Just Plain Old Dogs Being Plain Old Killed at MAS

CNN is apparently going to pick up the story about the trash can family.  I am glad for the international exposure and hope it will further the efforts of no kill advocates in Memphis.  While I absolutely do not want to diminish the mistreatment and needless killing of those dogs in the slightest, part of me is sad that it takes a story like this to garner widespread media attention.

The reality of Memphis Animal Services is mistreatment and needless killing of pets.  But most of these pets aren’t caught by webcam watchers.  And the ones who are, sometimes get overlooked in favor of the sexier shots showing dogs being dragged by chokepoles or puppies being carried by a leg or, understandably – puppies in a trash can.  You know – if it bleeds, it leads.

But every day that MAS is open, I receive many shots of pets – usually dogs – being needlessly killed, in what appears to be an assembly line manner.  They were never offered for adoption.  They were forced to sleep and eat in an indoor kennel where they relieved themselves.  They got hosed down with piss water in their kennels.  They never even had names.  This to me, is the true heartbreak of MAS – the needless killing of healthy/treatable pets when there are enough homes for all of them and nobody at the shelter demanding they get there.

This post is a tribute to the thousands of pets killed every year by MAS – the ones we caught glimpses of on the webcams and the ones we did not:  You didn’t make the mainstream news but you should have.  Because each of you is the best pet in the world, even if no one at MAS saw the value in your life.  You are not alone.  We are not giving up on you.

Goodbye lovely black dog.

They should not have taken you.

Goodbye Beagley type dog.

I'm sorry we weren't able to see your face. I love your cow markings.

No new doggy friends for you.

Goodbye little one.

Waggy-tailed and willing to go anywhere with a stranger.

Beautiful yellow dog.

No comfort here.

The webcam caught just the tail of this dog as he was taken to the kill room on May 14. I'm sorry we never got to know you happy tailed dog.

Memphis, please – stop the killing.

Leave a comment

25 Comments

  1. Each one of these killed dogs is a loss, but that last photo seems especially heartbreaking. Just a happy, waggy tail that never had a chance.

    Reply
  2. Jeanne

     /  May 17, 2011

    All the plain old dogs in MAS–black and brown or tan mostly–lab mixes and shepherd mixes–are as good as the best dogs anywhere. They are individuals. Each one has the right to live and deserves a chance to get adopted or rescued. So this makes me very sad.

    Reply
  3. db

     /  May 17, 2011

    I’m delighted that CNN is picking you the garbage can pups story. But you are right, Shirley, that these dogs (and cats) who go to the kill room every day are the saddest part of this. Too much killing of amazing animals who would be wonderful pets, sigh, if just given the chance.

    Sad day – a beautiful pup at NYC ACC was killed because his stupid – a$$ owner turned him in as a stray (obviously he wasn’t because he cried the entire time they dragged him away from this “person”) and basically just gave up on living and crashed.

    Lots of tears today for all those who simply didn’t make it. Hope I have a helluva huge pack waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge. I will take them all – cats and dogs!

    It’s hard – but we need to be reminded why we do what we do.

    Reply
  4. db

     /  May 17, 2011

    oops – picking UP

    Reply
  5. alice in LALA land

     /  May 17, 2011

    so what? THIS is the story that needs to be told.. this and Janis Fullilove ( a misnomer if there ever was one)and her “so what” comment need to be publicized all over the USA.. good work everyone of you who have brought this to the attention of the public.. hopefully they won;t stand for it they way people in Memphis do.. So what.. my ass.

    Reply
    • K G

       /  May 17, 2011

      I have made a photo from one of the webcam shots and put her “So what?” comment underneath it.

      Reply
      • Kim

         /  May 18, 2011

        I think you should use her picture and a “thought bubble” with “so what?” on it and attach it to the web shots!

  6. The little black pibble typed dog being carried just broke my heart.

    Reply
  7. Tammy

     /  May 17, 2011

    Just plain old despair at the thought of all the animals being killed there and now just damn mad! I don’t understand why any of this happening. Senseless. I won’t forget them – any of them.

    Some of you may not be believers, but every time I see one going to the kill room I pray and pray that God is with them and bringing them comfort. He has to because if not then I have no hope that they aren’t suffering while they are forced to watch the others being killed.

    Reply
  8. vida

     /  May 17, 2011

    I have always had rescued animals and that is what kills me, that each dog I see taken away to be slaughtered could have been any of mine. I just got lucky that my dogs lived long enough to find me, each of these dogs could have been loving and sweet and fun and wonderful companions and now they’re gone. For no good reason, just gone. I wish there was a good way to get this feeling across to the people in control of this mess. A way to open their hearts and eyes.

    Reply
  9. mary frances

     /  May 17, 2011

    Maybe just maybe all this heartbreaking work you have been doing Shirley – reporting all these dear innocents being killed will be the awakening for all to demand nation-wide No Kill in all pounds.

    Please CNN help.

    Reply
    • Yes, thank you Shirley for showing people what is really going on in our U.S.A. shelters becuase this shelter is not alone in the abuse and mass killing of our homeless pets.

      Please help these animals CNN!

      Reply
  10. Jamie Payne

     /  May 17, 2011

    Memphis seems to snub their nose at giving even a slight bit of concern, a gentle hand, a soft voice to a life created by God. Unfortunately, in the very same state, in the county in which I live, allowed an animal control officer to shoot a dog in it’s cage. Not the first animal to die this way. And a counsel member was overheard saying that all the residents in this area wouldn’t care if they were all shot. Why can’t the shelters in this state get a fraction of the money that the current President spends to entertain a rap poet that believes it’s okay to kill police. – Isn’t that ironic!

    Reply
  11. Laura

     /  May 17, 2011

    I’m sick. Just sick over seeing all these animals going to their deaths. How can the people who have the power to change this care so little?

    Reply
  12. People are emotional and irrational. And there is a very real phenomenon – the collapse of compassion model – that states the ability for us to care about others reduces when there are more victims.

    Every good fundraiser and behavior changer knows that it’s not the story of thousands who are suffering that gets people to give (money, time, action, behavior change) – it’s the story of one.

    So it makes perfect sense that a story about one or two adorable puppies being treated as trash would be far more powerful than the tragic thought that thousands of dogs and cats are killed at the shelter. Even the best fundraising campaigns during the Haiti earthquake featured one person suffering.

    This story follows the lead of every great story. There are identifiable victims – one or two puppies. There is great conflict – they are being treated as trash, like so many other dogs in that shelter. There is a bad guy – the callous shelter workers and effed up system that allows this to occur. And there’s a solution – change the system.

    They are the poster pups…i mean literally, you could make a great billboard – one puppy popping his adorbs head out of a clearly marked “trash can” with the question…”Does he LOOK like trash?” and a simple blurb “YOU can save the puppies of Memphis Animal Control” and a link to a website with the story of the puppies and action items. Someone in Memphis do that please.

    But telling people that 77% of dogs and cats entering Memphis Animal Control leave dead – it does not resonate as much as that cute puppy on his way to the death chamber.

    They are in my thoughts too, of course. Just like the billions of other nonhumans who suffer. They gnaw at my heart and whisper sad stories in my head (not hallucinating, I swear). And at the end of the day, while I appreciate the greatness and horror of 10 billion, I know that my audience – at work, on my blog, in my life – only feel that same horror when I winnow it down to one powerful story of one individual animal.

    (this isn’t a criticism of you, Shirley, this is an expunging of my little Memphis Animal Control-related soul…it’s been hard reading all these entries and i’m just thankful the national media is taking note, even if Memphis officials seem not to be. You’ve been a real trooper through all of this and kudos for sticking it through…change has to occur, it just has to.)

    Reply
  13. EmilyS

     /  May 17, 2011

    I agree with Marji.. remember the widget Carol made about the Wilkes cty pit bull massacre that featured the tiny puppy that HSUS had declared dangerous?
    (unfortunately it’s not on her website any more)
    maybe something like that would be good…

    Reply
  14. FixCharlotte

     /  May 18, 2011

    Wait, wait….Just wait a damn minute! Is this the same city mayor and council that is asking for help because of the flooding Mississippi River? Why should we help them when they don’t care to help themselves? They want someone to do the dirty work for them and then take credit for it. “So What” indeed!

    Reply
  15. Kim

     /  May 18, 2011

    Just an FYI………we have a mention on http://www.dlisted.com for the trash can family!! It is getting out there people!! I just about passed out when I read it. I am thrilled. This is a small start but a start!!!

    Reply
  16. Morgana

     /  May 18, 2011

    Thank you Shirley for the remembrance of all the lost babes out there in MAS. Perhaps you could come up with a similar prayer for our candle-lighting on the 28th?

    As for the CNN story, whatever gets it out there, Ona and other spokepeople can widen the focus to this as Shirley has articulately brought it out.

    On another note, can we get to Jeni Diprizio somehow and let her know about the candle-lighting? As a side-story, to let people know that the country is mourning the loss of decency in Memphis.

    Reply
  17. JennyL

     /  May 18, 2011

    Local Memphis channel 3 now has a link to YesBiscuit! on their home page.

    http://www.wreg.com/

    They reported on the shelter during the 4:30 newscast and will have the mayor’s response at 6:00.

    Reply
  18. Morgana

     /  May 18, 2011

    Anyone have a link to Wharton’s response? I mean, er, who cares?

    Reply
  19. Jessica

     /  May 19, 2011

    Wow..talk about depressing. That picture at the end of the happy dog finally excited to be out of his cage really got to me…

    Reply

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