fascinated by people who have time to sit and watch these cameras all day. Does anyone know of another shelter that has cams like this that you can watch? Would be nice to compare to what is going on in other shelters.

    1. I don’t know of anyone who has time to sit and watch these cameras all day. If anyone did that, I imagine he would have shot himself by now. The grabs I receive are from various people who each watch the cameras a bit at a time and not on any regular schedule. It’s a collaborative effort among people who care about the pets at MAS and are able to withstand the heartbreak of seeing such disturbing images.

      1. Well.. I’m disabled, so I have the time. I also rescue death row dogs.. so seeing what comes on behind the scenes does interest me. I also have asked myself the same question about web cams in other shelters. I’d like to know the answer to that question. Thanks for bringing it up.

      2. Seeing what goes on at this shelter makes me work that much harder to make a positive difference in the lives of the dogs I foster. I also have ducks, chicken and a guinea, a garden and a very large yard. So, my viewing is limited, but I try to watch a little every day.. That one picture may save a life!

  11. These dogs deserve better than this! Shelter staff should be trained and licensed, with background checks. Management who direct staff to cut back on hygiene or such basic needs as exercising the dogs should be sacked (or, better yet, kept in a cage and hosed until being dragged by the neck to be euthanased – kidding!?)

    1. Jewel – actually when it comes to background checks – some of the folks that DO work at MAS actually have criminal backgrounds – they are part of some sort of second chance program. (I honestly don’t remember what it is called.) AND – they are union employees which means they actually have to have a director that really gives a crap to spend time training them and writing them up when they screw up…but the previous director let the stuff go. You are just beginning to see the whole picture. Keep digging. There have been all kinds of e-mail campaigns to the attention of Mayor Wharton and the Advisory Council. Everyone turns a blind eye on MAS – they try to find fault with the public instead of fixing the problems within the shelter. They think a new building will fix everything. they still don’t show all the animals at the shelter – don’t allow the public behind closed doors to try and locate lost pets. MAS is a joke of a shelter – with city officials just sitting back and wanting all of us who care to just go away and let them continue on with business as usual – which means more and more animals will die.

  12. greetings!

    is there such a human condidtion called “shelter burn-out?” where would i find more information?

    thank you for your time.

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