Taunting Mari?

In the hours leading up to Mari’s rescue from MAS, he should have been left alone as much as possible, since MAS knew he was feral and obviously under severe stress in the pound.  The “cleaning” practices at MAS, where workers hose down the cage with the dog still inside, are enough to frighten even a well-socialized dog.  For Mari, this likely would have created extreme anxiety.  And, seeing as the staff at MAS were aware that Ona was coming to pick up the dog first thing on the morning of October 29 and needed MAS staff to put him in the trap for her (see e-mail below), you would think they would have made an effort to reduce the dog’s stress as much as possible, at the very least by leaving him alone.  It appears as if the opposite may have happened from looking at the webcam grabs.

From: Ona Cooper
To: glenn.andrews@memphistn.gov
Sent: 10/27/2011 4:52:11 P.M. Central Daylight Time
Subj: Feral dog


As requested, here is the information as to who is going to get this dog. Olympic Animal Sanctuary http://olympicanimalsanctuary.org/
Steve Markwell will sign any contract, waiver, etc to get this dog out. Steve is a feral dog rehabilitator and can be reached at [redacted]. As a back up plan, Pets Alive from Middletown, NY has agreed to take this dog too.

I can pick the dog up if your staff will put her in my car. I have a large heavy duty dog trap she will need to be put in.

MAS staff member at Mari's cage on October 28.
Another MAS staff member at Mari's cage on October 28.
Yet another MAS staff member at Mari's cage on October 28.
Now there are two.
MAS staff member at Mari's cage on October 28, apparently photographing the dog.
and leaving
and coming right back
More photography of this scared, anxious dog.
and leaving
and right back again.
Another Looky-Lou.

When the time came to get Mari out of the cage though, none of the trained animal handlers at MAS would help. It was left up to untrained rescuers to try and figure it out.

Rescuers attempt to figure out how to safely get Mari out of the cage without assistance of the trained MAS staff on October 29.
Rescuers can't fit the trap inside the cage and must come up with an alternate plan.

MAS workers continue to gawk at Mari, who is highly agitated.

Rescuers are trying desperately to get Mari out of the cage, MAS workers continue to stress him out with their ogling.

Finally Jan arrives, works her dog whispering magic on Mari and Mari gets into the trap!

And he's OUUTA THERE! Thank you rescuers!

17 thoughts on “Taunting Mari?

  1. I don’t understand the fascination where they all had to look at him, take photos, etc. Unless it was just to rile him up for their own entertainment?

    I still want to see their guidelines for handling feral dogs. Because either they violated them terribly or they don’t have any. Either way, it’s clear they weren’t qualified to handle this dog or any feral dog (or cat – we’ve seen the traps left uncovered on the floor all night – that’s a huge handling error for those animals as well). Actually, it’s pretty clear that no one there is properly trained in animal handling of any sort.

    Tell me again what a good guy Matthew Pepper was.

  2. wow.. nice job getting him out.. too bad he had to be so stressed before hand.. i would imagine they were looking at him saying.. “geez.. hew would have been dead if we had him much longer.”
    now he is not dead.. and on the road to recovery.. good job

  3. I remember how astonished I was to see — at the height of the anxiety over whether Mari would ever be gotten into the trap — one of the women who works at MAS go back and photograph her on a cell phone or other small personal camera, then walk away, checking the photo(s) as she left. It was clear Mari was already the subject of a lot of discussion among the staff, even as they were choosing not to help and the shelter administrators were threatening to kill her. She was famous and they wanted her picture. Meanwhile, readers in several states were struggling to find someone to move her a few feet into the trap, the very thing these amateur photographers refused to do.

  4. There’s a lot more taunting of this dog way before Oct 28th. And more of other dogs since then. All of these people need to be fired and/or play a role reversal game.. Please… add me to the list of people to do the taunting. I would love to be the one who hoses them down and deny food and comfort, drag them around by the neck with a choke pole. It’s time they poop and pee themselves from fear. Shame on them all. The only comfort I get out of any of this.. is knowing GOD will punish them!

  5. We have all witnessed the most disturbing, horrific and abusive actions come out of MAS on web-cam. Some of us have witnessed their ignorance by e-mail, telephone and in person. I’ve seen the hate and denial via web postings and mis-leading journalism. I have never experienced such injustice and corruption with a city government. I have no idea how we are ever going to change MAS and the uncaring masses in Memphis. I feel like I’m beating my head against the wall and only causing myself more anxiety and emotional pain. I’m with Dot though. I know in my heart and I firmly believe that each and every person involved with the mess in Memphis that chooses to ignore or intentional encourages the abuse will get what they have coming.

  6. I thought the shelter was closed starting Nov 4th and the new shelter was opening on Nov 18th. It sure appears to be business as usual…. are they just not doing adoptions? Also, I saw they were still killing dogs yesterday after the shelter closed for the day… is this normal practice? Is there not enough hours in the day to murder all the animals that woman decides is not cute and fluffy enough?

  7. These people have absolutely lost their humanity! I am so relieved that Mario is outta there and somewhere where he will be treated with compassion and respect. My heart breaks for the others at MAS who are not lucky enough to leave alive.

    Somehow, these people will have to answer for their actions. Torturing, mistreating, taunting and killing . . . they will pay for this.

  8. It looks to me as if the first two pictures show employees at a completely different cage than the third and fourth pictures. Was Mari moved during that time frame? If not, they are not harassing the same dog.

  9. Thousands of feral dogs have gone through MAS…they do not know the difference in an abandoned dog, a lost dog or a feral dog. We now know they don’t know the difference in a male dog or a female dog! I worked for a man, one time, that said “you can’t fix crude…if you are crude YOU’RE CRUDE..” He was referring to the quality of work that he demanded and if the employee could not meet his standards the employee was fired! When, after years of employment & volunteering, no management, no employee, no volunteer has stepped up to the plate and told the truth about what they see, know and participate in how does ANYONE think there can possibly be positive changes at MAS when the same people with the same secrets and abuses work and volunteer there? The only good changes that can possibly happen is if everyone there goes and an entire new “GROUP” with compassion, imagination, ingenuity, desire and love of animals comes in!

  10. People, the cameras are now dark. My imagination will work overtime wondering what is going on there. I’m so afraid that I know. The dogs will all be killed one by one and no one will be able to provide any documentation.

    I pray for the stray animals of Memphis. They have no future there, no hope, and no one to speak for them. I’m so so sad.

  11. With no camera to watch .. I;ll have plenty of time to got threw the pictures I captured of all the abuse. Stay tuned folks.. I’ll be posting them on Facebook

  12. The only help expected from MAS employees would be by use of chokepoles, because that’s the only way I’ve ever seen them “handle” dogs.

    I will continue writing whomever I can to get the cameras viewed online as well as the replacement of all the incompetent employees. I believe they are there only because they have worked there for so long, and THAT is why problems have been continuing since before 2000.

    I don’t expect them to change behavior. That will have to come from the top and I hope it comes sooner than later. Keep writing folks.

    Where is Kapone?

    1. It’s very revealing to me that when the local paper asked MAS for a video because they were going to report on how a feral dog’s life was saved, MAS chose to rile him up and film it. Any self-respecting shelter would have filmed him being loaded into the vehicle on his way to his new home.

      1. “Any self-respecting shelter”….well, that rules MAS out.

        The problem is that no one there really has any sort of training or expertise with animal care/handling/behavior. They *think* they are all experts, though. Heck, they probably think they’re professionals, too.

        That’s what bothered me so much about Matthew Pepper – he HAD training and education, so he knew better. His choices were informed and willful acts of cruelty (hosing down dogs in cages isn’t “best practice”, but hey, we don’t want to actually have to move a dog, you know?) endorsing an institution of crappy behavior that would never, ever raise the bar of care on iota.

        And still no new shelter director.

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