What’s the Use in Posting Pictures of Stray Dogs at MAS?

Last night, I asked reader Tammy to share her experience to date regarding her efforts to help a male dog she saw on the MAS webcam.  He was being housed in the stray area which is off limits to members of the public looking to adopt a pet:

I first saw his picture on the May 10th blog on YesBiscuit called “This is What Needless Killing Looks Like”.  He looked to me to be a sad, white dog.  Seeing him sitting there in the corner cage broke my heart and I posted a comment about finding a rescue group in Memphis so I could adopt him.   The next day Shirley (YesBiscuit) contacted me with the name of a rescuer, Jody, in Memphis that would be willing to get the dog for me.  I live in Versailles, KY which is over six hours away from MAS.

At this time I did not know that the dog I was looking at was in the “Stray Hold” and therefore not up for adoption.  I thought I was looking at adoptable pets that were kept in their kennels and viewable to the public.  Little did I know that the dog, now named Biscuit, would have to finish out his three days hold, be relinquished by his “owner” and then be temperament tested before I could adopt him?  But that’s not all.  It took daily e-mails and telephone calls by Jody and me to MAS to make certain they were aware that Biscuit had an adopter and that we were not going to forget about him.

Jody adopted Biscuit for me today.  She got him out of that hell hole at MAS and into a wonderful doggie day care called Camp Bow Wow.  He is now being spoiled and has his own room so that he will not feel confined like in his kennel.  I can not thank Shirley, Jody and CBW enough.  I can only give Biscuit the best home possible as show of my thanks.  I believe that I will pick up Biscuit in Memphis this Thursday if transport can not be found to meet me half way.

I don’t know the politics behind the “Stray Hold” area of MAS, but I do know that for hours on end every day I scan the webcams documenting their abuse of the animals and praying tirelessly that God will have mercy on them.  It brings joy that through combined efforts with two amazing women and a caring local business we were able to save Biscuit.  But, it brings sadness because there’s a new dog sitting in Biscuit’s Kennel.  He is sad and white too.   What are we going to do about him?

Biscuit, with MAS in his rear view mirror.

Thank you Tammy for sharing your experience and especially for reaching out to help a dog you knew nothing about, except that he looked like he could use a protector.  Thank you also to Jody for her assistance in making this happen and to Camp Bow Wow for donating free care and board to help an unknown dog become someone’s pet.  This adoption could not have happened without the kindness and caring actions of people in the local community.  It is clearly unfair for so many involved in the shelter – including Mayor Wharton – to continually paint the people of Memphis as uncaring.

Tammy writes, “What are we going to do about him?” regarding the new dog in Biscuit’s kennel.  I have a suggestion and it’s something MAS could do immediately to help find homes for that dog and ALL THE PETS at the shelter:  Unlock the doors to the stray areas.  Use your Chameleon software to upload photos and descriptions of every pet in the shelter to Pet Harbor upon intake.  Let the public know these pets are at the shelter and in need of help.  A local rescuer has given you a camera.  People have volunteered their services in helping to save shelter pets.  What’s stopping you?  What have you got to lose?

Everything is going to be all right now.

26 thoughts on “What’s the Use in Posting Pictures of Stray Dogs at MAS?

  1. YEEEEE HaWWWWWW! The POWER OF THE PEOPLE. Mayor Wharton – TOP THAT! Now, how about a pic of the strays?????

    1. What a happy happy outcome for this adorable little dog. We all worry so much about the stray area and hearts are so heavy the majority of the time that to hear wonderful news such as this makes my heart soar. Congratulations on your new furbaby.

  2. How wonderful! What a lovely dog and such a great team that saved him! Good news, really good news.

  3. WOW! Tears of happiness that this beautiful little pup has finally been sprung! I’m so glad that no one gave up on him and that he will have a wonderful home with the love and care they all deserve.

    That’s one for the good guys!

  4. This is going to come across as very naive, but I don’t really get why it is so hard to reform the shelter? I guess my question is about the politics behind it. They have these meetings, but they won’t listen to anyone, so nothing changes…when are these jokers up for election? Can a shelter director be voted out? It seems like there’s this wonderful community of caring people who want to see change, and a handful who are blocking it, but those handful have all the power. So what’s the next big step? We’ve all written letters, but there has to be something more?

    1. A lawsuit? The mayor appointed the director and he likes him! Janet Hooks was just reappointed and he likes her. Bye the way, she appears to be the one with the all the power. City government is “the good old boys club” so go higher. The governor, the state attorney general, the health department. The advisory council has been trying but no one listens to them. They are a smoke screen so mayor can say he did something.

      1. Sorry to disagree with Arlene about the advisory board – there are at least THREE people on that Board who work their asses off trying to make change happen at MAS. The smoke screen for Wharton is Pepper and his thugs (sans the three ACO’s that we know are kind). ANd Janet Hooks is the BIGGEST bag of gas there is!

      2. Not speaking for Arlene but I interpreted her comment a little differently. That is, the mayor can say “Look, I put an advisory board in place to keep them honest”. But in fact, shelter management does not listen to the advisory board and at the last meeting, shelter management didn’t even show up to hear the advice they would be ignoring.

      3. Oh, I didn;t interpret it that way. But yes, it is true that the ‘powers that be’ don’t listen to anyone nor do they give a rat’s behind. Let’s be sure to keep up the pressure!

    2. Sometimes – and I don’t know if this is the case at MAS – people resist change because they feel it will make them look bad, as if they are admitting the way they are doing things now is wrong. (Of course one must consider how it looks to carry on with the current state of affairs.) Change is life. We can all improve. I used to believe that killing healthy/treatable shelter pets was a “necessary evil”. I learned differently and changed my view. I am not ashamed of learning and improving. I hope MAS isn’t either.

    3. Go back in this blog and read about Hempstead New York and The Houston Examiner (NoKillHouston also) about the Houston pound and you can get an idea of the timeline. Years, unless you can get enough people to put it all on the line and protest and get loud. No matter where it is the same things happen, ignore, deny, discredit, make some changes that sound good to the public until the advocates take it apart and after a while the public and state start to notice then it gets fixed.

      My answer to your question would be that whenever Memphis, Hempstead, Hempstead New York, Houston Teas or any of the hundreds of other sorry locations that have medieval pounds are mentioned is to comment on what you have heard about their animal care and control. The next is to check out http://www.rescue50.org/ Their three-step guide to shelter reform:
      1. New Leadership in Local Shelters
      2. Local Political Advocacy
      3. Legislation

  5. I am extremely touched by this story. Tammy got herself a beautiful looking dog. He still looks a bit sad in the picture, but he doesn’t know that the best years of his life are to come. Would he even have had a chance if it wasn’t for this blog? Maybe. We know the chances wouldn’t have been good though.

    Clearly there is lots of room for improvement. Keep it up. Here’s another daily reader with eyes on change.

    1. I too am so touched by this story. Tammy did not know if this dog was a male or female, did not know heartworm or any other health status, 1 year old or 11 years old – almost nothing. She saw a few grainy shots of him looking sad on the webcam and decided she wanted to help him from another state. That says a lot to me. If Biscuit was wanted by someone under these circumstances, imagine how many people might want dogs that they could see a clear photo of and learn basic info on by viewing the pets online. There are hundreds more dogs just like Biscuit at MAS and most are not visible at all on the webcams. All we see is the rows of cage doors without ever knowing the pets inside them. They have the ability to get all their pets online TODAY yet they refuse to do it. Why? I just don’t understand it.

  6. This is such a great and sweet story! Congrats to Tammy and Biscuit both, I hope they live a happy, long life together. Its great that for every 9 horrible MAS stories, there can be one good one!

  7. FYI, Mayor Wharton just posted a Facebook comment to the thread about still believing in the Memphis Grizzlies. He defends the shelter by saying their stats have improved. The flood is over, the team is thru, now perhaps his attention can be directed to the shelter issues.

      1. I’d like MAyor Wharton to have the balls to call me and tell me those things, and back it up with facts. Hey Mayor: 518.325.1415. Do you DARE????

  8. I am so happy that Biscuit was saved from MAS! Thank you Yesbiscuit for helping give a voice to MAS animals. Thank you all who helped this sweet dog! It seems that our animal “shelter” makes it harder to rescue animals instead of easier.
    Jodi, keep up the good work here in Memphis!

  9. Very happy for Tammy and Biscuit! I hope one day soon there will be a lot of stories like this about the dogs in the stray section of MAS. Mayor Wharton, please give them a chance to get adopted and have a happy life, too.

  10. What a cute little dog! And so sad, because he doesn’t yet know how his life has changed! Tammy, you’ve done a wonderful thing, and I know you and Biscuit will be very happy!

  11. GOD BLESS YOU TAMMY and JODY and whoever else helped this precious baby. And thank you Shirley for your diligence and getting this info out there. I am so happy for this baby, he looks so sweet and I know he will have a great life – I hope Tammy will keep us posted on how he is doing. This made me cry and I am so happy for this guy. Too bad they all cant get this chance.

  12. WOW! First the kittehs and now Biscuit! Bless you Shirley for doing what you do! Power to the People!

  13. Dear Tammy,
    Dennis at Camp Bow Wow. Biscuit is doing remarkably well. What a sweet dog, with a great temperament, you’ve adopted. He was staying in my interview room ’til he decided to chew on the door facing and the bottom of the door. I moved him into his own 5’x10′ cabin and he goes out and plays everyday with all our other dogs. You can see him on our webcams on our website, http://www.campbowwow.com/memphis, ususally in playyard 4. He has changed so much in just the little time he has been here. He’s a lot happier, trusts us, and just follows along when we tell him to “come on, biscuit”. Poor thing had ticks and fleas galore when he got here, but we’ve taken care of that. Hope we can find some transportation to help you out. Get back with me at memphis@campbowwow.com before you come to Memphis and maybe I can arrange something this weekend to bring him to Murray, KY. Would that help? Talk to you. Dennis

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