The 6 “mistakes” noted in the article are just the ones that people were able to document (reported by someone who experienced the issue and validated per emails and shelter records). There are likely many more of the same “mistakes” that have not been verified.
Many healthy, adoptable strays are killed ON the morning of their due out date (end of their holding period) before the shelter opens to the public, robbing them of ANY possible chance for adoption. Many of those animals are never even seen by the public.
And many of those strays have someone inform staff of intent to adopt when the holding period is over, but the staff does not update the animals’ records with that information and those animals are killed right out from under the intended adopters. James Rogers calls those “clerical errors”. The unnecessary deaths of animals that people WANTED to save are NOT “clerical errors” – they are deadly errors.
James Rogers continually claims that his staff is trained, but the SAME mistakes continue to occur. How MANY times does a person have to be “trained” to update an animal’s record with intent to adopt when someone INFORMS them of that intent? Such a simple concept but it is apparently beyond the capability of at least some MAS employees.
James Rogers likes to tout his adoption 'numbers' - but adoptions would be significantly higher if MAS allowed adoptable animals to live longer than 3 days. That is NOT 'rocket science'.
Unfortunately, for too many employees, it is easier to kill an animal than it is to feed it, care for it, and clean up after it ...
Mayor Wharton says that he wants Memphis to be a “progressive” city. Yet he allows MAS to be run by someone with no sheltering experience who promotes employees that have had discipline and policy violation issues, and who continues to use antiquated, outdated policies that progressive shelters abandoned years ago.
Memphis will never be a ‘progressive’ city until MAS has an experienced shelter director who uses current, progressive shelter processes, competently manages employees and holds them accountable, and works WITH the community to provide every opportunity for healthy, adoptable shelter animals to find a new home.
Not "one" of those mistakes ... at least 6 that are documented and likely many more that have not been documented. Supposed "trained" employees that continue to make the same mistakes.
Ah, Rogers ... same excuses and same misinformation.
MAS does NOT post pictures of EVERY stray they take in, neither on PetHarbor or on Facebook. Many strays are hidden from the public and never seen by anyone before they are killed, and now they will literally have only 3 days before being killed.
And about the euthanasia numbers ...
Rogers always manages to FORGET to note that animal intake has DECREASED in the last 5 years by over 4,000 per year. That number has dropped significantly (25%) even though MAS has 4 more Animal Control Officers now than they had 5 years ago.
Of course the euthanasia numbers will go down when a lot less animals are being taken in.
More animals will die and more quickly - euthanasia numbers will increase.
Shocking, repulsive, heartless, hateful.
I am an animal advocated and I AM A TAXPAYER. I live IN Memphis and I pay to help run MAS.
MY access - my PUBLIC access - is being CUT by 9 hours a week because I am not looking for my lost pet (Sun and Mon) and I am sure as heck not surrendering a pet (Tues/Sat mornings)! Therefore I am NOT ALLOWED in the shelter at ANY of those times - I am ONLY allowed in on Tuesday - Saturday from Noon to 5 pm.
The city IS cutting off access of the PUBLIC by 9 hours a week. Period.
They don't need to "reduce any overtime" for cleaning, etc. - they have VOLUNTEERS that help with that, and they would have MORE if they actually treated them decently.
Also, they have INMATES from the county doing cleaning almost every day!! And that costs NOTHING.
And to say that they will save time and money by KILLING ANIMALS QUICKER? How can anyone be that disturbingly cruel? The subliminal message - it's easier (less work) to kill animals than to feed them and clean up after them.
The 'justifications' and 'rationalizations' for these changes are nonsense and defy all rational common sense.
The real reason for the proposed changes? It is a DIRECT retaliation against the people who stood up and spoke out about the "no photos" policy. Instead of working WITH the community, the city decides to work even more AGAINST the community (the people who PAY their salaries!).
Mayor Wharton - you want a "progressive city"? Not with "policies" like these!
MAS already has the WORST reputation NATIONWIDE. This will only make that reputation even more horrible.
FIRE Rogers and FIRE HOOKS!
The MINUTE the strays become the property of the city, they are KILLED. Almost all of the strays are killed ON their 'due out' (review) date BEFORE the shelter even opens to the public.
That means that those dogs had ABSOLUTELY NO chance to be seen or adopted by anyone.
The city could CARE LESS about any of those animals being reclaimed or adopted. The sooner they can kill those animals, the less work they have to do (less feeding and less cleaning).
There is NO written policy or law anywhere in the city or the state regarding the taking of photos of animals housed at MAS that are strays (not the city's property).
If there were any such law or policy, the city ITSELF could not post pictures of those animals because THEY would be in violation of said 'policy' (or law)!
NO one - especially the city - needs or is being 'protected' by this totally arbitrary and erroneous 'policy'.
If the city REALLY cared about strays being adopted or reclaimed, they would not go OUT OF THEIR WAY to PREVENT the public from seeing them, let alone helping them.
Jeff ... NO ... there is no 'contact' between PetHarbor and MAS or between Petharbor and any animal shelter.
There is NO written policy anywhere in the city or the state - or any law - regarding the taking of photos of stray animals housed at MAS that are "not yet the property" of the city. None.
MPA is a "legally recognized entity".
If your logic is correct, then the city of Memphis is - and has been for years - breaking the law and IT'S OWN policy because they post strays on PetHarbor DAILY, strays that have NOT been at the shelter for 72 hours!
The POINT of posting and 'networking' strays is to HELP the owners find their lost dogs!
MPA has documentation of owners finding their lost dogs at MAS because of the pictures those owners saw of their dogs that were posted by MPA!
The city's argument about anyone posting pictures of strays - which are PLAINLY and CLEARLY labeled as such - is erroneous and hypocritical.
There is absolutely NOTHING in the city's MAS policy about photos, and there is nothing in any state laws regarding strays about photos. Whatever the reasons are that MAS suddenly changed this 'policy', those reasons have nothing to do with what is 'legal' and, for sure, what is 'right' ....
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By Chris McCoy
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