Memphis’ Shame

When reader Tammy saw the dog in the above photo, she generously offered to adopt him.  Others also felt moved to try and help the dog and multiple inquiries were made, including to Chelton Beamon and Glenn Andrews (MAS management), Tracy Dunlap (MAS rescue liaison), city officials and the “Friends” of MAS group.  Every offer to help this dog has been ignored and the “Friends” have gone one further by deleting all inquiries regarding the dog from their FB page.  When a pound is killing 3 out of every 4 pets that come through its doors, one might think someone there would jump at the chance to get a pet out alive.  Apparently not.  Shame.

I originally posted this series of grabs because I wanted to know what happened to this dog.  I know what it looks like happened to him – that he was dragged by a noose around the neck, terrified and screaming and pissing himself, to his death at the hands of those paid to protect him from harm.  But I had hoped that was not the case.  We are so often told by those who defend the abuse and killing at MAS that we misinterpret what we see on the webcams.  And yet, we have never once been provided any evidence that we have misinterpreted anything.  Cats being hung by the neck, starved dogs left to suffer in cages, negligent practices resulting in dog fights, puppies in a garbage can…  Killing apologists have attempted to deny all of it but never provided one iota of evidence.  Shame.

Even if MAS killed this dog before they ever received an offer to save him from a compassionate member of the public, I believe they have an obligation to respond to the inquiries.  If someone truly interested in saving pets’ lives at a pet killing facility receives an offer from someone to save a pet, I’d think they’d do any reasonable thing in their power to make that happen.  If it was too late to save the dog, they should let the person know the truth and then offer some alternatives such as adopting another dog in the pound or even suggesting adoption from another shelter.  Under no circumstances should the offer of help be ignored (or deleted!) because hiding the truth is what guilty people doAnd if you can’t own it, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.  Shame.

If you are a TN resident, please file an Open Records request for the MAS records on this dog as well as the MAS security camera footage showing “Main Area Canine 2″ for October 13 for the one minute period from 1445 to 1446.  By law, they can’t ignore your request.  This dog deserved so much more.  He will get something, even if he is dead.  He will get something from those who cared about him.  His fate will not be ignored, deleted or swept under the rug.  The truth will out.  Even in Memphis.


48 thoughts on “Memphis’ Shame

      1. Ft Cambell, KY. I lived there, once upon a time, and what a time it was. Good luck.

  1. I live in Clarksville, but am working out of town in Charlotte this week. If one of you can tell me exactly how to go about it, I’ll be happy to make the request.

    And how about getting this onto TV?? Local Action News, etc? What about 60 Minutes?? This would make a perfect story for them!

    1. I sent this series of photos to Penny who writes the “Dog” I take it she’s not going to touch it. I want to ask also, but I live in NC

  2. From a distance…all of Memphis city government looks to me to be incompetent and utterly uncaring. Hell, they couldn’t get the money for schools together till their feet were held to the fire. Animals would be safer running the streets than in MAS.

  3. I’m shouting cuss words at the top of my lungs! I’m sick to my stomach. I don’t know what to do anymore to help these people help their animals. The sense of injustice is overwhelming and the helplessness makes me want to cry. I’m over six hours away and I am not in a position to march into the office of Wharton, picket out front of MAS and get in the face of the evil bastards I see on the web cams. I do what I can and it kills me that it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. I saved one dog and he is the most awesome dog ever. What made me think that I could save another one? Shame on the Mayor, shame on the council members and shame on every worker in MAS for proving us right – they really do suck and they’re the scum of the earth.

  4. Shirley, once again thank you for following this horror at MAS. Most people would turn away. WE CANNOT turn away! We need to continue the fight against abuse and senseless killing.

    1. This isn’t the only State that does this.. This shelter just has the web cams, but that’s coming to an end soon. Too bad it’s not mandatory all shelters have web cams Live stream to the public.

  5. Contact Andy Cordan at He is a reporter and he does a “This is Messed Up” segment. If he can’t help us, maybe he can point us in the right direction.

    I live in Dickson, TN. About 100 miles west of Memphis. It sickens me to see what those poor, sweet, loving animals are being put through. I wish we could do to those jerks what they are doing to the innocent animals!

    1. You are a resident of the state, Betty. You can file the Freedom of Information request. You don’t need to live in Memphis. Would you please stand up for that dog? Telling Shirley to contact Andy isn’t what is needed. What’s needed is ONE person, living in Tennessee, to insist the state follow its laws, and find out what happened to that dog. Just step up.

  6. It’s also a shame that another volunteer was told that their services were no longer needed today when they are already short on volunteers all because this person chose to cross-post pictures of dogs in the stray area advocating to save their lives!! Really sad!!!

    1. YES! This volunteer’s only agenda was to help save the dogs and show compassion! Unfortunately, FMAS and those affiliated (employees/supervisors/MEMPHIS GOVT) have other agenda and unfortunately it is NOT about saving the animals. If only these individuals would spend as much time trying to get ALL of the animals at MAS adopted, instead of finding ways to run off their volunteers, we wouldn’t be in this position. I am convinced that Hooks, Hall, Wharton are untouchable- until the citizens can do what Sandy Williams did in Tunica, Mississippi, the animals don’t stand a chance.

      1. Well, will that volunteer be the ONE person who will file the FOIA request? Maybe helping from the outside will get something past the (*^$#@%%( at MAS and FoMAS and the damn city government.

      2. Tonya, Sandy Williams is Executive Director of the Tunica Humane Society, a no-kill facility about 50 miles from Memphis. She went out and solicited donations from major corporations to help build a new indoor facility in Tunica. Harrah’s casinos gave $200K and Rob Thomas’ foundation, Sidewalk Angels, donated another $125K. In all, Sandy raised $450K, none of which was taxpayers dollars. The sign above the door to the kennels sums up THS, “Love Lives Here”! Many of us who are so disgusted with Memphis City leaders and their death camp called Memphis Animal Shelter have been volunteering at THS recently. Sandy’s husband had surgery a couple of weeks ago (6 bypasses) and she will be busy taking care of him for weeks. Plus,Gail pulled her shoulder out of socket rescueing a dog caught in some thick brush and she is not fully healed. An amazing group of volunteers go every night and on weekends to clean kennels, feed and love on these incredible animals. Google Tunical Humane Society and Sidewalk Angels for more info.

  7. Would the City of Memphis be willing to give control of MAS to a private entity? My understanding is that Kansas City, MO will do this and it will be voted on this week by the city council. Does anyone have more information about this.

  8. Tammy Criss Stevensposted toFriends of Memphis Animal Services
    ID is A#233616 – is this the dog that was dragged down the hall on 10-13-11 at 2:45 PM that I am trying to adopt? Is this the same dog that you are saying is exhibiting some aggression issues and will not be adopted out to the public – namely me? I have not heard back from Glen Andrews since his e-mail this morning. Thank you for your help.

    Friends of Memphis Animal Services Tammy, we know this dog will not be put for adoption to the public due to aggression issues. We don’t know what Glenn Andrews has worked out with you, but the dog will not go into the adoption area for safety reasons. Glenn Andrews is in meetings so we cannot ask him, but he will back with you we are sure. Hope this helps.

    Well, that’s the latest on this whole fiasco. I will keep you posted.

    1. Hmmmm- So yesterday they deleted all posts relating to this dog BUT today, they are so quick to tell you about this dog (and of course it’a all bad)…..I guess they had enough time to get their “stories straight” – I guess they think we are a bunch of fools and don’t see how they operate. I am so disgusted!

      1. According to the reply that I received from Friends of MAS, they were never asked about the dog on FB. I was told that someone posted the picture on their page with an ugly comment, which they deleted. See below:

        Received rom Friends of Memphis Animal Services around 7:00 AM this morning –
        Debi, this is the first post actually asking about the dog. A picture was posted without any questions, just a comment that was inappropriate. We have the post saved. That being said, we don’t know anything about the dog. There is no way for us to keep up with every animal in the shelter. If you will come down to the shelter with the picture, someone on the staff can try and help you with information about the dog. We would love it if you would help us get the shelter faces out by posting them on your Facebook page so all your friends can see them. The more exposure they have, the more apt they are to find a home. We also appreciate people not yelling at us in capital letters……we are not shelter employees, and we do not have access to the shelter software and shelter records. We do what we can, but we have limits to the information we have privy to. We encourage you to come to the shelter and visit and even better adopt a shelter pet!

      2. the comment about no comment/post except the inappropriate one is a lie, because I posted twice… and yes I did leave a not so nice one, but I didn’t write it.. I copied and paste the comment from here and posted it there . It was the one about the dog being a mop.

      3. @yesbiscuit – I know better than to believe anything they post. They were putting on their little condescending hats.

      4. @ yesbisquit – Also, did you notice in the email that they say “We would love it if you would help us get the shelter faces out by posting them on your Facebook page so all your friends can see them. The more exposure they have, the more apt they are to find a home.” Yet, they fired a volunteer yesterday for crossposting pictures of animals hidden in the stray area in an effort to help get them adopted. Today, MAS officials are saying there is an outbreak of untreatable URI at the shelter – just another excuse for them to kill. They won’t even try to save those dogs.

  9. I want to know what happened to this dog! was he killed? did they respond ever to offers to rescue!! we have the right to know NOW

  10. There are no words to express how painful to read about the treatment of these precious animals. They are helpless, abandoned, and mistreated. Have you no compassion? Can you not hire personnel that have a love for animals?


  11. How do the volunteers who help the NYACC dogs keep up with all of those dogs? The Friends of MAS should get on the Urgent PART 2 facebook page and ask questions how they are able to keep up with all of their dogs! That group knows which dogs are being destroyed each day, which have been euthanized, and which have been rescued/adopted by the dogs number and name. All this information is posted under the photos on facebook so the dogs have a chance to be saved! Why can’t the Friends of MAS do this???

    1. Jennifer, that’s an interesting question. If I understand right, Urgent somehow acquires the daily kill list via email. So I’ve always assumed she has one or more sources among the “qualified” rescues who send her not only the list, ID numbers and computer entries and photos for the dogs, but also, as you’ve pointed out, updates, so she knows who is safe and who has been killed. (It seems unlikely that she gets the information from a staff member.) I think there are many similarities between NYACC and MAS, including the brutality, the secretiveness, and the controlling behavior. But in NYC, despite there being a gatekeeper (the nonprofit Mayer’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals) that is solely empowered to “qualify” rescues to pull from the shelters and reportedly keeps some rescues out by delaying action on their applications to pull, still somehow there seem to be enough rescue people involved overall that there is information made available to the page. Urgent works under a lot of pressure anyway because, as I understand it, NYACC succeeded in forcing down a previous version of the page (hence “Part 2”) — the shelter plays the victim and complains about “negativity” from the rescue community. But still she gets the information she needs, because among the various people who interact with the shelter in an “approved” capacity, there is someone who wants to give it to her.

      If I am understanding the situation in Memphis clearly, there is actually only one rescue considered “qualified” by MAS, and that is FOMAS, and they enable the shelter and help it remain secretive and controlling — they seem to have taken on the role of enforcer for the shelter, to make information available very selectively and to keep other rescuers out. (With some exceptions, as we know that rescues like Meows & BowWows do pull from the shelter.) The rescue point of view that would actually advocate for the animals most in danger, and take risks to get information out on a daily basis, day after day, week after week, is apparently not there because FOMAS makes sure of it. The animals at MAS have two enemies, not one: the shelter itself and the rescue that enables it.

      Plus, although NYACC does kill for space because they’ve not marketed their animals sufficiently, if I read the UP2 page right, anyone can adopt any dog unless they’ve been designated as rescue only. In Memphis, the shelter locks most of the dogs away and refuses to allow the public physical or informational access to them — the dogs literally don’t exist and nobody is allowed to know about them. FOMAS, the only rescue group with continuing, daily access to the shelter, has chosen not to challenge this rule.

      If there is someone else who follows both situations, maybe they can correct me.

  12. Just thought I’d post an update on my request under the FOIA. I received this automated response this morning:

    This email acknowledges receipt of your Public Records Request. In accordance with the statute, as well as the Mayor’s Executive Order, within 5 business days you will receive either the requested document(s), the estimated time frame necessary to respond to your request or the reasons why some or all of your documents will not be made available.

    In the meantime, if you have any questions or need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

  13. i am eleish from england and im disgusted of the way these animals are treated, the way they are destroyed in shelters gassing heart sticks, stunned beyond belief, and your right memphis animal shelter are hiding evidence that will convict THEM of animal cruelty, now is the time to bring your media into this, your newspapers, t.v stations, local radio, gather as much proof as you can, get former volunteers to tell what they saw, bring as much attention as you can to what is happening there and see what happens i think this the only way to stop what they are getting away with it. i will be their voice over here, you be their voice over there, for the animals who cant speak, we will for them i wish you luck. xxxx

  14. If there is anything, ANYTHING at all that us non TN residents can do, please let us know! This SICKENS me and what can be done to change it? Can we somehow mobilize and get these people out of there?

  15. I also received the automated response back.

    This email acknowledges receipt of your Public Records Request. In accordance with the statute, as well as the Mayor’s Executive Order, within 5 business days you will receive either the requested document(s), the estimated time frame necessary to respond to your request or the reasons why some or all of your documents will not be made available.

    In the meantime, if you have any questions or need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Jill M. Madajczyk
    Senior Asst. City Attorney
    (901) 576-6540 (direct dial)
    (901) 576-6524 (facsimile)

    I’m sure our requests will be not made available. Whatta y’all think??

  16. I just posted under today’s Open Thread, then found this correct posting thread. On October 19, I sent an email that said:

    Under the Freedom of Information Act, I am requesting records on the dog below and attached to this email, as well as the MAS security camera footage showing “Main Area Canine 2″ for October 13 for one-minute period from 1445 to 1446.

    Repeated requests information on this dog and offers to adopt have gone completely unanswered. Under the FOIA, I would appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.

    I received the following response today:

    This video has been isolated. The cost of a copy of the video is $10 payable by check or money order to the City of Memphis.

    Jill M. Madajczyk
    Senior Asst. City Attorney
    (901) 576-6540 (direct dial)
    (901) 576-6524 (facsimile)

  17. We ought to send them $10 and get a copy of the video. I’m sure they’re hoping nobody will ask.

    I don’t know why they would ‘isolate’ it anyway. What the heck does that mean and why would they do it?

    1. I’m not sure what it means, but they’re certainly hiding something. I thought about sending in the 10 bucks, too. I hate giving the city any money even its a .25! But, if it can somehome make a difference for the animals then yes! We should coordinate so they only make the 10 bucks off one of us!

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