MAS Security Camera Footage: Chokepoles and Hungry Dogs

Via a FOIA request, I have MAS security camera footage from May 22, 2012, from 2pm to 7pm.  Thank you to everyone who donated to the previous MAS FOIA request (money leftover after the city lowered the price was used to buy this footage).  I will be posting clips as time allows.

The first video is a little white dog being taken off the truck by an ACO via chokepole while 2 other ACOs watch.  The dog is placed into a cage on wheels and rolled into a room full of kennels.  He is chokepoled out of the cage and into the kennel.

The second clip shows what appears to be a mama dog and at least 2 puppies (in the lower left corner of the screen). Despite bowls of kibble sitting out along the wall (which is a good way to attract flies and rodents), no dogs in this room were fed from 2pm to 7pm except for a new impound, shown in the first portion of clip. Mama dogs with puppies need lots of food and multiple meals per day. These pups are clearly old enough to eat kibble and the one pup repeatedly returns to the empty food bowl to lick it. No dogs in this room had their cages cleaned between 2pm and 7pm either.

Note: The video doesn’t start until about 11 seconds in.

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36 Comments

  1. db

     /  July 2, 2012

    Sorry – can’t watch tonight. Just don’t have the stomach for it. Hungry pups and moms, dogs mishandled . . . same old sh#t, different day.

    Reply
  2. mikken

     /  July 2, 2012

    Mr. Rogers will say that these are Shelby people. I don’t care if they’re from Mars, if you use my facility, you play by my rules, period. If they don’t know how to handle a dog other than with a chokepole, they shouldn’t be employed.

    And the food bowls. Laid out for all manner of rodents and insects. How long before MAS has a full blown pest infestation with this kind of behavior?

    I won’t even mention the fact that this calls bullshit to his claims that food is carefully measured and weighed to individual dogs. I will mention the fact that withholding food from nursing mothers and pups is evil and cruel and Mr. Rogers needs to address that immediately and forcefully.

    Reply
    • I heard from 2 people who stopped by a pet supply store and bought boxes of treats for the dogs at MAS that when they got there, they were told their treats could not be handed out due to the carefully measured diet plans each dog had been prescribed.

      Reply
  3. Mary Conboy

     /  July 2, 2012

    This is unacceptable. Basic job requirements should be cleaning cages throughout the day and even more importantly maintaining a feeding schedule that meets the needs of the dogs. I am angry and this needs to change. Who oversees this place? There are enough concerned citizens in this area to make a difference. I say make a lot of noise and expose these people for not doing their jobs in a humane manner.

    Reply
  4. Was this filmed before or after their humane handling training by the dog expert?

    Reply
  5. Did the missing footage from the earlier FOIA request ever show up btw?

    Poor pups….

    Reply
    • It showed up but to be honest, I didn’t feel 100% confident that the footage could be trusted. I’m not saying it’s been tampered with, just that the city charged an exorbitant fee, represented the footage as complete, then when we found it wasn’t, came up with OOPS as an explanation. That never sat right with me. As such, I really couldn’t justify devoting the many hours it would take to watch the video and then represent anything on it as accurate. That was the reason for the May 22 request – to get something that was uncompromised that I could feel confident was accurate.

      Reply
      • I can’t argue with that,I’m just kinda surprised it showed up at all…

  6. Susan Whitten

     /  July 2, 2012

    Okay, :YesBiscuit . . . it’s time for us to take over this fort & treat these babies with love & respect. MAS is a disappointment all over the country & a new logo, Mr. Mayor, is not going to solve the problems shown in these clips. I’ll take the job!

    Reply
  7. db

     /  July 2, 2012

    Sent an email to wharton asking very simply why he won’t change the way things work at mas . . .
    Frankly, I’m tired of blustering and bellowing here and nothing gets done. Is there any way to create an action plan? Anybody in Memphis willing to step up and coordinate some kind of action?

    Reply
  8. Arlene

     /  July 2, 2012

    I cannot describe the utter disgust that I am feeling since viewing the tapes above. The contempt that I have for Mr. Rodgers, Hooks and Hall, and don’t forget the Mayor….I can’t even begin to describe that!

    It seems to me that when their lips are moving they are lying. Out and out lies being told one after the other. What is on those tapes is disgusting. A little dog being hauled out of truck with a chokepole? In what universe is that needed? Are those people so dumb that they don’t know or can’t learn how to transfer a little dog? Lord knows they’ve been trained, retrained, and over trained. Still they don’t learn.

    No food for puppies….now what makes that okay? Not in my lifetime have I ever seen such a mess as Memphis. From top to bottom that place is a cesspool of stagnant sub humans if one is to judge by the city mayor and his little troupe of so called ladies and the animal services manager.

    Someone please….Memphis….why are you standing by and allowing this to happen time and time again? Rise up and do something. These animals have no voice. You must be their voice. You have a responsibility to take care of those who cannot help themselves. If you continue to turn away you are as guilty as those doing these terrible things.

    Reply
  9. Jessica C

     /  July 2, 2012

    Not feeding them, mishandling them…there’s nothing that I can say that hasn’t been said already. Just awful. But what the hell is the point of the food sitting up on the wall?? If youre going to take the time out to put it in the bowl in the first place, then why not give it to the animals?? Am I missing something here? Wow.

    Reply
  10. G. Gordon

     /  July 3, 2012

    The workers who place food in one kennel look to be the prison workers. Why are they not supervised?
    Those are Rabies Officers from Shelby County. They were not trained or re-trained or re-re-trained or re-re-re-trained like the MAS workers.

    Reply
    • Arlene

       /  July 3, 2012

      They sure as heck had to have had some kind of training! I would expect that their training would have been even better than that of MAS. What accounts for the lack of compassion in these people? Are they drawn to jobs that they can feel superior when they mistreat small innocent creatures that can’t protect themselves? It appears to be the case to me.

      Reply
    • It looks to me like the men who place the bowl of food in the one kennel are the two ACOs from Shelby Co. After they put that bowl in there, they go out to the truck and chokepole a GSD off it and put him/her in the cage with the bowl of food.

      Reply
  11. Karen F

     /  July 3, 2012

    I gasped when the worker chokepoled the little dog out of the truck. But it’s equally horrible to watch the time go by in the second video, to know that the dogs can smell the food that’s right in front of them, to know that they will wait and wait and wait. Which kind of abuse is worse?

    In one of your past blog posts, you called the shelter’s attitude “callous disregard.” But that hardly seems strong enough.

    Reply
    • It’s so sad to me when they pick up the bowl of food and put it in the empty cage for the incoming dog and the mama dog is following their every move. I kept hoping someone was going to come and clean the cages and give out the food to the dogs. Lots of people came through, but nobody cared for the dogs. Around 6pm, the lights go out and they don’t get turned back on again by the time the footage ends at 7pm. I guess the bowls were left out to feed the rodents overnight.

      Reply
      • and the Mayor and Mr Rogers are still not viewing this footage?

      • If anyone else, be it average pet owner, breeder, rescuer or anyone else who works with animals, did this stuff, not feeding, not cleaning – it would be a raid and animals taken away, never to be returned, with animal neglect and cruelty charges, fines, jail time, etc imposed on the “perpetrator”. When the perpetrator is the shelter itself, it seems that it is ok???? how can animals be removed from abusive situations and then placing them in this hell hole be justified? I am appalled at the lack of oversight in America’s shelter system.

  12. db

     /  July 3, 2012

    Okay, who knows an investigative reporter in Memphis (or at least an honest one) who is willing to put this stuff before the public? I’m not from Memphis – I don’t know who’s there, who’s interested, who’s willing. SOMEBODY WHO KNOWS PLEASE GET THIS BEFORE THE PUBLIC! If they’re going to kill all these animals, at least the animals deserve to have their basic needs met before that happens.

    Reply
  13. Patti

     /  July 3, 2012

    We have to ask ourselves with all of the public awareness, reports, and film footage why something doesn’t change? It is like the abuse and neglect at the shelter is being swept under the carpet and the officials that were elected to this city choose to ignore what is going on at MAS. This is America? No – this is Memphis and until we can get the attention of someone outside this culture I don’t see this situation changing. Even Mayor Wharton has a boss right? Who can we reach out to that will make a difference?

    Reply
    • db

       /  July 3, 2012

      Bottom line is that wharton continues to be re-elected. His “bosses” apparently don’t vote him out.

      Reply
  14. Public awareness is one thing, but this can go on and on forever, so stop the blogging and contract who would be important to shut this damn place down forever and have the all the animals moved safely, without harm by Mr. Rogers, to a forever sanctuary. Many would take them gladly, I feel, under the circumstances of what has been happening in this Hell Hole called Memphis Animal Shelter. Mr. Rogers needs to face imprisonment for Animal Cruelty, perhaps not perpetrated by his own hands, but the instrument behind the acts…

    Go to the State of Tennessee to report the severity of MAS’s Crimes, but also let the USDA know, or any national governmental body organized to protect animals… Go to Animal Welfare, Go to the Animal Protection League and others set to prevent animal cruelty of any kind…

    Reply
    • Trisha, I won’t be ending the blog but I may be ending your ability to comment on it if you don’t knock it off.

      Reply
  15. Oh, I’d also be after having Memphis Mayor impeached and forbiddened to ever be in Office of any kind of Government again!

    Reply
    • KateH

       /  July 3, 2012

      Trisha, if it’s such a simple fix, why don’t YOU get started on that right now and get back to us next week when it’s accomplished, ‘kay?

      Reply
  16. JS

     /  July 3, 2012

    The conditions at MAS are reflective of the conditions in the City of Memphis as a whole. A majority of the population, generally speaking, is not compassionate about anything at all – much less about the most innocent souls on earth – and never will be. That portion of the population is, instead, selfish and indignant. They are challenged by only a select few that are, in fact, looking out for the best interests of others.

    A city government is no better than the population that it serves – politicians in Memphis are more interested in power and appointments than civic duty and service. The government players have no concern for the demands of a minority of the population that will do nothing to get them re-elected and, in their eyes, only cause disruption of the status quo they work so hard to maintain.

    Keep blogging, Shirley. Keep exposing the atrocity that is MAS. Because one voice can be deafening when everyone else remains silent.

    Reply
    • db

       /  July 3, 2012

      Not a place I would want to visit or live. Thank you for the accurate assessment. Do you have any sense of what might help the animals? Would taking animal services away from the government make a difference, or would it just be folks who would use the animals to their own advantage?
      This breaks my heart!

      Reply
    • db

       /  July 3, 2012

      Is the governor another “good old boy” or would he/she take this mayor and his administration on?

      Reply
      • JS

         /  July 3, 2012

        I live just south of the City of Memphis – about 30 minutes away – and across the Mississippi state line. I honestly do not know anything about the governor of Tennessee so I’ll leave that question for someone else to answer. As far as what it will take to help these animals – it will take a compassionate director who is not in it for the power and the paycheck – someone who is not afraid to advocate for the animals, even when it means exposing the Mayor and the supervisory City Board’s bad decisions like employing political favors, keeping the budget small and hiding MAS’s mistakes. Unfortunately, though, that is not going to happen as long as the director is, in fact, appointed by the Mayor and the City’s Board. And the potential problem with a privately run shelter is the same one that will always haunt the system – people trying to make a profit. As you are all well-aware – even some “non-profits” are money-making machines for the CEOs that run them. The sad fact is that when the animals start getting in the way of the people that are out looking for a paycheck, the animals are killed. It’s as simple as that.

        Until legislation is passed that makes it ILLEGAL to kill healthy and adoptable animals, I’m afraid that MAS will not change.

  17. Jennifer

     /  July 3, 2012

    Someone at the City of Memphis needs to take a look at the employees’ timecards and determine which employees were working and paid for that day and what they were supposed to be doing! It looks like since the food was out, someone was supposed to feed the dogs and did not. Why would food be left out for that long of a time without feeding the dogs?

    Reply

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