Why Memphis Killed the Public’s View of the Stray Area

Video of Mari, a feral dog, being impounded at MAS on October 13, 2011:

I showed this clip to Billy.  He is not involved in shelter pet advocacy nor is he a trained animal handler – he’s just an owner who loves pets and believes in being kind to them.  After watching the video, Billy asked me, “Couldn’t they have put him in a box or something?”

How is it that an untrained pet owner sees this and knows it’s wrong but the trained professionals at MAS do not?  If you have a spouse/co-worker/friend who is not a trained animal handler and can watch this clip, please share their response in the comments.  I’d like to hear what other “regular” people think (since many of us here are just those wacky animal advocates and everything we say is crazy).

86 thoughts on “Why Memphis Killed the Public’s View of the Stray Area

  1. Tech note: IDK why the video appears to be in slow motion. I’m not good with videos. But even if it runs a bit slow, you can still see what’s going on.

  2. I’m not sure what this MAS employee is trying to achieve here but clearly it’s traumatizing to this dog. Is he trying actually trying to drag this poor dog down the hallway on a chokepole?
    Is the goal to just torture these animals for their own amusement? I can see no other reason for this type of treatment other than extreme case of ignorance. Do they not train the staff there at all?
    It also bothers me that the dog in the kennel on the left has to watch this. Dogs are much smarter than most people give them credit for. I don’t think for minute that the other dog didn’t realize that this person was causing pain and discomfort to this dog. Can you image how terrifying this situation was for these two dogs?

  3. This ACO dragged the dog and practically choked it, you can see Mari’s gaping mouth gasping for breath, and the ACO breaks off to adjust the pole’s tension for a moment, then drags poor Mari in his own pee down the hall. I think that this should be legally pursued as animal abuse, as the dog nearly choked to death, and the use of the pole here was incorrect completely. My husband was outraged, and he is NOT an animal person, oddly enough, even though he has lived with me and my passion for over 33 years. If anyone wants to pursue legal actions for an investigation, I’m in. What bollox!

  4. if “animal control” saw YOU doing this on the street they would arrest you for cruelty.. but seems to be business as usual at MAS.. where oh where are the supervisors.. of wait.. they have an office.. .. this is disgusting and that person should be fired.. RIGHT NOW

    1. That person dragging this poor dog happens to be the supervisor! One would think at least he of all people would know better than to do this.

  5. If this was a feral dog that was caught in a trap — why couldn’t they have put the trap on a wheeled wagon and pulled the trap with the dog to the kennel to release the dog from the trap into the kennel?

    1. Aren’t feral dogs wild and sometimes dangerous? Boy, Mari sure looks ferocious in that clip! Once again, their analysis of an animal doesn’t match their actions. But then they rarely do.

      Why can’t these shots be used to bring charges against MAS? God knows there is certainly enough proof. There should be an animals rights attorney will to take it on…surely!

      1. Okay. Although I’m not sure I want to see it.

        I was watching the videos at some of the other shelters. It reminded me of what the video page at MAS used to say about how they “hope it gives an insight into the daily lives of the animals in our care”. Um, yeah…that was the problem. It’s like they just expected things to turn around BECAUSE of the cameras.

        MAS is still missing the obvious…it’s not the cameras, it’s the humans. They control what goes on there. Unfortunately.

    1. No, they haven’t moved yet- they aren’t done killing all of the dogs and cats, yet! (sorry, yes, that was pure sarcasm but I fear, as do so many others, that this is the truth)……They have absolutely no accountability since the webcams are gone and no one, who cares, to oversee the move. Wonder how many dogs Doc Coleman will say were “unhealthy” and could not make the move?! We are all so heartbroken!

    1. Although MAS threatened to kill him, then refused to help get him out of the cage to save his life, we were able to triumph in the end. He is now being cared for by the good folks at ARNO in LA and Steve from Olympic Animal Sanctuary will be picking him up to take to WA soon.

      1. Thanks, I just can’t figure out why the people around the shelter would let this happen daily.
        wish I lived there and not in PA. I would make a trip to the pitts of HELL daily until something was done about the abuse.

      2. There’s a shelter in Dallas who ignored a kitten who was stuck in the wall for days. They heard it meowing, but NOBODY checked on it or tried to help. The kitten starved to death…died…while the workers in the shelter that are supposed to care for and protect animals did NOTHING. People in too many shelters don’t give one iota about the animals. And that begs the question why do they even work there? They shouldn’t.

  6. If anyone saw that out in public, they’d yell at you to stop. But we have three guys here who seem to think that it’s just fine and dandy that the dog is nearly unconscious from strangulation.

    I shudder to think what they did to him before the door opens (because he’s already lost bladder control and is in distress at that point).

    How is this not grounds for firing? You don’t get to sanction animal cruelty just because you’re a shelter.

    1. If I saw that ANYWHERE, I’d go into Mama Bird mode and start screeching at/pecking/dive bombing the offending parties. That is, unless I really lost it.

  7. Judging from the comments that were made after the article about Mario in the Commercial Appeal, there are some real haters out there who find it very difficult to celebrate the fact that Mario was rescued from this hell hole that is called Memphis Animal Services. I doubt that even watching this video of Mario’s entry into this facility would change their hearts or their minds. Seeing this video makes my blood boil but it is business as usual at Memphis Animal Services. All but a handful of employees who work there care about dogs. This is the type of behavior that was exhibited when the webcams were available for public viewing. God help the animals now that the webcams have been removed from public viewing. Even though Memphis Animal Services is moving into a new facility, they are still taking their inept, inhumane, ignorant low life employees with them. And the Friends of Memphis Animal Services are no “friends” of the animals who are mistreated in such an inhumane manner.

    1. Totally agree with you. It breaks my heart to watch this video. So very glad that Mario is safe and sound now. God help all the other animals that are at the shelter — especially with no webcams.

  8. Again this seems to me to be legally actionable. Anyone have any thoughts on that? Is Cindy S. still lurking about and what does she think?

    1. I agree. You know that the only reason there was any sort of stink raised about Demetria Hogan’s “activities” was because Kapone’s owners got involved. Otherwise, she would still be there, doing her thing, selling animals out of her back yard and killing them on the trucks in the heat.

      A stink needs to be raised about Mari’s abuse. Because I think Morgana is right – this is legally actionable.

      1. Would you, now? The man only strangled a dog nearly to death (that cough and gasp are reflexive actions and I will bet that Mari was nearly unconscious at that point – his tongue looks blue). It’s not like he was doing something bad like trying to raise funds via a blog to help animals in another state or anything.

    1. TY for your work Morgana. And for those who can not be rehabbed to the point of being adopted out to the public safely – they too deserve to live in a safe and loving environment.

  9. This is all my heartbroken self can say after watching this video. It is sickening way beyond belief. Why are these sick people getting away with this terrible madness of such horrible abuse of these helpless dogs?

    1. Like I said Margaret, I read of the abuse from this Hell hole daily and can’t understand why the people
      of Memphis let this happen. Stupidity I guess. The fear and stress of these poor dogs is just unreal.
      Just be nice to them.

      1. Donna, there are people in Memphis devoting their entire lives to trying to change MAS. Please stop referring to the entire population of a city as being “stupid” and not “doing anything”. That is ridiculous! There is only so much we can do LEGALLY and many of us can not afford to be arrested and go to jail. We are all not Gary Yourofsky and we can’t afford over a dozen arrests and felony records while trying to change the MAS Mafia.

        There are not enough people in Memphis who care and that is the problem we are facing, it is what we complain about daily, but don’t you dare accuse everyone in this city of being stupid and not caring about what goes on at MAS.

        If you care so much about what is going on here, eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day and cut off your cable, phone, internet, etc., do whatever you have to do to save the money to purchase a plane ticket or gas for your car and get down here and do whatever you think it is that will make a difference. I can assure you, if I knew how to change a shelter in another state, nothing would stop me from getting there and changing it. NOTHING.

        Showing up every day to complain WILL DO NOTHING. IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE. Neither do emails, letters and phone calls. MAYOR WHARTON WAS JUST RE-ELECTED. If that doesn’t tell you what we are up against nothing will. It will take getting laws changed to make a difference and laws are not changed overnight. It can take years or decades in a city such as Memphis.

        The majority of people in Memphis are worried more about humans than animals. Changing their mind is difficult. Getting them on board is difficult. Getting people from other states who DO care to come here is impossible. I do not understand why not one single person out of all of the people through out the US who “care” so much about Memphis can’t scrape up the money for gas to come here. Talk about excuses being made. Have a garage sale. Have a bake sale. Sell some stuff on Ebay. Set up a Chip-in for gas money so you can come here and make all these changes that you think you can make. The animals need you. If you think you can make a difference then for God’s sake what in the world is stopping you?

      2. Margaret,

        I didn’t say the people of Memphis are STUPID, I was talking about the Staff at the shelter. Also If nothing can be done to stop the HORROR at the shit hole then stop talking about. And my happy ass works 55 hours a week, I don’t watch TV and I hate a phone.

  10. Is this disgusting person still employed there????? Has any action been taken!? I want answers on this! This behavior cannot be allowed or condoned!

  11. Everything I have ever said nice or positive about Glenn Andrews I take back. He is dragging Mari the way a hunter drags his kill. I am embarrassed and ashamed to have thought he was any better.

      1. Kim: I was a vet tech for 10 years. after watching that video it is clear that Mario was on the brink of unconcsiousness when the guy stopped and loosened the loop on the chokepole. That is why, when he starts dragging the dog down the hall, you see him leaving a trail of pee that you didn’t see before. The first thing to happen when an animal starts to die is loss of bladder and/or bowel control. The catchpole was being used in ALL the wrong ways. The loop was around the dog’s neck, not around the head and under one leg to AVOID choking him.

        I say again that this is an animal abuse crime, and damn Wharton, some Memphis citizen has GOT to bring action. If nobody will, then please suggest a lawyer so I can find out if I can bring suit from out of state. The more I watch that video, the more I am convinced that Mario was about to go under for the third time.

        How many more, MAS>????? How many????

  12. It is unbelievable that even knowing he is being recorded this idiot is inflicting cruel treatment, obvious abuse and total disregard for the pain and suffering he’s causing the poor dog. Yet the citizens of good ol’ Memphis TN. are paying his salary every week. The scum needs to be fired and criminally prosecuted. Aren’t you all proud of how your city is being run?

  13. You all need to watch it again and now take your eyes off Mari and watch what the other employee is doing to the white dog with brindle spots further down the hall. That employee is dragging that one by the neck and head too, just not quite as badly as with Mari. Seems as though this is business as usual for all of the employees here! Others were walking in and out, noticing, and were totally nonchalant about it, like this is all nothing new to them. I am utterly appalled and outraged!

  14. gross misuse of a catch pole. it appears that the dog either urinated out of fear or lost his faculties in the process. dragging an animal down a hallway whilst choking it is completely unacceptable. this is NOT what a “trained professional” does.

    1. Has anyone in the building every heard of a sedative? How hard could it be to give these dogs a piece of freaking cheese with a tranquilizer so they do not have to be so traumatized? People transport LIONS and BEARS from cage to cage and MAS acts like this is the only way to get a dog into a kennel. A piece of cheese, a valium and a blanket can work wonders.

  15. do we know who these employees are???? this needs to be reported!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! who do i report this too?????

  16. Facebook linked me to this. I could not watch the video but I can speak up for these poor creatures. Why aren’t the cruel “shelter” workers fired and severely punished for abusing these animals?

    1. Youtube link for those who cannot view the video as is – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Jj9e9zTRtE

      Oh Beth, if only I had the answer to that one.

      The government of Memphis is corrupt. They hire their friends to high positions and keep them there, no matter the level of incompetence. The animal shelter and the abuses that happen there are a non-issue to anyone in a position of power. They don’t realize that the city will never climb out of it’s death spiral until someone stands up and says, “That’s enough. No more of this bullshit.”

      But that would take true leadership – something that Memphis is lacking and has been for a long time. The mayor had his chance at turning the shelter around (it had to be shut down for abuses before) when he hired a new shelter director. Unfortunately, he hired Matthew Pepper, who did not consider proper animal handling, personnel training, or life saving priorities.

      Right now the shelter has no director. It’s Lord of the Flies at MAS.

    2. Beth: The people who to report this abuse to are the same people who endorses this behavior, the same people who do not want to change anything, the same people who think it’s not abuse, the same people who think they are doing fine killing 77%, the same people who refuses to even read or consider the no kill philosophy.

      So who else CAN do anything about the abuse, criminal behavior & excess killing? Humane Society of the United States? They also endorse excessive killing practices & refuse any meaningful help to city pounds.

      1. Exactly. What the people outside of Memphis do not understand is that there is nobody in a position of power to change MAS who actually cares about this type of behavior. That is what we can’t seem to make people understand. THEY DO NOT CARE. They think the way things are being handled is fine. Even the “Friends” think it is fine. Just part of shelter life! They brag about the lowered euthanasia rate and think they are doing an awesome job. They think that giving animals away for $10 is an great idea.

        The only thing that will ever change MAS is a new Mayor, a new person in charge of Public Services and Neighborhoods and an Administrator who actually cares about animal rights and welfare.
        The people in charge do not think this way, to them they are “just animals”.

        Outside of that, the only hope for change is getting an animal rights activist on the level of Gary Yourofsky involved. He is a vegan and usually sticks to that area but he truly sees animals as equals and believes they should be treated with the same respect as a human. That is what it will take. Please write him and ask if he can help us. Write PETA, write animal loving celebrities, write them daily, beg…plead. We have to get people who have the voice and the dollars to make a difference.

      2. Sorry MAS Sucks, but PeTA is not what we or anyone who gives a toss about animal welfare needs. Their kill rate is consistently in the 90% range at their “shelter”.

        PeTA is evil.

  17. i just called the humane society of the united states and left a voice message i,m going to try and have the memphis shelter investigated.i,m hoping that the justice department will be brought into this.i,ve saved all the pictures from the webcams that have been sent to my email address.i,ve got them in a special folder in my email.

    1. A reader recently contacted HSUS about MAS regarding their “evaluation”. She was told something along the lines of “Just quit complaining and give MAS your support”.

  18. I don’t even see an attempt by any of the ’employees’ to encourage the stray to sit, much less stand up in order to get him to walk on his own. It’s like the guy just accepted that he’s just gonna have to drag this dumb dog down the hallway. What a retard. And to think we (taxpayers) actually pay this guy to work at a government facility.

  19. That’s a downright shame. It makes me sad to watch videos like this. We all need to spread the word everyone we know. Actions must be taken to remedy this situation and others like it.

  20. So not cool! Disgusting in fact!!!!!!!!
    I’m interested to know what happens to the helper when they do this kind of treatment to an animal? What’s the punishment? This is not ok. Children handlers would be sent to jail or taken out of that profession… so what happens to this guy?

  21. This type of behavior is so uncalled for and the employees involved in this incident should be fired. The one pulling the dog with the chokepole and the ones standing by doing nothing. ;If this is what was taking place with the cameras were there I would hate to think what is taking place now.

    The cameras should be put back ;up to protect the animal rights, If not for the cameras this would have never been brought to our attention. I live in Texas but I am all for signing a petition to put the cameras back. Praying for those poor animals there.

  22. I showed this to my husband, who is not an animal advocate but loves our pets (and admittedly gets an earful from me daily about what goes on in shelters, so he has a clue). His reaction: the employee is ignorant, totally untrained, unfit for the job.

  23. I really hate that Mphs govt sees fit to hide the abuse that’s going on at MAS. Out of sight, out of mind? They had better think again! There are too many “crazy” animal lovers that won’t allow that, if at all possible. I just hate knowing that there will be several that will slip through the cracks because the abuse can no longer be documented since the cameras were deemed a violation of the workers civil rights. Well what about these poor babies??? Don’t they have the right of at least basic care or compassion? Maybe the workers need some other form of employment???

  24. I don’t even want to think about what happens where there aren’t cameras at. It’s time these men joined the ranks of the unemployed.

  25. It is *so easy* to move a leashed feral, if you take a tiny bit of time and have one or two assistants. And one lick of dog sense.

    As long as the dog feels more pressure from behind than he does in front of him, he will move in the direction you desire.

    Clear the aisle for a few seconds, turn your back on him, have one or two people apply pressure (just body language / claiming space) from behind, and he will go down that corridor. Leave the kennel door open, pass it by, turn and apply some pressure from in front, and he’s in. A plastic crate in the kennel is an additional incentive, and provides an easy way to remove the dog later.

    This only works on animals who are able to perfuse their tissues with oxygen, which is more difficult when your airway is choked close.

    1. This should be interesting… Glenn and I exchanged a few e= mails concerning the black and white dog in the rabies section…hummm.. wonder if he’ll except my friends request.

      1. Does anyone else find it strange for someone in Glenn Andrews position to NOT have any mention of pets/dogs/cats on their Facebook page as well as NO friends in the animal advocacy community?

        It’s obvious he isn’t interested in pets or their care.

  26. So why dont you do what some Peta activists have done in the past, break in take the animals, and burn the place to the ground. I think they should be doing that to alot of these kill shelters. Sorry so harsh but i have had it with the abuse these kill shelters are doing. But dont have a dirty litter box, or litter box smell in your house , they may report you to the spca. Its time for people to do something real, if the law wont listen, then make them.

    1. Because we are committed to change through non-violent and legal means. Exercising one’s right to assemble, to speak freely, and to petition the govt for redress of grievances are different than robbery and arson. PETA is nothing more than a celebrity publicity stunt used to disguise the slaughter of pets. We actually want an end to the killing of pets.

  27. I work for Animal Control in So CA. I showed this to a few of my colleagues. We were all quite amazed. From what I understand the dog was feral and probably put up a good fight with the catch pole, but there is really no excuse to drag this dog down the corridor by the neck with a catch pole. That is just moronic! I counted about 5 guys, they could have easily lended a hand, placing a blanket around the dog and carried him/her into a kennel while the kennel attendant supported the dogs head with the catch pole. There’s really no excuse for this. The only thing I can think of is a lack of training and/or supervision of the employee. Definitely disturbing!

    1. Have any of you see or heard about the dogs illegally removed from a property in San Antonio, Texas this past week? It’s another example of ACO animal abuse and in my opinion total disregard for the laws designed to protect the animals. It’s posted on my wall (FB) with two videos…

  28. its a old clip i know but i needed to comment shelther in my town loves to tazer dogs till they pass out and throw them in the swamps or hang them from catch poles till there necks breek

    1. I don’t know where you live, but that is animal cruelty and abuse and if any of us did that, we’d be in trouble. Someone needs to stop that NOW!

  29. I dont know if you guys can tell but that dog was bleeding as well. look at the trace at the end of the video. Its urine from his wet coat and blood on the left side. These motherfuckas should be put in jail.

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