One of our readers commented that she wants to adopt a dog she saw in some of the webcam photos. I’m so excited! She sent me this photo to make absolutely clear which dog it is she wants. I have sent it along to the city leaders in Memphis and another of our readers there has made inquiries about the dog as well in order to pull him/her from MAS. I will keep everyone posted about this super development.
I also wanted to address several commenters who have recently suggested, in one way or another, it’s the irresponsible public’s fault for the killing at MAS. I’ve talked about this many times on the blog previously but here is the Reader’s Digest version for new readers:
Responsible people bring pets to the shelter when they can no longer provide care for them. It’s what we want people to do which is why we don’t want to discourage the public from coming to the shelter but rather encourage the shelter to do their jobs. Irresponsible people drive their pets out to rural areas, open the car door, push the pet out and drive away. Or worse – sometimes far worse.
Regardless of who brings a pet into a shelter and what that person’s level of responsibility may be, it is the shelter’s job to protect that healthy/treatable pet from harm until a foster, rescue, or adoption situation is arranged. By treating the pet inhumanely and/or killing the pet, the shelter is failing to do its job. And since we pay for this service through our taxes, we have every right to demand they reform and do the job society expects of them.
There will always be a need for shelters. People will always find lost/abandoned pets on the streets and need a safe place to take them. Pet owners will always face unexpected circumstances (for example – debilitating illness, loss of a home, etc.) which prevent them from keeping a pet. They too need a safe place to take their pets. And there will always be people who make poor choices, lack education, and/or consider pets to be disposable. (There are people like that who have children, own guns and drive cars too.) For those people especially, we need a safe place to care for their pets.
Bottom line: The shelter is responsible for its failure to care for pets properly – not the public in general, not the surrendering parties, not people who spend time on the web. The shelter sets its policies and kills pets as it chooses. Thus, the need for reform.