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Petitioning Mayor of Memphis, TN Mayor A.C. Wharton

TERMINATE Memphis Animal Services Administrator James Rogers!

Mayor AC Wharton appointed his personal friend and golfing crony James Rogers to the position of Memphis Animal Services (MAS) Administrator. Despite the fact Rogers had NO experience or history with animals, Wharton stated Rogers came with a history of strong management experience as a US Postal manager.

These are a few examples of the "strong management" skills Rogers has displayed since his appointment by Wharton --

- Promoted an employee to a top supervisory position AFTER a Memphis Police Department undercover investigation of MAS revealed this employee kicked a dog until it cried out in pain, took pitbulls from MAS without documentation or permission, and committed numerous violations of MAS policy and procedure.

- Failed to hold accountable several employees who refused to say or do anything about the choking to death of animals they witnessed (2012) in the euthanasia room.

- Failed to hold employees accountable who killed animals by mistake

- Impound of animals at MAS has decreased by over 4,000, yet there are hundreds of calls from the public (strays, cruelty, etc.) that have not been investigated

- Severe pet abandonment/neglect case reported to MAS – the response? 2 dogs left in an abandoned house with no food or water for 5 days.

- MAS does not sedate most animals before they are euthanized even though the City Council approved a budget to purchase those drugs. Rogers says, “It’s not necessary to sedate all animals”.

- Rogers banned the adopting public from the stray area, where hundreds of dogs are housed only to be euthanized without a chance to be seen.

- Rogers declared a ‘policy’ that no strays in “healthy hold” could be photographed by anyone (rescinded by the Mayor on June 3)

- Held a community spay/neuter event for unvaccinated, owned pets DURING a time MAS was shutdown due to a major Parvo outbreak. It was the second Parvo outbreak in less than 2 months.

- Has implemented changes in when MAS is open to the public. MAS is open 7 days per week, only 3 hours on Saturdays and Sundays. But MAS is counting Saturdays and Sundays as "business days".  Strays that enter the shelter will LITERALLY have only 3 days to be claimed or adopted before they are killed. Shelter animals will be killed more quickly which will increase the death rate.

- Employees continue to make the same mistakes, what Mr. Rogers calls “clerical errors”. There have been multiple cases of potential adopters informing MAS of intent to adopt a stray when its holding period is over, but employees fail to enter that information in the animals’ records, and those animals are killed the morning that the holding period is over before the shelter opens to the public.

MAS Administrator James Rogers is not the administrator that was promised to the citizens by Mayor Wharton, who said that Rogers is “someone with strong leadership qualities who is very experienced and comfortable in operating a major facility and overseeing a large staff."

The Citizens deserve an Animal Services Administrator who does not promote an employee who ignores policy and kicks any animals.

The Citizens of Memphis and Shelby County deserve an Animal Services Administrator who has animal control and sheltering experience and has knowledge and experience with modern/current sheltering policies and procedures.

The Citizens deserve an Administrator who works with the community to provide every possible opportunity for shelter animals and who looks to the future, not one who rehashes outdated policies abandoned years ago by progressive shelters.

The Citizens of Memphis and Shelby County deserve better than Administrator Rogers.

This petition was delivered to:
  • Mayor of Memphis, TN
    Mayor A.C. Wharton


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