The Memphis Animal Shelter has a history of killing dogs who have been adopted by mistake. When they did it in December 2009 it was a “goof up” and that was shortly after they had killed another adopted dog (that one was “sloppy“). The latest killing however, was intentional:
A woman claims the Memphis Animal Shelter euthanized the dog she wanted to adopt because it had nasal congestion.
The adopter, Ann Mitchell, went to the shelter after seeing a picture of the dog, called Lil Bit, and wanted to adopt her. The shelter told her the dog had to be killed but she could still visit with Lil Bit if she wanted.
“I said, ‘When I turn this dog loose, how long will it be before she’s dead?’ [A female shelter staffer] said, ‘probably within five minutes,'” Mitchell said.
Ms. Mitchell wanted to adopt Lil Bit so much she literally begged for the dog’s life. She offered to sign a release that would hold the shelter blameless if Lil Bit’s nasal congestion worsened or even if she died. But the shelter vet refused.
MAS issued a statement to the news station with regard to the story. You can read it for yourself at the link but it basically says we didn’t know if Lil Bit had a mild case of nasal congestion or some deadly disease and we can’t afford to treat pets at our shelter, nor can we isolate sick pets so we have to kill any animal with the sniffles.
The shelter vet also issued a statement (CYA much?) and ramps up the drama saying Lil Bit could have had distemper since we recently had an adopted dog diagnosed with distemper. So we just have to kill all dogs with the sniffles.
The key issues for me here are:
- Per both shelter statements, it was unknown if Lil Bit had anything more than a cough.
- Lil Bit’s adopter was willing to remove her from the shelter so the other shelter dogs would not have been at risk. MAS may not be able to isolate sick pets or provide veterinary treatment, but Lil Bit’s adopter could have.
How many pets at MAS are lucky enough to have adopters begging for their lives? Sadly, not all of them. Lil Bit was one of the lucky ones. Or should have been. But Memphis Animal Shelter killed her instead.