How Long?

I’m still waiting for a response to my query about whether pets waiting to be killed at MAS are forced to watch other pets being killed and whether MAS leaves a pile of dead bodies for all the pets to see/smell in the kill room. I think the public deserves to know whether the city is using their tax dollars to kill pets humanely or not.

I don’t know what the protocols are for the killing of pets in the “euthanasia room” at MAS.  I’m willing to speculate a little since we can’t seem to get any answers from those in charge.  Here’s a guess:

  • The pet is brought in to the kill room with his cage card.
  • The euthanasia technicians verify that the ID # on the pet’s collar matches the ID # on the cage card and make a note that they have verified this.
  • The pet is scanned for a microchip.  (This is a fail-safe in case scanning was missed upon intake or the scanner used at intake did not pick up the chip for whatever reason.)  Failure to locate chip is noted in record.
  • Pet is weighed and dosage is calculated for sedative and for Fatal-Plus.  Notes made in record.
  • Sedative and Fatal-Plus are drawn up into the appropriate sized syringes.
  • Sedative is administered.
  • Fatal Plus is administered.
  • Death is verified by euthanasia technician.  Notes made in record.  Cage card placed in appropriate file.
  • Body is bagged and removed to freezer.
  • Table is cleaned.

In order to guesstimate how much time this might take for a pet brought into the kill room, we have to consider some variables.  For example, are the euthanasia techs standing at the ready, waiting to begin their procedures immediately as each pet is brought in?  Or is there a backlog, with dogs tied to the wall such as Mr. Cox described at the shelter public meeting last week?  Is there just one open room or is it divided into two completely separate rooms and staffed with two separate teams?  There may be other factors I haven’t thought of.

So what do you think?  How long would it take to complete the above steps?

It appears as if this pup is on his way to the kill room.
Five minutes later, it looks like feral cat transfer boxes with animals inside are being carried to the kill room. Do the cats watch while the dogs are killed at MAS?

In this next series of shots, it looks as if dogs are being taken to the kill room at varying intervals – the longest period of time being 9 minutes and the shortest (the last few shots) are just 2 minutes apart each.


A similar pattern in the afternoon:


Memphis, please – stop the killing.

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 have more to say to city leaders – 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.

6 thoughts on “How Long?

  1. I wonder if FMAS reads these. They’re in a position to help make changes for the better, but only if they accept the fact that things are NOT GOOD now.

    And for those of you who think that Matt Pepper is a good guy doing good for the community, here’s a tip – you cannot kill your way to a better Memphis. Matt Pepper could kill every single dog, cat, puppy, and kitten in the Memphis area today and one year from now, you’ll still have people dumping unwanted animals at the shelter. You know why? Because killing isn’t the answer. It’s not a “necessary evil”. It doesn’t solve ANYTHING except to free up space for those we’re going to kill tomorrow.

    What is the answer? CHANGE YOUR APPROACH. Stop vilifying the community and start educating them. Teach them what’s right (spay/neuter, vaccinations, TNR, etc.) and then MAKE IT AVAILABLE TO THEM with low cost/free programs. Will everyone comply? Of course not. But if you can change the mindset of the community as a whole, you can make a massive difference in your intake numbers…and your kill rates.

    In the meantime, stop telling me how the shelter staff cares so much. Have you seen how they handle these animals? How they treat them like *things*? That happens when your shelter has such a high kill rate. Animals become inventory in the minds of the staff. They aren’t “someone’s lost pet” or “someone’s future pet”, they’re already dead things in the staff’s mind, so handling techniques don’t matter.

    So ask yourselves, “How can we do things differently today?” Because the old ways aren’t working and will continue to not work and the killing will go on and on because no one stood up and said, “Hey, I’ll bet there’s another way to do this! Let’s try something different!”

  2. You are SUCH a pest! Keep it going! Going to make sure someone I know in Memphis (fellow animal artist) sees this post.

    1. You are a VERY beneficial pest – one of the BEST! If not for you locking on to some of these stories – these places would continue to run under the radar and we’d never see any type of change. Keep up the GREAT work…I know it tears at your heart, like it does most of ours, but if not for you blogging about some of these situations some people would never know! Thanks to you we now have a NoKill Memphis group, which I don’t think would’ve happened if not for you grabbing this story and not letting go!

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