Shelter Pet of the Day

ID: A017183

Submitted by reader Lindley who writes:

Hilley is a wonderful mother to her puppies (that she had at the shelter). Everything outside her puppies, Hilley is not so sure about. She is very scared and does not do well on a leash. Hilley has never shown any signs of aggression. She is as gentle as a lamb. Hilley needs time to learn to trust but she won’t get that time at the shelter. During the short period we had her out, Hilley relaxed a little bit. Hilley has a lot of love to give.

Coweta Co. Animal Control

91 Selt Rd

Newnan, GA


This shelter’s 2009 kill rate was 32%.

Repelled. Repulsed. Nauseated.

I am too disgusted by the seemingly endless killing and inhumane treatment of pets at Memphis Animal Services to put more webcam shots on the front of the blog today.  I just don’t have the stomach to see it every time I click on the blog.  So I’m posting today’s group of shots on a separate page for anyone who chooses to look.  I just want to take a day off from covering the front page of my blog with images of cruelty and killing.

It’s very difficult to sort through so many images of this nature every day.  Believe me, there are MANY more than what I’ve posted here.  I find it difficult to choose which ones to share.  I am someone who doesn’t normally choose to look at horrific images but in this case, I feel an obligation.  As much as I hate doing it, I feel a connection to these pets – many of whom were kept behind locked doors with no chance of being adopted, treated inhumanely and then killed by the people paid to protect them from harm.  I don’t want them to have died without some sort of memorial.  And I hope that memorial will ultimately be Memphis going no kill.

I wish I had photos of MAS pets out on walks with the shelter staff, getting a bath before an adoption event, and going home with their new owners.  But there are no photos like that of the majority of pets at MAS – only for the select few, and they already have their own cheerleaders.  I am here to speak for the ones who don’t get a walk or a bath or a chance to be loved by someone.  They get stuffed into a cage where they have to relieve themselves and eat and then try in vain to avoid the hose when the workers come to spray down their piss and shit.  Then they get a noose around the neck and hauled off to be killed.  It sucks.  But let me be clear:  No one should feel sorry for me because I have to sort through these images of cruelty every day.  Feel sorry for the pets who are enduring it.  Then take action.

Memphis, please – stop the killing.

MAS: You are in a Hole. Quit Digging.

Memphis Animal Services hasn’t reached out to rescuers regarding dogs on the kill list in the past.  Now they are, which is great.  Except they seem intent on burning out their local rescues faster than rescuers can reach for their TUMS.

Yesterday MAS sent out an e-mail plea for 7 coughing dogs on the kill list, in addition to the two I had on the blog. The e-mail included basic info on each dog and gave rescuers 2 hours to respond. Miraculously, rescuers were able to get the job done and save all 9 of these dogs.

Today, another plea to rescuers, again with only hours to respond. This time: 34 coughing puppies and 1 fear biter, all to be killed if not rescued by 5pm. Unlike yesterday’s crappy e-mail though, this one didn’t have info on the dogs because there were “too many to describe” and they “probably” don’t have any photos either. So what rescuers got was a list of ID numbers and an age range of 2 – 4 months for the group as a whole.

I wrote to the shelter and asplained that this was no good. Breed rescues had no way of knowing if their breed was in need. Potential fosters didn’t know if they’d be taking on a 2 month old female Cockapoo or a 4 month old male Pitbull. And there was nothing to share or crosspost – just a list of ID numbers.  And worst of all, they would burn out their rescuers in short order by forcing them to remain in continual crisis mode.  I didn’t receive a response to that e-mail so I had a desperate idea and e-mailed again. If someone would simply hold a puppy with his cage card up to a webcam, I would sit at my computer and screengrab every one of them so there would at least be something to share. No response to that e-mail either.

I can’t help but mention the fact that this morning, all the workers left the new guy to clean the cat room by himself while they went outside in front of the lobby.  They hung out there for about a half-hour while the new guy worked.  When the place opened at 10am, there was garbage all over the few areas the public is allowed in and the cages weren’t finished being cleaned.  I’m wondering how many puppy pictures could have been taken by all those workers in that 30 minutes this morning.

But wait – there’s more!

A reader sent me this from the “Friends” FB page:

Christ on a bike.

Here is a sample photo of the puppies to be killed.  Your actual puppy may differ in size, shape, color, breed, length of coat, temperament or gender.  Please allow us to select for you.  Thank you for shopping the Puppy Death Channel.

So now it’s past 5 o’clock.  I don’t know if any of these 35 dogs were saved but it would shock the snot out of me if they were.

Oh yeah and tomorrow it’s Bring Your Dog to the Game Day at a local sporting event.  So the public will be bringing their pets to the park.  And “Friends” is promoting on their FB page that the shelter will be bringing a bunch of dogs there too.  Dogs from the shelter.  The shelter that has dozens of dogs so contagious that they can’t be allowed to live beyond a few hours.

Let’s unfurl the Blame the Irresponsible Public banner.  I think it’s going to be called on to work overtime.

Snapshots from MAS

Second before, second after, blah – the usual cautions…

Adopt a shelter Pet! *yank*

Incoming dog, apparently injured and unable to walk - broken leg? Something else?

Injured dog taken straight to the kill room.

Another dog on a cart taken to the kill room.

Scared pup on a chokepole.

Civil disobedience.

Incoming dog gets dragged around the shelter while the ACO looks for an open spot.

Does not want to be here.

Same dog as previous shot, 15 seconds later. Pancaked.



Open Thread

Post your pet related links, comments, questions, and tales of intrigue.

Also, regular readers will recognize this barnyard crew:

You Have Got to be Kidding Me

I took the title of this post from the reader who sent in these screengrabs from MAS last night.  The first two shots are 15 seconds apart and appear to show an ACO trying to get a dog on a chokepole into a bottom kennel.  The third shot is 30 seconds after the second one.  The webcams usually refresh after 15 seconds, but not always.  The ACOs typically bring an impounded dog off the truck and place the dog in a kennel.  This is visible on the webcams daily.

As we are continually reminded, we don’t know what happened in the second before or after each shot was taken.  What does it look like to you?

Update:  The same reader just sent me these two photos from this afternoon.  It looks as if the black dog was in that upper cage, a chokepole was used to remove him from it and he was taken to a kennel more fitting to his size.  At least, that’s my interpretation.

The bank of cages from which this dog was removed runs parallel to this row of kennels. They are visible behind the dog in this shot.

Shelter Pets of the Day

Submitted by Donna from Hearts of Gold Pit Rescue, both these dogs are reportedly vetted, neutered and in need of rescue from MAS today as they are coughing/sneezing.

ID #224829 "Spayed female, 1.5 years old. Sterilized on 04.20.11 in cage 900 O.S.12"

ID #224910 "Spayed female, 6 mos old. Sterilized on 04.19.11 in cage 900 O.S. 13"

If I was in Memphis, I would seriously, for reals, run – not walk – down to the shelter and grab up that little Beagley type dog myself.  That one gots the irresistables – big time.

Memphis Animal Services
3456 Tchulahoma Road
Memphis, TN 38118
Phone: (901) 362-5310
TTY: (901) 576-6501

This shelter’s kill rate is 77%.

Mayor Wharton Sort of Weighs in on MAS Concerns

I have written to Memphis city leaders expressing my general concerns over the abuse and needless killing at the shelter.  I have written separately to advise of the abuse of a cat in labor at MAS, to question if dogs and cats are made to watch other pets being killed, and to inquire where dogs on the kill list are being stashed so that workers can avoid being seen dragging them to the kill room on the webcams.

Aside from a couple of replies from members of the shelter advisory board, I haven’t received any responses.  Nothing from the mayor, the shelter director, the division director or anyone else empowered to effect meaningful change.  If city leaders care nothing about the abuse and needless killing of shelter pets, don’t they at least care that thousands of people are condemning their city for its cruelty and vowing not to spend money there until real reform is enacted?  Do city leaders care about anything in Memphis at all?

Wait a minute – hold everything.  This just in from Mayor Wharton, in response to someone posting the Scars of Your Love video on his Facebook page:

There are babies dying and gang shootings and jobs-jobs-jobs so STFU about the pets at the shelter bitchez!  Because we can’t be concerned about the abuse and killing of shelter pets AND other stuff at the same time.  That’s crazy talk.

Also:  MSN will fix things (it won’t), a new building will fix things (because shiny floors transform lives!) and the irresponsible public, blah blah.

The number of animals put down is an issue.  Right.  Especially for the thousands being needlessly killed every year.  You could call it a major issue for them.

For those of you not concerned with elections, poll numbers and empty promises, please join us in taking action.

Memphis area residents:  The next meeting of the shelter advisory board is Wednesday, May 11 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM at the Benjamin Hooks Library (3030 Poplar) in Conference Room A.  The meeting is open to the public and if you wish, you may address the board.

Everyone:  Please join our letter writing campaign.

No matter where you live, you can make your concerns about the shelter known to the following individuals:

Mayor Wharton:
Janet Hooks, Director, Public Services and Neighborhoods:
Matthew Pepper, Director, Memphis Animal Services:
MAS Board:
Cindy Sanders, MAS Advisory Board
Jackie Johns, MAS Advisory Board
Allen Iskiwitz, MAS Advisory Board

City Council

Bill Boyd

Bill Morrison

Myron Lowery

Janis Fullilove

Barbara Swearengen Ware

Harold Collins

Wanda Halbert

Joe Brown

Shea Flinn

Kemp Conrad

Edmund Ford Jr.

Reid Hedgepeth

Jim Strickland

A copy/paste collection of the e-mail addresses:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Keep your letters succinct and respectful. Let the city leaders know that people from all over are condemning what is going on at MAS and refuse to spend their vacation dollars in a city which tries to sweep cruelty under the rug.  Remind them there is a viable alternative:  make Memphis a no kill community.  Include a link to this primer on no kill.

Please use your voice to speak for all the pets at MAS – living and dead.  If you’ve already written – thank you.  If you are concerned that city leaders have done nothing to effect change – write again.  Let them know we are still watching and still horrified.  Share this info with the many caring pet owners you know so that they can write letters too.  If you need bullet points for possible items to include in a letter, here you go:

Summary of Concerns at Memphis Animal Services

  • The killing of pets who are not medically hopeless and suffering nor have they been declared a danger to society by a qualified party.
  • The killing of pets when there are empty cages at the shelter.
  • The killing of pets who have never been made available to the public for adoption, rescue or foster.
  • The killing of pets due to disease outbreak without ever making a public plea for help with quarantine to save lives.
  • Failure of the shelter to vaccinate all incoming pets as per standard disease prevention protocol.
  • Failure of the shelter to remove dogs and food from cages during cleaning as per standard disease prevention protocol.
  • Failure of the shelter to utilize their Chameleon software to interface with PetHarbor so that every pet is viewable online by the public.
  • Failure of the shelter to properly train and/or enforce humane handling of pets by the staff.
  • Failure of the shelter to implement a TNR program so that the number of feral cats in the community can be reduced over time.
  • Failure of the shelter to keep cats separated from the sight, sound and smell of dogs in order to reduce stress and make the population less susceptible to disease.
  • Failure of the shelter to provide daily aerobic exercise for dogs for social stimulation and in order to reduce stress and make the population less susceptible to disease.
  • The attempt to subvert the mayor’s intent of transparency by placing dogs on the kill list out of sight of the webcams and avoiding the normal, previously used routes to take them to the kill room so the public can not see how they are handled.

Shelter Pet of the Day

ID: A016988

Submitted by reader Lindley who writes:

This is my absolute favorite cat at the shelter. I truly love him. I call him L’amour because that is exactly what he is, a love. He has to be the sweetest cats at the shelter. He only wants to next to you and I don’t think he could ever tire of getting his ears scratched or head rubbed. He is very, very easy-going. L’amour doesn’t make a fuss, watching silently as you walk away. I can only imagine what he must feel. His heart growing a little sadder, only growing  brighter when you come back around. L’amour is a wonderful, calm, peaceful, humble, and extremely loving cat. He has been vaccinated and combo tested negative.

Coweta Co. Animal Control

91 Selt Rd

Newnan, GA


This shelter’s 2009 kill rate was 32%.

Two MAS Dogs – A Love Story

Romeo on the move.

Juliet out for a stroll.

You got your chocolate in my peanut butter!

Wrong way lovebirds.

Parting is such sweet sorrow.