The agreement between the city of Memphis and the union workers at the pound can be read here. In summary, it’s a pretty sweet job – great pay and excellent benefits.
Page 13 indicates that any employee who is progressing through the stages of discipline will have his record cleared if he stays out of trouble for 6 months. Wow, I’ve never come across any such provision in my working life.
Pages 34 – 35 discuss hourly wages: $18.82 for ACOs and $17.67 for animal care technicians. Any qualified worker who kills pets for MAS gets an additional 3% killing “premium”, paid at a minimum of 4 hour increments. Cash bonuses provide an incentive to kill pets at MAS. Where is the incentive to save pets’ lives? Where is the premium for increasing the live release rate? It really makes one wonder about those bins full of dead pets the pound fills up every day.
Page 24 lists the reasons union employees at MAS may be removed from the payroll. One of those reasons is “Discharge for just cause”. Although I don’t see any such wording, I am assuming that committing animal abuse would qualify as just cause. They should really put that wording in there, don’t you think? I mean, seeing as it IS an animal shelter and all.
Page 37 states that “employees are expected to comply with […] any work rules applicable to specific divisions”. Presumably the MAS employee handbook that dictates dogs are not to be scruffed without having their weight supported from underneath or dragged by chokepoles counts as work rules specific to the division. As such, why haven’t the workers depicted hurting animals in the security camera videos been fired?
City of Memphis
Policies and Procedures Manual
Memphis Animal Services
Chapter 2: Guiding Principles and Expectations
Section 1: Humane Treatment
No Agent of Memphis Animal Services is to drag or pull any animal by catch pole or lead unless no other practical method of safely handling or moving the animal is available.
Small dogs are to have their weight supported from beneath when being transported within the facility or in the field and are not to be suspended by the back of the neck (scruffed) as a method of control unless no other practical method of safely handling or moving the animal is available.