Matthew Pepper’s Warped Explanation

Many readers will remember former director Matthew Pepper’s numerous you-are-not-seeing-what-you-are-seeing explanations for the webcam horrors observed during his time at the Memphis pound.  When it became evident that many people in Memphis failed to appreciate these explanations, Matthew Pepper went to Bernalillo Co NM to try his material on a new audience.

A whistleblower went to local TV news station KOB with photos depicting filthy crates containing dried urine and feces at the Bernalillo Co pound.  Oh and dogs – some contained dogs too.  The whistleblower stated the photos were taken in January 2012.  The prints were stamped with a January 2012 date of development on the back.

The local news showed up unannounced at the pound, photos in hand.  They observed and filmed the same disgusting conditions as those in the pictures.  When confronted with this seemingly irrefutable evidence, Matthew Pepper tried a dual approach to denial.  First, he said the crates weren’t covered in dried urine and feces:

“The crates can sometimes get warped and give them the appearance of being dirty.”

When that ship sank, he offered the idea that the photos must be old, taken before he was director.  Never mind that they were developed in January 2012.  Never mind that the same exact conditions were documented at the news crew’s unannounced visit in February.  Look – a squirrel in a funny hat!

During the visit, a volunteer was ordered to immediately begin cleaning and putting away the filthy crates.  I’m not an attorney but isn’t that called “evidence tampering” or something?

KOB asked Pepper if the crates would be in a cleaner state upon a re-inspection.

“The crates may not even be here,” Pepper responded.

Destruction of evidence?

When the news crew showed the photos to the top county commissioner, he too attempted to run with the these-pictures-must-be-from-the-before-time excuse but the reporter was not impressed.  (Listen to how he closes his video piece.)

These horrible conditions would no doubt bring animal cruelty charges to any person found to be harboring dogs in filth like this at home.  I expect their dogs would be taken from them too.  Why does the law not apply to Matthew Pepper and the Bernalillo Co pound?

22 thoughts on “Matthew Pepper’s Warped Explanation

  1. I don’t even understand how he got hired there in the first place. Does no one in Bernalillo County administration know how to use the google on a job applicant’s name? Or were they purposely hoping to ramp up the cruelty and killing in their pound?

  2. Does sound very familiar doesn’t it? Bernalillo County and Memphis hire only the best don’t they? Unreal.

  3. I can’t get the link to work – but nothing about this surprises me. At least in NM there were people willing to step up and show up without giving him time to “prepare” so they’re one step up on Memphis already.
    Hope this isn’t swept under the rug.
    Matthew Pepper is BAD NEWS wherever he ends up.

    1. Sorry db – link now fixed (you’ll need to refresh the page). I will have words with the editing department and their pay will be docked accordingly.

  4. Reading about Matthew Pepper AGAIN just makes my blood pressure rise! He had a clean break from MAS and the opportunity to start fresh in Bernalillo. Why would he make the same mistakes twice? He’s damn fool and a blister on the butt of every animal in his care.

  5. And apropos of the topic of animal shelter directors, Wake County NC, has appointed an interim director after the last one stepped down, and the interim guy will be helping recruit a new director:

    So … maybe there’s a way to get a no-kill advocate hired?

    Also, Durham County, NC, (where I live) is still missing an AC director, but they have not made public their plans for replacing her and I can’t get anyone to reply to my emails …

  6. I do not think Matthew Pepper is running a shelter in New Mexico. Was he not hired to run the county field services for the county? Maybe you need to contact the shelter manager involved?

    1. I’m reporting on the investigation conducted by KOB, “Cammy Linderman”. KOB went to Matthew Pepper. I didn’t hear him saying anything like, “I’m not in any way involved here”. He has some supervisory position as I understand it. As in, the buck stops with him.

  7. How long before Matthew Pepper realizes that he’s simply not a manager of people? There’s no shame in it, not everyone is wired to be a manager, that’s all.

    The problem comes when he continues to keep trying to be a manager. His failings are costing animals their health, their sanity, and their lives.

    Matt, you’re not a leader of men. Give it up, find your real calling and make everyone, including yourself, happier.

    1. I have a relative that works for Pepper and he is by far the worst manager he has ever had to work for. He is demeaning, retaliatory, racist and hateful. He truly does not care about people much less animals

  8. New Mexico Pets Alive was so clear with the local government about what would happen to animals in Bernalillo County if Pepper was hired, yet no one took them seriously. Expectations of animal shelters are changing rapidly, but hiring criteria seem to still be just as they would have been five or ten years ago, and those who know the most about who would be effective in the job are ignored.

  9. Despite our singular efforts to publicly oppose his hiring, (no one in the NM animal welfare/protection community nor Bernalillo county government seemed to be interested in Matthew Pepper’s history at MAS) he was hired and began employment as Director of Bernalillo County Animal Services (overseeing AC in the county) last Sept. We asked what his duties would be, how much involvement he would have with any animals, etc. and no one could care less about about our questions or concerns. His history at MAS mattered/matters not. There are committee meeting minutes referring to his “glowing” resume and that’s it. Here is a link to there 2011 annual report: report BCACS.pdf We have a ton of people willing to speak out about the neglect and abuse at the hands of the public, but very few people here in NM (including the animal protection, humane groups and even the rescue community) who are willing to speak out against neglect and abuse occurring behind closed doors, paid for by tax payer dollars.

    1. I know you guys tried! Stay vocal and maybe someone will eventually listen. At least the news crew has corroborating documentation…

    2. Please, please dont give up your efforts to expose the horrible things that go on under Matt Pepers direction. He needs to be put in the spotlight for hiring inept officers that have killed and mistreated multiple animals. He thinks he is above the laws that he should be enforcing!

    3. I am an officer under Matt Peppers direction and desperately need to expose the inhumane treatment that he orders his officers to abide by. The list is endless in his mistreatment of animals and livestock. These crates that are the subject of this story are still regularly being used NIGHTLY. He orders the untrained community service workers to ‘clean up the mess’ before members of the public can access the building. Multiple dogs are kept housed together and lead to the spread of disease. They are not fed, watered or cleaned for the whole weekend. They go hungry, standing in their own feces for days. Officers have offered to go in and care for these animals but Pepper refuses to pay any overtime and tells us to ‘leave it for the community service people to do, they work for free’. Someone please get in contact with me so he can be exposed and held accountable for the inhumane treatment to these animals.

  10. What other industry could you fail more than once and keep being hired again and again?

    It is nice to hear that at least the news media people are not buying the BS fed them by the shelter and gov people.

    Shelters could be made so much better if many more people stood up together and demanded it.

  11. Interesting – when Matthew Pepper answered the questions about the crates he didn’t say “when the crates are cleaned” – he said “if the crates are cleaned” I rewound it twice to make sure that I was hearing it correctly.

  12. Pepper=another zebra who cannot change his stripes. Why is this place using fold-down crates anyway? They were obviously WAY too small to house those labs…and his excuse about warping was so damned lame, it makes Lazarus seem like a sky-diver. Gimmeabreakwhatadick.

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