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Pet blogger covering abuse at Memphis shelter threatened by city attorney

by Therese on June 20, 2011

in Dogs, Pets

Pet blogger Shirley Thistlewaite, of Yes Biscuit! has been writing about the goings on at the Memphis Animal Shelter (MAS) for quite a while. The “shelter” has a kill rate of more than 70%. Because of what she saw happening at MAS, she started a fund-raising effort to help save some of the dogs. Last week though, her fund-raising effort came to a halt due to legal threats from Herman Morris Jr., the Memphis city attorney.

Here’s what Christie Keith, from PetConnection, had to say about this mess:

Shirley had also been raising funds to help rescuers pay for the care of animals rescued from this kill factory — they kill more than 70 percent of the pets they take in — but she’s shut that effort down after receiving a legal threat from Herman Morris Jr., the Memphis city attorney, who apparently thought it was a valuable use of the city’s time and resources to dig through the law of Shirley’s home state and find one that sounded scary enough to get her to shut the hell up.

Set aside the fact that Shirley wasn’t even doing what she was being accused of doing. Set aside the fact that the Memphis city attorney has no power to do one damn thing about a law in another state. Set aside that aforementioned massive waste of resources, and just ask yourself in what universe it’s anything short of catastrophically stupid to stop people from trying to help animals saved from your hell-hole of a “shelter”?

You can read the letter and Shirley’s response to it here. I wouldn’t have shut down the donation drive; I’m not an attorney, but I don’t see where Shirley was soliciting donations on behalf of MAS without their permission; she was creating a fund to help rescuers pay for medical care for pets rescued from MAS.

Please read Christie’s post and support Shirley however you can.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Hanna at Dog Products June 21, 2011 at 9:35 am

This post totally enraged me and most of it was directed toward the Herman Morris who has no business meddling in the affairs of another state. He apparently has too much time on his hands and no compassion for animals.

Shirley’s fund raising efforts are admirable but maybe another effective way to save these animals is by educating the local human population of the importance of unfortunate animals rescue through adoption and responsible pet ownership.

I also wonder if involving local politicians might be helpful.


Turbok9 June 21, 2011 at 11:18 pm

You hit on the one thing that in my mind most people miss whenever an issue like this comes up.

The real problem isn’t such facilities, it’s the fact that so many animals wind up there. Shelters, regardless of how well or badly they treat animals, are a type of industry. That industry would not exist without demand. The reason there is demand is because pet owners create it by being in large irresponsible and ignorant.

I.E. we keep trying to solve these abuse and kill factories by shutting them down or changing them. Fact is, if the public at large were responsible, places like this wouldn’t exist. Sure, this place is horrible and needs to be shut down or placed in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing, but never forget it’s US as a whole who put the animals there to begin with. Heck, I’d put money on it that more dogs are killed on the streets of Memphis than die in this facility.

You take an animal in, it should be for life. I understand sometimes unforeseen tragedy strikes, but the vast majority of pets in these places are the result of people being stupid and or irresponsible to begin with, just like the dead pets on the side of the road.

It makes me sick how many people will let their pets run loose, or leave them in the yard 24/7, or dump them at the drop of a hat, and we complain about the facilities that have to deal with the problems our neighbors created. The only way to truly solve the problem is to educate and insist on responsible ownership, and stem the flow of pets to these places to begin with.


way2go June 21, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Animal Killing Factory disguised as animal shelter, why this someone never shut down this facility, I think MAS ever got a raid in 2009.


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