Exemplary (adjective): serving as a desirable model; representing the best of its kind

On December 5, Memphis pet advocate Jody Fisher wrote to Memphis Animal Services to ask why they had so few pets posted on PetHarbor when the $7.2 million facility has 555 cages and whether this reflected a surge in live released animals. This is the relevant portion of the response she received:

On Dec 5, 2013, at 10:21 AM, DeKeishia.Tunstall@memphistn.gov wrote:

Ms. Fisher:

We have had some exemplary numbers in terms of positive outcomes recently.

While this MAS staffer was typing this response about “exemplary numbers”, records obtained via FOIA request show that seventeen animals were being killed in the MAS snuff room:

MAS kill sheet dec 5 2013

To the best of my knowledge, only one of these seventeen animals was ever housed in the area where the public is allowed at the pound. She was an owner surrender, apparently thin and obviously scared:

Female Lab mix, 37 pounds, owner surrendered on 12-3-13, killed on 12-5-13.  Photo via Memphis Pets Alive.

Female Lab mix #261612, 37 pounds, owner surrendered on 12-3-13, killed on 12-5-13. Photo taken 12-3, via Memphis Pets Alive.

The other sixteen animals were kept behind locked doors at MAS, never to see the light of day again.  They were never walked or evaluated by a behaviorist.  No one except MAS staff knew they were there.  Many were killed for “space” while hundreds of cages sat empty at the pound.  MAS defenders refuse to stand up for the animals by publicly decrying this practice of housing animals in a private dungeon then killing them.

Exemplary is not the word that comes to mind.

Leave a comment

13 Comments

  1. mikken

     /  December 23, 2013

    Well, I guess if they’re not slaughtering 80% of what comes in, by their standards it’s “exemplary”?

    MAS is like cloud cuckoo land.

    Reply
  2. Pat mulieri

     /  December 23, 2013

    Disgraceful.

    Reply
  3. The only word I can think of starts with an F and ends with “kers”. WHAT is their problem???

    Reply
    • You are right, they are FAKERS when it comes to being “exemplary” in their live release rates. Add in additional words meeting your criteria as appropriate.

      On Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 12:40 PM, YesBiscuit!

      Reply
  4. Melissa

     /  December 23, 2013

    Unconscionable.that the citizens and elected officials of Memphis continue to turn the other cheek.

    Reply
  5. How is it not one person in that community s trying to do something? Is there no one in all of Memphis that can take the time to address the city on a regular basis, get the media to compare the shelter with any decent shelter, tell people there are more than 200 communities in the country saving remarkable numbers? I find it an impossibility. Where are the pet advocates in Memphis?

    Reply
  6. MAKE THEM ADVERTISE MORE DOGS AND CATS MORE OFTEN. WHATS THE PROBLEM, why dont they try harder, who can impligate this. What do i do to help

    Reply
  7. Killing is easy and that’s about all they do at MAS. Animals have been neglected/abused/tortured and killed for a very long time and no one will do anything to stop it. Everyone wrings their hands and says how terrible it is and what should be done. Many have tried, but there’s a culture of corruption and killing in that place and it will continue until the good people of Memphis unite and do something about it. It starts at the top with the mayor and continues right down to the people who are in direct contact with the unfortunate animals who end up there. A lot of us are NOT local, but have written letters, made phone calls, sent emails, etc, but they don’t care. It will take locals to change this place. Who will be the hero for these precious animals? What will it take to stop the killing?

    Reply
  8. Alyce torten

     /  December 31, 2013

    Ok so now that people know WTF is going on there what is the solution??? These poor animals are just being killed without given a chance to maybe be adopted. What the hell is the solution???? They obviously have enough cages to house these poor animals. Who’s running this hell hole???

    Reply
    • db

       /  January 29, 2014

      This is nothing new. When you have the time and the stomach, you might want to read some of the other posts on MAS. Mayor Wharton is the top guy in Memphis and he’s heard it all, but simply does not care.

      Reply
  9. Ben Ferguson

     /  January 29, 2014

    The situation at the Memphis Animal Services sickens me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried over innocent, beautiful animals killed on or before their due out date. If I had known, I would have gotten them out! We never know who is on the kill list. It is very random. It could be any one of them at any time. What about a documentary? I would speak up and out. I am well educated and well versed on their antics, but I need a forum. I just need to meet up with others as willing as I am to speak up. I am driven to right this wrong. In my opinion, it is a hedonistic practice that reminds me of the Holocaust in so many ways. Do you have a recommendation for what I can do besides step up to save a few dogs. I am making a small dent in the problem, but politically, I feel that I could have a greater impact for animals that will come to the shelter in the future. We are talking about a long-term plan here to reduce the killings. Right now, that is not happening. Mr. Rogers tweaks the numbers trying to make himself look good, but he’s got mud (or dog poop) all over his face. This kill dungeon is on the path to hell, and no political figures seem to give a —-!!!!

    Reply
    • Casey Post

       /  January 29, 2014

      Ben, are there any public meetings in Memphis? In my county, it was the Commissioner’s Board that oversees the County Administrator, who oversees the shelter. How is the city government structured there? Perhaps if you lobby for policy changes one at a time, you can chip away at the apathy…

      Reply
    • I posted a Road Map to Reform 3 years ago that might be of some use as far as ideas but many of the links are outdated now. The No Kill Advocacy Center has a comprehensive toolkit for advocates seeking reform and if it seems daunting all at once, I would suggest that you start with this brochure, then go back and pick out others which seem most relevant to your immediate goals.

      Reply

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