Silent Protest Today at Memphis Animal Services

“Never underestimate that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead

In order to protest the killing of healthy/treatable pets at MAS today, a few readers have organized a last minute silent vigil at the pound.  If you are in the Memphis area, please join them.  If you are unable to be there in person, leave a message of support for the protesters in the comments.  I will update this thread throughout the day with any MAS related news.  Please REFRESH the page periodically to show updates.

Update #1:  I heard from Memphis pet advocate Jody that she went by MAS yesterday for about 10 minutes to see if the place was really turning away adopters for the pet killing class.  She reports she saw 4 cars leaving in the time she was there.  She flagged down 2 of them.  The occupants of both cars told Jody they had gone to MAS to adopt.   After learning that the place was closed for a pet killing class, one woman “said that made her heart hurt and she was sick to her stomach”.  I too feel sick knowing that some of the pets being killed in the practical today might have been adopted yesterday if only MAS would have opened its doors to the public.

Update #2:  Here are the directions to the pound (via Petfinder) for anyone wanting to join the protest today:

The shelter is at I-40 and Appling Road. You take the Appling North exit off I-40. There is a Shell station on the North East corner of the I-40/Appling Road junction. You take the road across from the Shell Station (looks like a service road). Once on that road you can see the new Inspection Station on the right and the shelter is right across the street. (The directions on GPS systems are always not accurate.)

Update #3:  From the MAS website, this “explanation” for why the pound turned away adopters yesterday so they could put the staff through a pet killing class:

Screencap from the MAS website, click to enlarge.

Let’s be clear: MAS does not “have to” kill healthy/treatable pets for population control. No shelter does. There are open admission no kill shelters all over the country doing the hard work to prove that every day. Memphis too could be a no kill community. All they have to do is stop lying to the public, stop turning caring citizens away, and stop the killing.

Update #4:  Bringing up from the comments:

m Says:
January 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm 

OK, I have news channel 3 who wants to come out, wants a contact person on the ground to speak with. I am calling press in Memphis but am out of state. can someone let me know a contact of who is onsite?

Update #5: Per Linda’s comment, 3 women from out of town showed up with signs to protest the needless killings at MAS today. The media showed up too. And the practical was changed from killing pets to performing heartworm tests. THIS is what a grassroots movement looks like. THIS is the power of one person (and two more!) being willing to take a stand. Lives were saved today. It’s not permanent change at MAS but for the pets who weren’t killed today, it’s everything. THANK YOU.  Out of town agitators ROCK!  I couldn’t be more grateful to have such dedicated and compassionate readers.  I’ll be lighting a candle in honor of you three ladies.

53 thoughts on “Silent Protest Today at Memphis Animal Services

  1. I join the protest to end the killing at MAS of healthy/treatable/ adoptable pets so they will know what it is like to be loved.. It is time for MAS totreat annimals with respect like they want to be..

  2. Hope there are many people at this protest and that the media covers it too. So sad how many of our U.S. shelters are being run.

  3. Count me in on this protest. I am against the practices of MAS and the needless killing that goes on everyday. What happened to off site adoptions? Why won’t they use software to get animal faces out to public? Why did they shut off the cameras? When will they hire a director? Why won’t the mayor answer any of these questions? I have adopted several animals thru the years from this horrible place. Always broke my heart that I couldn’t get more out of there.. Its always been bad and there is no reason something cannot be done ! God Bless the babies that are going over the rainbow bridge today, thru no fault of their own. And bless this site for keeping us aware..

  4. This is so very sad on so many levels. Spay and neuter people, spay and neuter! Will be looking for media coverage of this protest. There with you in spirit from Maine……..

  5. OK, I have news channel 3 who wants to come out, wants a contact person on the ground to speak with. I am calling press in Memphis but am out of state. can someone let me know a contact of who is onsite?

  6. Another set of directions, via Jan:

    Memphis Animal Services
    2350 Appling City Cove
    Bartlett, TN 38133-4735

    If you are travelling on I-40, you will exit onto Appling Road going south. At the intersection of Appling Road and Appling Farms Parkway, you will turn west. There will be a Shell service station at that intersection. Stay on Appling Farms Parkway for a few yards and then at the very next street, turn right. That is Murray Farms Parkway, which will lead you to Appling City Cove where MAS is located. It is right across from the Motor Vehicle Inspection station.

  7. Sending you my support from MInnesota. What a bunch of losers they are. I hate it when people try to explain themselves and their despicable practices because they don’t want to admit they’re wrong. You, the protestors, rock. I hope you get the attention you deserve for getting the truth out.

  8. I’d go out there with a sign that states exactly what they are doing today. “Killing animals today for practice” However I’m in Kansas and cannot come. I know people will be down there, and I’d love to see it on the news or in the newspaper.

  9. From the South Carolina No-Kill Alliance: All of us here are with you in spirit. Our prayers go up for you and the animals you work so hard to save. May Jehovah grant you success in your efforts.

  10. There were only 3 of us there today, but we were heard by three news stations. I don’t know what they will show, if anything. We also had an opportunity to talk to Glenn – a supervisor from MAS. He came out to speak to us (although he said he wasn’t supposed to).

    Glenn told us that they would not be euthanizing any animals today as part of their practical – they would be conducting heart worm tests. Glenn went on to say that it was something they thought of – “killing two birds with one stone” – a poor choice of words, but if it’s the truth I’ll let it go – explanation that if the technician could perform a successful blood draw from the vein for a heart worm test, then the tech could successful euthanize an animal if needed. He spoke of compassion grief that technicians suffer after putting animals down regularly and the need for more people to be trained. (But if they spent more $ and time on working with the public to adopt/foster out, maybe they wouldn’t need more techs to be okay with killing…)

    Glenn was nice. He was polite. I hope he was telling the truth. He knew of this website. I think he knew we were coming.

    The information doesn’t quite make me feel good, but maybe better knowing that none of the animals were (allegedly) put down today for training purposes.

    None of this changes that MAS isn’t open on Sunday – a prime opportunity for people to come adopt. Glenn said we should work on the city for that to change and he had no say in the matter.

    None of this changes the fact that two cars circled and drove away today – one with two children in the back seat maybe dreaming of a new dog or cat. Imagine. at least two dogs or cats might have been adopted today if only they’d been open.

    It doesn’t change their kill ratio – or that they kill at all.

    It doesn’t change that they wouldn’t extend 30 minutes to give us a tour and SHOW us how they’re “butterflies changing, not the leaf eating caterpillars everyone thinks they are.”

    Glenn said the best solution for everyone is for people to spay and neuter. I agree. He said that they aren’t the bad guys.

    While I don’t know about that, maybe, just maybe, a few animals lived to see another day and have a chance at adoption because three women showed up with signs – or because Glenn really is trying to change things in there.

    But then again, how would we know if it was the truth?

    1. I have spoken with Glenn before. I believe he is truly Genuine in trying to make the shelter better. However the city runs the shelter and he is an employee of the city. I really really hope there is some news coverage of it because mayor Wharton needs to know that we aren’t going to put up with this crap. Whether they really put animals down or not. Glenn personally owns something like 9 dogs and several cats. I think out of all the employees he is the most honest and wants to see the animals live. I remember him telling me back in August that there aren’t many that can put the animals down because its just too hard. It was an hour long conversation I had with Glenn in August. He specifically wished he could change the entire shelter himself.

  11. I whole-heartedly support the protesters!! We CAN make a difference, we just have to stay the course and remain steadfast until all of our voices are heard! We can succeed in becoming a No Kill Nation, we just need dedicated determined people to make that happen! Stay the course and make them see that we are serious, and we WILL NOT go away! I am with you all in spirit from Georgia, praying for you and hoping things will change for the better!!!!

  12. I wish that I could be there. Memphis should have more pride. It says a lot about a city when they treat their animals this way. This situation has got to change.

  13. Maybe the City should rehire Glenn as director of the Shelter and let him clean house to get the worst of the bunch out of there and hire more compassionate workers. Find someone who can actually work the Chameleon software and post every dog and cat that is being held on the internet and use the services of more than just a few rescue organizations to get the numbers down. Wouldn’t it be great if Mayor Wharton finally gets it and we aren’t going to accept his way of doing things any longer?

  14. Keep up your good work and keep the pressure on the powers that be! That’s what will finally effect change at MAS

  15. Of all the images from this event, the one that comes back to me is the cars that drove away . . . the families who were kept apart from the pet they might well have adopted. If Glenn is reading this, I hope he will consider doing two things right away: (1) shifting the closed days of the shelter so that MAS is open both Saturday and Sunday, and (2) taking a few moments before going home every day to list all the shelter’s animals on PetHarbor. These things could make such a difference. Kudos to those who stood in vigil at MAS and to those who supported them so beautifully from afar. May there be many changes to come.

    1. According to Glenn we have to o agreeing city to change yr closed on Sunday bit – he can’t do this.

      1. IMO this is why no one stepped forward with a bid to run the place – they would be required to operate under the city’s failed policies. Who would want to do that?

  16. There in Spirit from New York where we have killings of healthy adoptable pets at the NYACC every day :-(

    1. There was an all-day conference yesterday in NYC called “Hope for NYC Shelter Animals.” Nathan Winograd was a participant and the event was sold out. According to Urgent PART 2 on FB, there was outrage when the organizer of the event, Priscilla Feral, “contradicted Nathan’s message and said instead of calling for new management we should try hard to work with and support the current management.” Feral reportedly claimed that Julie Bank, the ED of NYACC, “wants to work with all of us [No Kill advocates] and we won’t try.” UP2’s preliminary post about this, which was untitled, was at about 1:45 EST today and she promised a follow-up — most likely it will be a titled post. Unbelievable if Feral really did this. I’m on the West Coast and even I know better!

  17. I am praying that Glenn told the truth, and no animals were killed that day. Thank God for those protesters. I wish i could be there, but am there in spirit. Sending love, prayers and blessings to all the animals at Mas. Praying the will have that chance to be adopted and have a loving home, and family!

  18. Linda, thanks for posting that update so promptly–you said it much better than I could have, as well. I agree with everything you had to say, and would only add a couple of additional observations.

    First, I agree that Glenn seemed genuinely interested in improving conditions for shelter animals at MAS, and that he felt that the public has the wrong impression about the attitudes that exist among the MAS Techs today; he insists that “all of that negative stuff was associated with the previous administration” and that they are eager to change the public’s opinion. I suggested that if that is true, and they truly want to change the public’s impressions that they had to make an effort to welcome the public with open arms, to increase transparency, and to show that there has indeed been a change. And that it could start by increasing the number of hrs the shelter is open, and by inviting the public to help them get more pets adopted by partnering with them, allowing volunteers to post animals (as we volunteered to do yesterday), and holding more outreach events, including YouTube videos of adoptable pets, etc.

    IF (big IF) all he told us is true (I hate to be such a cynic, but we’ve all been lied-to before–I guess time will tell when we are able to view the log for this month), then I give them HUGE Kudos for thinking outside the box and turning an event that could have been a huge negative for pets into a positive one by using the opportunity to train Techs into an opportunity to draw blood for needed heartworm testing. It also modeled a positive attitude to the Staff of MAS, as well.

    It’s also very clear that many people involved with MAS follow this blog very carefully, whether they will admit it or not–Glenn seemed to know almost as much as we did about what’s been posted online–and I think we should all keep that in mind, and try to use this forum to communicate in a positive way.

    I’d like to encourage everyone to try to accept what we were told at face value, and try to keep encouraging MAS to do the right thing, even if it’s baby steps at a time. Maybe today will also demonstrate to the citizens of Memphis that there are many people who really do care about the animals, and it only takes one voice to start to effect change. The last words we exchanged with Glenn were to ask him point-blank about whether he was telling the truth about today’s training event: he absolutely gave us his word that no animals were killed this weekend for this training. We told him if we found out he was lying to us that WE WOULD BE BACK, and not so friendly the next time.

    Finally, I’d like to thank all of the Reporters and Photographers who came out and stood with us in the freezing wind and really talked to us about animals. They also demonstrated a true caring for animals and for what’s happening at MAS, and I think they are really eager to be partners in helping bring about change. Let’s try to include them in events as much as possible-they want to help!

    And I hope the two little girls in the back of that car will come back to MAS this week to get their new puppy or kitten, and that when they drove off asking, “Mommy, what did the words on those signs mean?” that their parents were honest with them and used the opportunity to educate their children about how to be a caring human being.

  19. Major thanks and God bless those who protested, got the word out to the local news stations and everything else that has happened. I’m SO happy to know that it was just heart-worm and not “euthanasia” testing today. Hopefully it’s the truth. And as always, thank you to Shirley for keeping us informed and updating us as much as possible. None of us would know of most of the things going on if it weren’t for you.

    I’m w/ you all in spirit, in AZ.

  20. Glenn knows yes biscut very well. He is probably at home soaking ul his 15 of fame right now. I am happy that heartworm test were performed instead of euthanasia. Hopefully we can find out the reults of these test and help with any treatment or prevention.
    I hope your readers know this is the same man that drug poor Mario on a choke pole. Glenn knows where his bread is buttered.

    1. Personally, I would not trust anyone at MAS! They have been instructed by Director Hooks and her sidekick LaSonya to put on this rose colored dog and pony show for the public. (By the way, Dr. LaSonya Hall is also a yes biscuit fan. Have a blessed day!) These 2 women know NOTHING about compassion for animals and have done nothing to improve conditions at MAS. Why are only a mere handful of the animals in the shelter placed on petfinder? The only other place adoptable animals (again, the chosen few) can be found is on the Friends of MAS facebook page. What if you don’t have facebook? Why isn’t MAS using Chameleon and PetHarbor to their full potential? Why are there 600+ animals missing from the 2011 stats? Inventory problems? Prove it! Yet, Mayor Wharton just promoted Hooks. This is the kind of idiotic government we deal with. The staff at MAS do not jump unless they’re told to do so, which leads me to believe that Glen was handling the situation just the way he was told.

  21. There are others in Memphis that would join the cause in person. If we supply e-mails, facebook page or cell phones for texts…can someone let us know when a group is going to go out there in person? We’d love to stand with you!

    1. Unfortunately I expect there will be cause to stand at their gates again in the future. Some way to communicate, even last minute, is a great idea.

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