MAS Kills Pets While Turning Adopters Away

Since the Memphis pound doesn’t do its job, local advocate and banned MAS volunteer Jody Fisher visits the pound regularly in order to help get pets out to rescues and adopters.  She’s had a lot of success.  Which is why she was shocked earlier this summer when suddenly she was informed by a staff member that she had to leave after 30 minutes.  She asked interim director James Rogers for an explanation via e-mail:

From: Jody Fisher
Sent: Saturday, August 04, 2012 9:07 PM
To: Rogers, James; Gibson, Terry
Subject: 30 minutes allowed in Adoption and HH areas

I would like to know who was responsible for the decision to only allow me spend 30 minutes in the Adoption and Healthy Hold areas. I also would like to know the reasoning behind said decision.  Jody Fisher


From: <>
Date: August 6, 2012 9:17:48 AM CDT
To: Jody Fisher
Cc: <>, <>, <>
Subject: RE: 30 minutes allowed in Adoption and HH areas

Ms. Fisher,

Our policy manual states 10 minutes. We have graciously given you thirty minutes.
We have other citizens to serve and on occasion your visit will be limited to the ten minutes as indicated.

James M. Rogers
Administrator, MAS


From: Jody Fisher
Date: August 16, 2012 8:26:35 PM CDT
To:,, “” <>, “” <> Subject: Clarification on policy

Please clarify if you mean 10 minutes PER ANIMAL or 10 minutes for the entire visit.

Jody Fisher


From: <>
Date: August 27, 2012 5:34:58 PM CDT
To: Jody Fisher, <>, <>, <>Cc: <>, <>, <>
Subject: RE: – Policy Clarification

Ms. Fisher,

Our policy manual is clear, you are allowed 10 minutes per visit per day. As stated below we will continue to be gracious to you and allow you thirty minutes to visit animals here at MAS.
If you wish to adopt I will gladly make sure that you receive the courteous and prompt service that all citizens of Memphis have come to expect and enjoy here at Memphis Animal Services.

James M. Rogers
Administrator, MAS

Oh and uh – thanks for saving so many animals from our kill room, Jody.

It is unacceptable to have a policy of limiting visitors to 10 minutes at MAS.  Not only is it ridiculous to expect anyone to look at all the pets and fall in love with one in 10 minutes’ time, but they are throwing pets away in the garbage.  If someone comes in and is willing to save one from the dumpster, I say, let them stay as long as they need to make a thoughtful decision.  Heaven forfend anyone collecting a paycheck off Memphis taxpayers should have to do their job.

Beyond all this though, the thing that touched me most was when Jody told me that her elderly dog recently died.  She went to MAS in order to look for a new dog to adopt while helping others get out to rescues but was unable to make that special connection in the limited time she was allowed.  She asked for some additional time but was refused.  On her way out, she passed James Rogers.  Jody told him she wasn’t able to find her dog.  Mr. Rogers did not reply and Jody hurried out the door while choking back tears.  She didn’t want Mr. Rogers to see her crying because she was afraid he would interpret it as a sign of weakness.

Crying over the loss of a beloved old pet while being denied the opportunity to save one from the dumpster at MAS is not weakness.  It’s called compassion.  Something I expect no one at MAS to understand.

This is yet another tragic example debunking the myth that no one at shelters wants to kill animals.  Not only do some appear eager to kill, they go so far as to amend the policy manual to make a rule enabling them to kill more.

39 thoughts on “MAS Kills Pets While Turning Adopters Away

  1. WTF?? Are you kidding me? Ten minutes is all anyone gets if they are looking for a pet? That has to be a mistake. I have never heard of any “shelter” giving someone 10 minutes to get in, look at all the animals, take a few out to interact with and then make a decision all in 10 minutes. What a crock.

  2. You have got to be kidding!!!! If I want to find a dog, I will only be allowed 10 minutes!!!!
    Someone needs to have that policy changed, and changed soon!!!
    There are other adoption facilities to adopt from.

  3. Everything they do is to expedite killing! It is despicable and Rogers has proven he’s one of the worst.

  4. MAS is at their “capacity to care” limit. In more ways than one.

    If they would allow volunteers access to more of the shelter (stray area, for example), they could take people around to see more animals without “burdening” the paid staff with the onerous chore of dealing with people looking to get pets out alive.

    But they do not want volunteers in other parts of the shelter because MAS has things to hide.

  5. You forgot another piece of information that we just learned in the last couple of weeks. Animals were being tortured in the kill room prior to being killed.

  6. They have nothing on there web site to indicate that they only allow 10 minutes in the shelter. I am e-mailing the Mayor what a crock of shit!!!!

  7. This whole situation gets more bizarre with every day. What is the point in limiting the amount of time a visitor spends? Oh, I forget, it might interfere with their torture and killing – top priority.
    Rogers is terrible – just terrible. And yes, I also believe that MAS has a lot of things to hide.

    I”m sorry, Jody, for what you are dealing with – loss and then this crap! Unbelievable.

  8. The state of Utah is suffering with some of the same problems. The City of Sandy owns/runs/staffed by CITY EMPLOYEES in run in a similar fashion. It is very frustrating for those of us who try to help these shelters with the over abundance of homeless animals. The shelter is Sandy Utah, changes its policies/procedures on a whim to the detriment of the animals. Our rescue has been told we can NO LONGER pull from that shelter even after hand delivering a copy of our 501c3 non profit form on THREE (3) different occasions. It was also told to our rescue, “WHY DO YOU EVEN CARE ABOUT THESE ANIMALS? YOU CAN’T SAVE THEM ALL!”. It just makes me sick.

  9. This is disturbing. I just read the other day about a shelter in NC that has instituted a 14days/no exception policy. The theme here seems to be “Move Backwards and kill animals.”

  10. I’ve written about the old dead animal warden at my local Animal Kill Facility before….when I used to ask him why he didn’t put more effort in adopting out dogs – he said the only ones he got were “garbage dogs – and nobody wants these garbage dogs”

    As time has passed and as I mentioned he is now dead himself – the replacement has more precision with the killing and I suspect that has transferred to other Animal Control facilities nationwide.

    Old Dead Warden never used the computer…the new Live Wardens do.

  11. Shocking, disgusting. Behind closed doors, people do not know what is going on It cannot be tolerated. This James M. Rogers has to go, he is being paid by taxpayer money. He works for the people and I am sure the people would not approve of his work. Killing sounds like his work. My heart reaches out to Jody in her grief and diligence for saving animals. The shame of this “shelter” cannot be expressed. What will it do to make change happen? So they torture animals here and if someone wants to get one out,they limit the time they are allowed to visit? What in the world kind of shelter is this. People of Memphis, do something.

  12. 10 minutes?? What, do they have an egg timer to make sure it’s not one minute over? Actually, knowing this place, they probably do. Just when I think this place can’t get any worse as far as not helping animals goes, they do. It’s just despicable and unacceptable.

    Thank you so much Jody, for all of your hard work and dedication. You shouldn’t be treated like this. No one should.

  13. This shit has got to stop. WHEN are the Memphians who hold vigils and candles in the dark going to get angry enough to go out and do something useful? No offense to anyone here, but I have been singing “ACTION” for a long time now. it seems that what I was told over a year or more ago is true – not enough people in Memphis care enough to change things. This has been going on how long now, how many YEARS??????? Get off your fannies and let’s get our game on.

    1. Agreed. You’re totally correct. People are just unsure how to go about it. We need to contact one of the “animal lawyers” associated with the no kill movement.

  14. PS: Jodi: I am so sorry for the loss of your elder companion. Please, NEVER feel that tears make us “weaker” as women, they only serve as the water we boil for our battles!! Think how out of his depth Rogers would have been with an hysterical crying woman on his hands, out in the lobby where others might have seen and wondered what on EARTH this man, a public servant, had done to make her cry???!!!!! HE would have been the on embarrassed. Next time, CRY AND SHOUT TILL YUOR VOICE SHAKES!!!

  15. No one should EVER mistake my tears for weakness…in fact, they need to be very afraid if I cry. Because it means I care deeply about what has caused them and I will take definite action. I suspect Jody is the same way.

    I’ve said it before: MAS is a hell-hole and something needs to be done! I hope this information gets to the media. It may not help, but at least it will take their heinous actions and “policies” into the light where they belong.

  16. Interesting, someone was arresting for leaving a dog in a car with the motor running and air on. Also I was told that someone was arrested for leaving a dog in the car with windows down – double standards here!

  17. This post literally made me want to vomit. And the horrific thing is that there are so many “shelters” run like this. I feel completely helpless, angry and terrified for the animals

    Sent from my iPhone

  18. I have such admiration for Jody. She has been mistreated by MAS for longer than anyone I know but she hangs in there! I hope she does not quit. Now getting to “fixing” MAS…I have said it before and I will say it again…..There is no way to “fix” that awful place until there is a total change of personnel. The same people will continue to do the same things…just common sense. As long as the city has a mayor that does not care and as long as an employee can hide behind a union and a long as the director is a puppet for the mayor there can never be change. Now,if hundreds & hundreds of citizens would rally together and have a huge civil uprising at the board meetings we might could effect some change. Who knows?

  19. A rescue friend and I used to go to MAS and take pictures of the dogs in the stray area and were allowed to place a hold on them and network them on FB. These were the dogs that couldn’t be seen by the public and would more than likely never make it to the adoption area. We were able to get all but 1 or 2 into rescue or adopted. My friend went to MAS, around the time Jody was told about the 10 minute policy, to temperament test a dog in the stray area for a rescue. She was told that she could no longer take any dog in the stray area out of their cage and no more picture taking allowed because they aren’t the MAS’s “property” until their hold time is up. These animals didn’t stand much of a chance before but now they really don’t. The only way the public might happen to see a dog in the stray area they might want to adopt is if they know to look at Petharbor and, even then, not all dogs are put on Petharbor.

  20. That’s not actually enforced. Ever. I am pretty sure they yanked that one out of their archaic policy handbook to keep Jody from being in there, taking pictures of animals, etc. I volunteered there for a year and never once heard of this rule or saw it enforced. It’s not applied to the general public.

    1. Yes, those rules seem to only be enforced upon the people actually trying to help the animals. We apparently cause too much negative attention or too much work.

  21. Thank you all for your comments. Embarrassed to say that I cried again, reading about me leaving ( because I was told by Terry Gibson) because my time was up- and passing by Rogers. I am at such a loss over this! And for the record- when I was told that I only had 30 minutes ( by Terry Gibson) to visit the dogs in Adoption and Healthy Hold, I questioned him. What he told me was that everyone else gets as long as they want, but Jody Fisher gets 30 minutes. I told him I wanted to speak to his supervisor (Rogers), he said he was unavailable. I left ( and being the glutton for punishment I am), I went back 2 hours later. Terry Gibson denied me access to the area where the dog are held…. He told me I already used up my time…. I have no plans to go away. I still would like to adopt from MAS if only I could have more than 10-30 minutes…..and thank you, Shirley!!!

    1. I hope you can get a member of media to go with you next time. If not, a member of the public with a video camera will suffice. Let these monsters show their true colors on video for all to see.

    2. That is ridiculous! What are they, in third grade? Sheesh.

      Jody you are a strong woman to put up with that BS! Keep up the good work!

  22. Jody – It was my pleasure to meet you at NO KILL 2012. You are one strong and compassionate woman. A person coming to MAS gets a LIMITED amount of time? MY GOD – who are these people? I had volunteers who came to my facilites when we opened and stayed until we closed so they could walk EVERY SINGLE DOG we had! I bought them lunch…sodas…gave them access to our break room. In essence – the animals got attention ONLy because of the volunteers because County Government would NOT allow staff to use their time to walk or bathe! MAS and it’s staff and it’s Commissioners and it’s Mayor are sick people. SICK. I’ve had people come in and fall for an animal ONLY after spending time with them all! And then they come back the same day to introcue their other dog(s) AND their spouse and children to this new one! ALL with my suggestion to do just this. It’s a lifelong commitment that should NOT be made in a one time 30 minute visit. I am beyond words on this…you have my respect and my love Jody.

  23. There certainly is no State Law that says animals on stray hold cannot be walked, handled, or pictures taken…but it’s an answer you will get at many AC facilities. Animals on stray hold getting esposure many times are noticed by their owners and get back home. Many times they get adopted on their first day after stray hold is over because of early exposure and photos. Why is MAS UNION?

  24. I can only hope that Jody lets her tears
    Flow freely next time-sometimes there are miracles when someone who has a hardened view of someone to see a human side so freely expressed, that just like the Grinch their heart can open.

  25. I live in Greer,S,C and was taking care of an abandoned cat.Since I have a dog the cat stayed away but came to me when I fed her twice a day.I spent weeks sending flyers,putting up signs filling out forms etc. to find the owner.It was not to be.The nosy neighbor decided to call animal control said that the cat would have a better chance of finding a home.To make a long story short the cat was euthanized the first day she was impounded.I didnt get five days,I got one day and of course animal control,the humane society are trying to cover it up.Are humane societies required to keep records of animals that they euthanize?Can a lawyer get those records?I plan to sue, advertise and expose and I want stop until everybody in Greenville,S.C knows about the cold blooded murder that took place here in Greer,S.C. Its time we make up our mind just how we feel about this.Lets call it murder,euthanize sounds like a medical term.This is a crime,not a medical term.

    1. I’m sorry for your loss Rosie but thank you for trying to help. Yes, taxpayer funded facilities are required to make their records available to the public. Was this a municipal shelter?

  26. I’m at a loss of words to describe the frustration I feel & I know other’s feel over the cruelty perpetrated against volunteers & animals alike. I almost don’t want to continue reading these post for the sadness I always feel for the cats, dogs and people who lose their companions and the anger it stirs by “shelters” cold heartless proceedures. But I will continue reading, writing, protesting or anything I can do to effect change in an industry long overdue for change.

    When anyone plans to gather for protest or whatever you want to do, count me in. I want to be there.

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