Comparing MAS Stats from 2010 to 2011

If I run a shelter and I tell you that I adopted out 10 pets last month but 12 pets this month – would you be like, “Hurray!  Shelter adoptions have increased 20% in one month!”?  No, of course you wouldn’t.  Because you don’t know how many pets I took in last month or this month so the number of adoptions alone indicates nothing.  You’d ask me my adoption rate for last month in comparison to this month.  That would be a valid comparison, since the adoption rate reflects the number of adoptions relative to the number of pets taken in.  For example, If I took in 100 pets last month and 120 pets this month, my shelter’s adoption rates would be 10% for both months and it would be obvious there was no 20% increase in adoptions.

One thing we have heard repeatedly from MAS is that adoptions are up 20% so far this year, as compared to the same time last year.  For example:

April 5, 2011:

I will tell you that through our first three months of this year our placement numbers (including working with rescue) are up 20%. (Matthew Pepper)

April 11, 2011:

Take this statistic with a grain of salt and for what it is, but for year to date 2011 we are 19.8% increased in placements and 5% increase in return to owner from 2010[…]  (Matthew Pepper)

April 13, 2011

Adoptions are up 20%… 20%!  (John Cox)

April 30, 2011:

So far in 2011, adoptions are up 20 percent.  (Matthew Pepper)

I was having troubling reconciling this grand uptick in adoptions with the mass killings I knew were taking place at MAS.  So I looked at the numbers on a month-by-month basis for January through April 2010 and January through April 2011.  I hate teh maths but I will show my work, so that the teacher knows I didn’t copy off my neighbor’s paper:

MAS stats

Jan 2010/Feb 2010/Mar 2010/Apr 2010

Intake 877/996/1358/1290=4521

Adopt 133/165/142/109=549
Died 43/28/23/19=113
Euth 562/654/1083/1007=3306
Foster 4/1/4/22=31
Missing 2/0/20/57=79
RTO 50/55/95/96=296
Transfer 12/6/17/36=71

January – April 2010 rates:

Adopt 12%
Died 2%
Euth 73%
Foster less than 1%
Missing 2%
RTO 7%
Transfer 2%

Jan 2011/Feb 2011/Mar 2011/Apr 2011

Intake 1270/1033/1357/1233=4893

Adopt 130/183/168/107=588
Died 23/10/12/16=61
Euth 999/754/1150/612=3515
Foster/relocate/permit 2/2/2/5=11
Missing 40/?/?/? (not reported for Feb/Mar/Apr)
RTO 82/57/78/63=280
Transfer 28/24/47/154=253

January – April 2011 rates:

Adopt 12%
Died 1%
Euth 72%
Foster less than 1%
Missing (not reported for Feb, Mar or Apr)
RTO 6%
Transfer 5%

For those who just scrolled past all that numbers stuff (I don’t blame you), here’s the bottom line, according to my calculations based upon the monthly stats I received:  The adoption rate is not up 20% so far in 2011 compared to the same time period last year.  In fact, the adoption rate is not up ANY percent.  The rates are exactly the same – a dismal 12%.  RTOs, in case you were wondering are not up 5%.  They are down 1%.

Someone please double check my math.  Stats fluctuate depending on the specific time period being examined.  Is there any time period in here where adoptions were up 20%?  I don’t see it.

If anyone has any calculations that work out differently from mine, please share.  I am not a math whiz so who knows, maybe I forgot to carry an eleventy somewhere or something.  Oh and – show your work.

57 thoughts on “Comparing MAS Stats from 2010 to 2011

  1. I just have one question…What the hell do they mean “missing”? “Well, duh…I coulda swore I put that dog somewheres…oh well, maybe he’ll come back on his own…”

    1. Not only that, but why did they suddenly quit reporting the missing pets? Did they just suddenly stop losing dozens of pets every month?

    2. Check the garbage cans! :( (sorry, that was awful, but in lieu of the pictures, one has to wonder). Yesterday, I watched on the webcam a cute little dog wandering around in the Main Area 3…
      Apparently we all went to the same “school” because the numbers definitely DO add up….
      I would also be curious about the the number of deaths at the shelter. Didn’t the previous director get fired for allowing dogs to starve to death, etc at MAS?! Just sayin’……

    3. Yeah, I’m stuck on that, too. How the effing hell does a dog go “missing” from a shelter? Aside from all the other sketchiness going on at MAS, that tells me there’s even more troubling things going on there..

      I wonder what kind of dogs went “missing”.

      1. Yeah, I wondered the same thing. Just makes me shake my head and wonder what else is going on there . . .

        Betcha a lot of those “missing” are pitties.

      2. Pitties – one of the mucky-muck workers is listed as owning a pit kennel, I believe. Yea, missing means “FOT” (fell off truck in NY parlance, aka: out the back door).

    4. even the most well-run shelters are going to have a few missing (or AWOL pets) now and then. 3 weeks ago we had a kitten stolen from our adoption floor- she would be recorded as AWOL in our stats. We had a dog get out of a kennel once and run straight out an open door. Sometimes you’re not sure where a pet went- in a cage during the day, but gone in the evening (those are usually presumed stolen as well). Once we had a customer put a leash on a dog and walk him straight out the front door- we thought they were a volunteer (luckily local media got involved and he was returned 2 days later with police escort).
      So it does happen.
      however…to have 57 animals go missing when you only take in 1200 animals… something’s wrong there

  2. Your math is quite correct! Obviously, mathematics is another thing that Mr Pepper is not very good at. Oh wait, maybe he just wants us to think something that’s not really true . . . maybe?

    How in the he77 can you lose dogs and cats in a “shelter”?

    God help the animals of MAS cause there ain’t many working there who do!

  3. Technically, they have had about a 7% increase in adoptions (it would have been 9% at the end of March). Increasing adoptions, and increasing the % adopted aren’t the exactly the same thing. But the increased impounds take away what little impact they’ve had. Either way, a 12% adoption rate and 5% RTO rate is a complete fail.

    Anyone want to guess what is likely a driving factor for the increased 8% increase impounds? Hint, the economy was really bad last year too, so that’s probably not it.

    1. I calculated the stats thru the end of March as 13.6% adoption rate for 2010 and 13.1% for 2011. Where are you coming up with the 7% and 9% figures. You didn’t show your work Brent!

    2. I will guess at the driving factor behind the 8% increase. Because they now have a MSN law and many people could not afford to get their dog back.

  4. Does anyone know how to increase foster homes? To me, this would be a HUGE first step in reducing euth rates. I think part of the problem (and I think this because I am currently fostering 2) is that fosters are not sent out with any meds if they are sick. So I took these 2 puppies to my own vet and the cost has been prohibitive. (I know another volunteer who has drained her checking account helping owners pay for sterilizations.) I would foster dogs back-to-back if it didn’t mean I went broke in the process. With 3 dogs of my own, I cannot afford to keep fostering at these rates. If anyone has constructive advice about this, I’d love to hear it. Are there grants out there to subsidize meds and sterilizations, do you know?

    1. In order to be diagnosed as sick, the shelter vet has to examine the pets, right? Then they start them on whatever meds the vet prescribes, right? Why not simply send home those meds with fosters? It would be a huge difference to me as a potential foster if I was agreeing to care for a sneezing pet who’d been seen by a vet and I just needed to continue the meds and monitor the health vs. I need to start from square one and establish the pet as a new patient with my vet, get diagnosed again, get meds prescribed again and pay for all that out of pocket. If MAS had no vet on staff, that would be different. But since they do, and since that vet is presumably already treating these pets anyway, why not send them to fosters with those meds? I bet it would help increase the number of people willing to foster.

    2. Claire, sending you home with a sick animal and expecting you to provide the medical care at your own expense is not a foster care program. Here is my advice: 1)Get Coleman to look at the animal and then write you a prescription for an antibiotics you can get filled.
      2) Foster for a rescue group that pulls from MAS and will provide the medical care the animal needs.

      1. Where I come from foster care does not cost anything for the foster parents. They are provided with vet care, meds, and food.

  5. The math looks good to me, er, I mean BAD BAD PEPPER! Go to your kennel, BAD BAD PEPPER.

  6. We, um, excuse me, but the staff and management at MAS HAVE been showing their work! (Shirley you’ve been paying attention to those web cams?!)
    And your number crunching has also indicated YOUR work…since you’ve been watching and promoting the helpless and needy animals at MAS their transfers have increase from 2% to 5%. (And they’re not reporting the missing dogs, because, well, it doesn’t look good when staff steals dogs—then they don’t have to walk them past the web cam to the kill room you know–and sells them *intact* to supplement their meager income.)

  7. It is the job of foster parents to provide love, care, socialization, and manners for the pup or dog so he/she will have the greatest chance at adoption.

  8. MAS is currently handing out animals to rescue groups and individuals, hand over fist, intact and without vaccinations.
    Many rescue groups I have spoken with are THRILLED!
    Yeah! MAS is giving the animal to them at no charge.

    That is like someone “giving” you a car for free but it needs a new engine.

    The fee at MAS is $75 to adopt which includes heartworm testing, vaccinations, microchip, rabies tag and license and neutering.

    Try getting all that at a Vet, any Vet for $75.

    So yes, the rescue groups and individuals are thrilled they are getting the animals for free. And then spending hundreds to neuter, microchip, vaccinate, etc.

    Pepper is passing out animals faster than you can say “put ’em in the garbage can”.

    What Pepper is doing is shifting the job of MAS to the over burdened, over worked, under funded rescue groups and individuals AND bringing his numbers way down while not spending a dime of the money budgeted to MAS by the city.

    The rescues should demand to pay the $75 and get what they deserve. If they are going to shoulder the entire responsibility of MAS AND make Pepper look good in the process, they deserve more than a free animal that has not been vetted.

    If MAS is willing to give the animals “due to be euthanized” away, then adopt them and make MAS foot the bill for shots and neutering.

    Why should the recue groups foot the bill and participate in breaking the law AND make Pepper look good in the process.

    1. That sneaky little bastard! The rescue MUST stand up to this – but at least we know our pressure is working. Just not the way we had planned. If the rescues cannot get what the public is supposed to get, then they should bring a class-action suit against the shelter, Pepper, Wharton and the employees.

    2. Yep, I made the mistake of pulling a dog last Friday as a ‘foster’.

      I called this week to see what I had to do so she didn’t end up going back and found out they had transferred her to me. At least they vaccinated her before leaving, I guess. Of course if they had done that at the beginning of April when she came in… /sigh

      1. I doubt I would have had the heart to send her back after she gets better anyway and it’s probably best that she gets spayed somewhere else. Still, we should warn people that when the next outbreak happens that they should fill out adoption papers so they can at least have the option to get the spay/license/vacs at the MAS rate.

        Thinking about it, with the shelter policies as they are, it was stupid of me to even take her as a foster.

      2. Trevor: PLEASE don’t say it was stupid to taker her on as a foster – you SAVED HER LIFE! That is no small feat and you are a HERO!

      3. Nono, I meant stupid as a ‘foster’ as opposed to just filling out adoption papers, hah! I didn’t really have time to do that anyway. I had about 30 mins to get her to my vet before the doctors hours were over.

      4. Well, whichever, you are still a HERO!!! Can I have your autograph????

  9. Didn’t I read that it is law that before the animals leave the shelter they must be vetted, chipped and neutered.

  10. They must be neutered according to city law.
    Which the shelter ignores.
    They don’t have to be microchipped by law but by shelter policy.

    According to state law they must be neutered but if not the person must sign an agreement stating the animal will be neutered in 30 days and must pay a minimum of a $25 fee in addition to the adoption fee. If they do not neuter within that time frame or they neuter and don’t contact the shelter, the additional fee goes to that city/county to fund s/n.
    the agreement also gives the shelter the right to take back the animal if there is no medical reason for not having done the procedure.

    It is against the Tennessee anti rabies law for animals to not be vaccinated against rabies and be tagged. A municipal shelter is charged with the enforcement of this.

    I heard all this at a MAS Board meeting. So I looked it up. THe Board members were correct.
    They talk about this stuff all the time and try to get the shelter to comply.

    1. The shelter of all places should have to follow the law. Especially since it’s a city government facility. I guess since they don’t care about the laws they break when it suits them they sure as heck don’t care about the cruelty they inflict on the animals left in their care! The attorney general needs to file charges, the faster the better.

  11. By the by, I emailed the Commercial Appeal to ask a reporter to contact me hours ago. No response. Anyone have an clout over there?

      1. I don’t do Twitter either (I’m a Luddite actually) but please, can you repeat or send a link that’s usable by a Luddite?

      2. Yes, but WHAT did they post? Was just there and nothing jumped out at me!

      3. When I visited their homepage, I could see it down the page on the right, beneath the flood coverage. Basically it was a link to one of the posts containing screenshots from MAS and said something like “group watches webcams and says animal treatment inhumane”.

  12. So still no media coverage on all of this yet? Better start working on something the media will cover — a sit in, chain up, lay down, burn voodoo dolls that look like the city leaders, something! Anyone have some other ideas on how to attract the media?

    1. How many people who care about homeless pets can we fit into a garbage can? Oh wait – that may not work. It’ll be hard to find people willing to be wheeled to their deaths in the trash bin.

  13. Do you mind me asking where you got the numbers? I’m new to this blog. I’m just curious what your source is. Thanks!

  14. Is it on a website somewhere or did you call and talk to someone? I actually live in the area and would love to do something about this. I just want to be sure my info and numbers are correct first, so I want to be sure we’re using the same source. Thanks for your help.

    1. MAS does not post their stats online but they should IMO. All public shelters should but only some do. You can go down to the shelter and request the info. They can pull it up easily in their computer system and print it out for you. If they decide to be uncooperative about it, you can write to the shelter and file an open records request for the info. They are obligated to comply with the open records request.

  15. Right now Memphis is going thru some pretty heavy flooding breaking 100 year records. I mentioned this to a reporter and they said wait till the floods are over. The one thing we have on our side us that it us an election year. I will make sure Wharton is held responsible for the mess at MAS.
    As far as vet expenses go I would like to see in writing the policy on what is included in the adoption fee, special needs adoption fee and what is required to send the animals out. Of the 14 animals I have recently pulled or adopted all have been different. And of course, Brandy (a MAS worker) is so pleasant and she *politely* rolled her eyes at me.when I asked to see these policey in writing.

    1. Policy changes without notice. In late December 2010 we saw our first “Special Needs” adoption from Memphis Animal Services. They extort $20.00 (public $40.00)and get a positive outcome. You get an unvetted animal and all the risk and expense. It seemed like it was designed to effectively do away with their “foster care” program at the time. They could get small kittens or sick animals out the door and never have to see them again.

      Since The Great Distemper Fiasco of 2011 we have seen a lot more transfers. Unvetted and free. And it appears their “foster care” program is back. Hand out sick animals and expect the foster to pay the medical expenses.

      1. “I don’t get that. That’s not fostering. That’s adopting a sick pet.”

        I think thats just “passing off responsibility so we dont have to worry about these “nuisance” animals anymore”.

  16. I recently requested some information on two dogs given to rescues. Both were pits, both had litters.
    No records of any shots given. One listed in “poor” condition that was there for 3 days but no vet records. None were given rabies shots. There was no contract given to the rescues to assure neutering done in future. No paperwork at all except the info in the computer giving id#, etc. No record of the puppies for either dog, anywhere.

    They are just passing these animals out the door, not keeping proper records, and putting the cost directly on the backs of the recues.

    1. This again, IMO is rescue abuse. They will burn out their local rescue community very quickly by doing things like this. And once they do, I suppose they will turn around and say that local rescuers just don’t care about the pets at the shelter and won’t help so they “have to” kill them. ugh.

  17. It looks like they are being sneaky with semantics. The first two quotes say ‘placements’ but what do they mean by that? If you add up adoptions, fosters and transfers in your numbers, there is definitely an increase in the rate. Of course then they go on and switch over to just saying adoptions, I guess they just “forgot” the airquotes or asterisk, heh.

    If the definition above for ‘placements’ (rounded up to the nearest 1% of course! ^_~) from your numbers you get 15%/18% for 2010/2011.
    Then: 15% * 1.2 (20% “increase”) = 18%. Perhaps that’s where their 20% increase came from?

    If that’s what they did, I bet they have a well worn copy of ‘How to lie with statistics’ around there somewhere.

  18. Man I don’t check in for one day and I miss 3 blogs, I cant keep up with this site (or I guess I should say shelter…err, service). Either way, I’m glad you did the math Shirley because that was never my forte LOL Also, I shouldn’t be surprised at the quotes about their placements. After seeing those poor pups in the garbage cans, nothing surprises me anymore…Also, what is RTO ?

      1. Oh, okay, thanks. I should’ve figured but I didn’t think basically any animals get RTO because they end up dead first.

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