Bringing Up from the Comments

THIS DOG HERE has someone who wants him.

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.

27 thoughts on “Bringing Up from the Comments

  1. Please Lord! Give that reader the ability to rescue that precious animal! Put no road blocks in her way and bring that dog home! Ahmen

    1. I have tried and/or inquired about getting three different dogs pulled for transport to our place from Memphis, all to no avail. There seem to be alot of reasons why nobody can do anything positive here. All kinds of reasons. IF YOU LOVE THE ANIMALS NO MORE EXCUSES – the river is over flood stage, etc. Yea. ok. When we had an ice storm here and had NO POWER and no heat, nothing to cook with etc., we still carrid on. NO EXCUSES because every excuse kills an animal. Sorry, have to vent.

      1. MVPR, thank you for the prayers. I hope God answers them in my favor for this dog. I keep praying for him and the other animals at MAS. I think this is going to be some kind of battle to get him adopted but I’m putting my armor on. Whatever it takes I will do. I only hope they don’t delay it out of laziness, spite or ignorance. If the volunteer I am working with is as motivated as I am to help this dog then we should have no unjust delays.

  2. “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. ”

    I absolutely agree with this statement. And it is for that reason that I am no longer supporting the local efforts of an animal welfare organization in my area.

    An individual reached out to an organization to find a home for the animal they would no longer be able to provide a home for based on a life-changing event. The response of the leadership of this organization was to admonish this individual for wanting to give up their animal. The basis for the admonishment was not because there was no foster available to accept the animal, but based on religious principle.

    To this day, we do not know what became of that animal. Maybe the owner found the animal a loving home, which I hope he did. But I will always know that they first reached out to an organization that claims to help all creatures, but was turned away.

    1. Thanks for sharing this story Roger. I’ve felt this sort of squeeze and it hasn’t always been gentle. When I went to an Adoption Options workshop hosted by Petfinder and Petco, I was horrified by the negative attitudes of the rescuers!
      Locally there is a rescue who bemoaning her lack of fosters. I went to her website, and filled out the application. But I know this woman, and I’m pretty sure she won’t let me foster for her. I’m not good enough! And her screening of adopters is even stricter.
      There is love and wisdom in moderation. Your dog is (of course) the BEST dog on earth…but if something happens to YOU, will anybody else think so? What if they think your dog is crap because you can’t afford to keep it? (Which is what staff and volunteers seem to think about the people who relinquish at MAS.)

    2. This is why, despite my many frustrations with some of the leadership of the group I volunteer with, Greater Derry Humane Society, I continue to volunteer and support them. We currently have in foster a dog whose human mom just gave birth to triplets. Everyone at GDHS understands that newborn triplets means: rough high-risk pregnancy, rough birth experience, and three preemie babies to care for. No one thinks she’s a bad person because she no longer has the time or the physical or emotional energy to adequately care for a dog who needs and wants lots of human interaction and affection. So Maisey is now in foster care waiting for the kind of home her overwhelmed previous owner knows she needs.

      While “newborn triplets” is a first since I’ve been with GDHS, we regularly either take in, or take on the rehoming process, for dogs and cats whose responsible owners are for various reasons simply no longer able to care for them properly. Some rescues will only pull from shelters; we do that, but we don’t require an animal who needs a new home to go through that scary experience before being taken in to foster.

      1. As somebody who has to rehome a dog in the next few weeks, I wish there were something near me that wouldn’t turn me away. She won’t do well in a shelter environment at all, and is dog reactive, so I’m looking for somewhere she can go directly into foster or adoption with a person, and those seem to be few and far between. But I’m not blaming anybody for it, except the assclam who abused her and made her this way.

  3. Looking forward to good news for this pup and the person who wants to bring him home.
    Keep writing and sharing – hopefully it is and will continue to make a difference for these animals, and so many like them.

  4. I would just like to point out that when people stop helping an animal rescue organization that the only ones who suffer are the animals. My local shelter and ASPCA had a fall out over money when a new shelter facility was built about a year ago. Because of it, the ASPCA no longer pulls animals from the shelter, but instead brings animals in from other places and finds them homes here. Not only are they letting animals die in our shelter because they refuse to pull them now, but by bringing animals in from other places and finding them homes here, they’re taking homes away from the local animals as well. I’m sorry that I went off on a little bit of a rant, but the point I’m trying to make is that you shouldn’t stop helping animals because of people-related problems. The people won’t suffer. The animals will, and they did nothing wrong…

    1. “The people won’t suffer. The animals will, and they did nothing wrong…”

      But what if you don’t want to support your local shelter BECAUSE they cause pets to suffer? Isn’t it appropriate to demand reform?

      1. Of course it is, but the animals don’t have to suffer in the process. You can work towards getting animals pulled by rescue organizations and still volunteer to make sure they’re getting proper care while demanding a reform.

      2. Many shelters don’t take kindly to being told they need to reform and will oust volunteers and blacklist rescues who speak out.

    2. Tiara, people suffer too. Why do you think these employees are so mean and cruel to animals? They LEARNED this behavior!!!
      Just like buying a puppy mill dog doesn’t help because it supports the seller, supporting cruelty is WRONG.
      I saw Mayor Wharton on TV—all that flooding. He said Graceland is still open! Seems MAS is still open too, but I’m wondering if fewer or more animals are being brought in because of the flooding.
      I’m sure they’re too busy killing to worry about this one dog stuck in a cage. They’ll need to take it out to make room for more (or make less work for themselves) maybe they’ll drag it down the hall with a choke pole to that *walkies* room.

  5. Until that happens, keep showing up to volunteer, and afterwards, you can still get rescue organizations to pull animals. You don’t have to actually be at the shelter to do that, and if they tell you to not come back, that just gives you more ammo in the fight against them. I suspect that most people will stop trying to help the animals on their own without being told to do so when they start demanding a reform, though. I understand that demanding a reform is for the animals and will help them in the long-term, but you have to think about the short-term sometimes, too, such as the animals that are there at the time.

      1. I know what the post is about. My comments were more toward Roger saying, “I absolutely agree with this statement. And it is for that reason that I am no longer supporting the local efforts of an animal welfare organization in my area.” I understand that people get frustrated with each other, but animals shouldn’t suffer because of it, is the point that I am trying to make.

    1. I considered that consequence when I pulled my support. I also realized there are those who are on the “same sheet of music” as this leadership. I haven’t stopped helping the other organizations in the area.

      1. I understand your reasoning, but I wish you’d still help the animals at that organization, considering they did nothing wrong. Do they post their available animals online? Perhaps you could anonymously get rescues to pull some of the animals in need that are being kept there. You don’t have to even consider what I say, but I really wish you would.

  6. Double amen with sugar on top… I do hope it is fine with you Shirley to cut and paste… this is brilliant and I posted it to my breed list where the “public’ is often blamed for dogs in shelters.. the devil made me do it.. ( the flip side!!)

  7. Shirley: Couldn’t have said it better. Thank you. Signed: a frustrated Sanctuary worker.

  8. Very excited that this dog may get adopted! Please keep us updated on this situation!

  9. I don’t think that sending the reader’s interest in the dog to the city leaders is going to do much good. You/your reader need to find a local rescue group who can pull the dog from the shelter and who can help to set up transport to wherever your reader is (I presume that they are not local). I would advise that your reader gets working on this ASAP to ensure that the dog gets out of the shelter alive.

    1. No worries Amelia – We have people working on it, including the hopeful adopter and a local pet lover. I simply wanted to use a belt and suspenders approach by sending out an e-mail to everyone connected to the shelter.

  10. First off, a big thank you to whomever is rescuing this poor pup. I wanted to do it myself but couldnt.

    Secondly, I completely agree with this blog. If you dont go to the shelter to help the dogs because of the people, the dogs are the ones that suffer. Its like cutting your nose off to spite your face. Also, blaming the public isnt really going to help anything. As you said, people will dump their dogs off “in the countryside so they can go to a farm” kind of a thing without shelters. Shelters need to be there, kind of like during prohibition people still drank, so it was important to have DUI laws kind of a thing.

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