Updated (X 4): Shelter Pet Advocacy Watch Items in Memphis

Several announcements related to shelter pet advocacy in Memphis:

1.  The hold on Calvin at MAS expires at 6:45 pm tonight.  We have received offers of financial donations and a foster but are still in need of a group to pull him.  Please see additional info here and here.  Memphis No Kill Coalition has been trying to help Calvin too and has called for a phone campaign in an action alert on Facebook:

Please call the Mayor of Memphis and the Memphis City Council and ask for a extension for Calvin in order for rescuers to secure a Foster home:

Mayor of Memphis: (901) 576-6000

Memphis City Council (901) 576-6786

2.  The two former MAS workers who pleaded guilty to animal cruelty will be sentenced today.  The third worker charged in connection with the case has not entered a plea but will go to trial today.

For clarification, I want to reiterate that no one has ever been charged in connection with the abuse documented on the MAS security camera footage.  Many people were confused by the timing of charges and exposure of the video footage but they are unrelated.  The abuse depicted on the security camera footage stands as a testament to the lack of interest from city leaders in protecting community pets.

3.  The next meeting of the Memphis Adversary Board into which they will allow the unwashed masses is scheduled for tomorrow, unless they cancel it, like the cowards did last time.  The meeting begins at 6pm and will be held at the Benjamin Hooks Library on 3030 Poplar in Meeting Room A.  If you are a Shelby Co resident, please plan to attend and peacefully protest the abuse and killing of pets at the pound.

I will update this post throughout the day as developments occur.

Update #1:  Someone went to MAS to pull Calvin but was turned away for 2 reasons:  A letter from a vet was required because Calvin is HW+.  And apparently no one is allowed to see Calvin unless personally escorted by Mr. Rogers and he was not there at the time.  The person is not giving up.  Will update as soon as I hear more.

Update #2:  Adopter returned with vet letter in an attempt to get Calvin out of MAS.  This time, despite Mr. Rogers stating this morning that Calvin could leave the pound with the adopter today, she was told he can not leave until she submits to a background check and a yard inspection.  She’s not giving up and is still trying to get him out today.

Update #3:  Calvin is outta there!  I don’t know many details except the adopter is taking Calvin for an initial evaluation and, if the vet deems it appropriate, to start heartworm treatment.  Anyone wanting to phone in a donation to go towards Calvin’s treatment can call Gentle Care Animal Hospital at 901-273-2273.

Update #4:  Former MAS workers Archie Elliott and Frank Lightfoot will both serve time in jail for their roles in the torture of pets at MAS.  Elliott got 2 years and Lightfoot got 20 days.  I will write more about the sentencing in a separate post.

60 thoughts on “Updated (X 4): Shelter Pet Advocacy Watch Items in Memphis

  1. You are doing a great job. Thanks. It is so important that these issues are made front and center. It breaks my heart that we have to learn at the cost of innocent lives but they will not die in vain as we shall take these lessons to SAVE more lives. Thanks again you are really a hero..

  2. Have you contacted Meows and Bow Wows? They have been great about supporting us before. (I think I know that you’re in contact with everyone you can think of. I hope that someone steps up to get Calvin out of there.) Could it be a private citizen or does it have to be a rescue? Could Jody actually pull him? There must be someone who can help, considering there are offers for a foster and financial help. No doubt the “people” there would be glad to be able to kill him tonight as a “f*#* you” to all of us.

  3. Shirley -thank you for posting Calvin and for keeping the public informed about everything going on in Memphis. We are working on a possible adopter but won’t know how this plays out until after they open. Calvin will NOT die – one way or another we all will have a hand in making sure of that. Meows and Bow Wows ALWAYS steps up – they are helping behind the scenese on this one….thank you ALL for trying to help – that is what it’s all about…to be continued……

  4. I called the Mayor’s office and advised rescue in progress.
    All we ask is a little time to save a poor animal’s life. It’s time the Mayor lives up to the promises he made. I also advised that there are many disgusted individuals and if they want to stop the numerous calls to their office, we need confirmation that Calvin has been granted time to be rescued. I also advised that we need the info referred to YesBiscuit so we can all hear the news immediately!

  5. I wish someone would show the judge webcam screenshots of those jackasses laughing and joking on their way to the kill room all those times.

    No diversion. Brand them for what they are – sociopaths who enjoy causing fear, pain, and death.

  6. I called and talked to a City Director, Janet Hooks, and was told Calvin will not be killed today. She was upset and stated most of the information on this site is incorrect and why do we believe all we read. I told her it’s not just what we read, but the videos that have shown animal cruelty! She wants anyone working on Calvin’s rescue to call James Rogers at 901-636-1424 and provide any information. I told her it would be helpful if she would keep the public posted about the “good” being done at MAS! She referred me to “CityofMemphis.org, animal services link. I told her we need proof that good things are being done and that MAS is not a hellhole!

    1. “She was upset and stated most of the information on this site is incorrect and why do we believe all we read.”

      Well, the FOIA data, the verbatim emails, and the trucks full of dead animals are kind of compelling as far as “truth” goes. I know that Janet Hooks would like to spin things differently, but I’m afraid that no one is buying what she’s selling, anymore.

    2. Janet Hooks is full of shit. LaSonya Hall is even more full of shit. I volunteered at the shelter for a year. I was there more often than the two of them combined. I can assure you that the MAS posts on this blog are totally accurate.

    3. She can deny all she wants but the proof is in the video and she should be upset because the truth is coming out about the way MAS is run! All of management should be fired when their employees are committing animal cruelty.

  7. Just talked with a woman at the mayor’s office – I started saying what I wanted to say and she asked, “Is this about Calvin?” . I said it was and that I hoped that they would give him the time since rescuers are in the process of getting things in order to get him out alive, which doesn’t happen very often at MAS. Apparently, there have been a few calls and they are very aware of Calvin and his situation. That can only be good. IF they kill him now, they know that people will be watching.
    Sigh, how many others will die today, though?

  8. Janet Hooks has it in her power to change things at MAS if anyone does. She is the one in charge; the one at the top other than the mayor. She does nothing to help the animals; in fact she is a threat to their lives. She is responsible. If she is getting phone calls she has no one to blame but herself. No one believes her lies. Rogers takes his orders from her and her sidekick, Sonya Hall. Wicked wicked women!

  9. They just have to make it very hard to save an animal, don’t they? What a pitiful excuse for an animal ‘shelter’!!! Perhaps we need to start making phone calls to Rogers – or maybe leave a message since he seems to be AWOL. Probably hiding because of all the publicity Calvin is getting. What the hell is wrong with them?

  10. Janet Hooks needs to be getting the calls. She doesn’t like them and she is in charge of Rogers. Rogers is playing hardball now because he is a jerk and he will loose. Couldn’t a rescue pull this dog and avoice athat?

  11. Okay, folks, start calling the mayor’s office again. I just did and the woman I talked with seemed very unaware. She did take my name and said she would pass my concerns along. Please start calling.


  12. Janet Hooks
    Parks and Neighborhoods
    125 North Main
    Ste. 200
    Memphis, Tn 38103
    (901) 636-6564

  13. *UPDATE* Adopter will get to leave with Calvin – still don’t understand why trying adopt a dog, from MAS, becomes such a difficult task…shame, shame, shame!!!

  14. Thank you, Jody, for the update. Good news for a change. Now just to make sure that Calvin is out the door of that place. Won’t believe it until it actually happens.

  15. So so so Happy! Finally! Thanks to everyone involved in getting little Calvin a chance at a real life. I’m crying I’m so happy.

  16. #1- Ooh I hope that’s true that Calvin is going to go to a new home! Bless and thank you to everyone who helped in this rescue. Chalk another one up on the scoreboard for the ‘irresponsible public’!

    #2- GOOD! I hope they get the book thrown at them. But I guess something is better than nothing.

    #3- If they don’t reschedule *cough* then I hope people will protest there as well. This needs way more media coverage than its getting.

  17. That is such good news. Apparently they heard us! The only thing that saved Calvin was Jody, first of all bringing him to our attention; Shirley for keeping him in the public eye; and lots of “irresponsible public” who worked behind the scenes. Why is it so hard for people to adopt from MAS? I just don’t understand that. May need to write a snail mail letter to ms. hooks asking just that. I am so happy that Calvin will spend the night in his new home.
    RIP all those who aren’t as lucky tonight . . .

  18. db- That is kind to say/think but it wasn’t me….I was asked to go meet him and try to help get him out alive. This was a total GROUP effort. Each and every one of us had a hand in getting him out alive. We make a great team….hopefully one day, we won’t have to scamper and scurry to meet a deadline to save an animal….hopefully the powers that be will realize that no kill IS THE ANSWER! And a special thanks to Nancy who had to deal with the BS at MAS while freeing Calvin!! And Shirley – YOU ROCK!!!!

  19. I wonder if it would do any good to make those phone calls again, only for a positive reason – Calvin being adopted today. Any thoughts about that?

  20. After the ear full that Janet Hooks had today she probably deserves a thank you….even if it is doing what she should be doing all along.

  21. so Calvin had to be adopted..? what did they charge? for what? and what additional hoops did Nancy have to jump threw.

    I still have heard from Rodgers.

  22. I told Janet Hooks she would continue to hear from us, daily, if necessary! Of course she denied all the accusations and I told her that videos don’t lie. She denied knowing about the abusers who were fired. Lying Bitch. Keep bugging her. She deserves it!

    1. She probably doesn’t know anything about the abuse because managing the shelter is down on her list of priorities! Did anyone at MAS have the guts to tell her about it? It seems that she has had this excuse before-Public Services Director Janet Hooks answered that the claims were unsubstantiated.:
      Hooks was a previous City of Memphis council member-District 4 and prior to that was a real estate appraiser. She does not have a degree, only attended college and has no management experience.
      The person that Hooks replaced in 2009, Kenneth Moody, retired following a scandal at the Memphis Sexual Assault Resource Center, which is now under the Memphis and Shelby County Health Dept.
      How many scandals go on at the City of Memphis?
      There is a non-profit group, http://www.memphisshelbyinform.com/
      MemphisShelbyInform.com is a non-profit, non-partisan, 501-C-3 to assure that government is completely transparent.
      I wonder if this group is up-to-date on what is happening at MAS!

      1. This is what I just emailed to the link you added . . .

        I don’t know who you are or how you are connected to the happenings in Memphis/Shelby, but if you are truly concerned about transparency and accountability, I suggest you do some research into how things are run at MAS. Not only do they kill thousands of animals unnecessarily, animals go “missing” or are found dead in their cages, workers have been videotaped abusing animals and torturing them before they kill them. It is ridiculously difficult for people to adopt and the new multi-million dollar facility, paid for by tax dollars, houses an organization that is unfriendly and unwelcoming to the public, rescues and volunteers. If anyone ever criticizes or questions how things are, they are told they are no longer welcome there. It’s a culture of cruelty and a killing factory and the good citizens of Memphis are paying for it.

      2. Janet Hooks aquired all positions she has been in because of her husband’s father, the Judge Benjamin Hooks. Her husband also enjoyed his rank from his daddy, Benjamin Hooks. I believe he lost his council position because of improprieties. She certainly hasn’t earned or deserve the position she’s in, especially with her distain for dogs & cats.

      3. I do not live in Memphis or TN but am concerned about the conditions, treatment and killing of the animals at MAS. I did find an older article on the memphisshelbyinform website that stated that the majority of city council members were not qualified to hold office! This should tell you something about the state of affairs in Memphis. I am shocked that companies who are headquartered in Memphis or even do business there put up with this crap. I could understand if Memphis was a small town where everyone is related but Memphis is ranked 19th in population.

        Here is an article from August that states, “Last week Wharton appointed Robert Lipscomb, director of the Housing and Community Development Division and executive director of Memphis Housing Authority, to lead a committee of six Memphis business leaders in the effort to chart a city financial plan. Consultants from Public Financial Management also have been enlisted.” It lists the committee members, “Members of the committee are Alan Graf, executive vice president and chief financial officer of FedEx; Susan Stephenson, president and co-founder of Independent Bank; Edith Kelly-Green, vice president of FedEx; Chris McClean, executive vice president of finance at Methodist Healthcare; Floyd Tyler, president and chief investment officer of Preserver Partners; and Eric Bolton, chairman and chief executive officer of Mid-America Apartment Communities.

        Perhaps we need to contact those committee members about the problems at MAS, especially the killing of animals when there are kennels available and send them the videos of the abuses!


  24. 20 days? 2 years? What an insult to those animals they tortured, abused and killed. Sorry, but I can’t be happy that they “at least got jail time” on this one.
    As far as Hooks not knowing what was/is going on, if she’s responsible and really doesn’t know then she better find out. Frankly, I simply do not believe her. Typical CYA mode, far as I’m concerned.

  25. I am disgusted with the meager meager amount of time those abusers got as well, db. For what they did they should have gotten five years at least.

    1. Archie Elliot cried like a bitch in court, only for himself, not for the helpless dogs & cats he tortured. He showed absolutely no remorse or conscience for them. The Judges anger showed as she described how he hung dogs by the neck as they died, but 2 years sentence was still too light.

      Lightfoot’s sentence of 20 days is a joke. Consider the years both “worked” at MAS and the time they went unreported. They were only charged for what was caught by the sting. The sting was set up because police KNEW abuse had been going on for some time. Sentenceing should of taken into account the years of abuse known about but unreported.

      We all know people like them work in places like MAS because it gives them the opportunity to exercise their sadistic behaviors legally. The time has come to remove sadist & sick individuals from positions that allow & even promote violent behaviors in animal shelters. Remember, they are SHELTERs, not torture chambers.

      1. Unfortunately, that is just the problem with these types of situations. They only go on what they have “proof” for, so if you weren’t there or there weren’t witnesses, it’s like forget it. So if this police sting was only there for a short period of time, then the jail sentencing reflects that. I’m not saying its right, I’d lock those jokers up for life, but I’ve seen time and time again where we are lucky if these types even get ANY jail time and/or any fines. Animal abuse is still not taken as seriously as it should be in this country. It makes me angry. We gotta keep pushing for tougher sentences.

  26. TWENTY DAYS for Lightfoot???? What a travesty and an insult to all the animals who suffered abuse in his hands.

  27. I read the account of what they did in the Commercial Appeal that detailed the actions of both these sadists. Even reading what was done to the poor kittens by Lightfoot; and he got only 20 days to be served on weekends? WTH! There was no justice in that sentence at all. NONE. There need to be stiffer laws made and enforced in Tennessee.

  28. I just saw on Facebook that ALL dogs that have been at the shelter since before Oct 2 will have their adoption fees cut in half! Only $37.50! Please share this with all your readers! It’s small, but finally something positive to help save lives!

    1. just me – Do you think they offered that to Nancy, when she pulled Calvin from MAS,yesterday? Nope!!! Do you think Rogers made any effort to help in the adoption? I think the $37.50 is a great idea …..but I am still so disappointed at the treatment from Rogers and a few others at MAS, concerning Calvin’s adoption. Why he wants to make it so difficult to save the animals, is beyond me!

      1. I’m sure I’ll get banned, but….
        Jody, maybe its you. Maybe you have left such a sour taste in their mouths that if your name is connected to a situation they will not be as flexible as you’d like. Maybe working behind the scene for a while instead of so of being in their face all the time?

        Also, I’m curious about Calvin. The posts about him have been going around FB for a few weeks now, people have been pledging money since day one. You’ve said you have gone to visit him several times.
        Why didn’t you just adopt him on one of those visits? And use the pledged moneys to pay for boarding?

    1. my first post was to your first comment – definitely not to your second one…For starters – I am NOT backing away. I will NOT stay behind the scenes. NO ONE should let those in charge at MAS (or that city’s division) be intimidated by these people. They think if they continue their discrimination and harrassment of those that want to help, we will go away. NO WAY! I – WE are in it for the long haul. I – WE are the voices of these unlucky dogs/cats at MAS.
      I did not adopt him because what happens when the money runs out for boarding? Will YOU continue to pay? NOT that I need to explain myself but the one dog I have at home is jealous of other dogs, to the point of aggressive behavior – otherwise, I would have loved to have brought Calvin into my home.
      My message to anyone else that is being “targeted” – DO NOT BACK DOWN and do not listen to the “advice” given by this poster – We have to stand up for what is right!!!!

      1. I didn’t say anyone should give up or walk away. Of course they shouldn’t. The animals need OUT of there!!
        What I said was YOU should work behind the scenes. They will never make anything easy for YOU. Or maybe contact other rescues who have no problem getting animals out of there, even pit bulls.
        I just think that all the yelling & screaming & name calling does not help anyone.
        I’ve seen you post time & time again how MAS refuses to work with you, but at the same time I see other rescues posting how they pulled 2, 3, 5 animals from MAS without a problem at all and even at discounted prices.

        And yes, I am anonymous, as several others on here are.
        You can call me Allison tho.

  29. Maybe Mayor Wharton will rehire them to the 2nd chance program for convicted felonies. Deacon Lightfoot admitted to dog fighting and Elliot is crying like a girl in jail. God bless his wife, and beautiful 4 year old daughter and his dog. I hope they both remember that felons can carry a gun now so don’t get caught up again. Memphis city government has been outcasted since way back when. The good ole boy network,always has been, always will be.

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