UPDATED: Dum Spiro Spero

It’s the end of the work week and the beginning of a holiday weekend for some. If you will be around tomorrow evening, we are planning to light candles in honor of and in tribute to the pets at MAS, as suggested by reader Morgana. You can participate by either lighting a candle at home or lighting a virtual candle. If you are in Memphis and are planning to participate publicly, please let us know and get a photo if you can. I’ll put up a post tomorrow night so people who want to can share thoughts or simply share that they are participating.

“While I breathe, I hope.”

Carry the dog nicely.
Gently place her down in the kennel.
Come back a little later to check on her and say hello.

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. ~ His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Update: Webcam watchers capped this dog being taken to the kill room yesterday:

I set this post up in advance to be an uplifting end of the week post – a beautiful dog at MAS being handled gently. I know we are all grateful to see occasional images such as these. They give me hope, thus the theme of this post. And yet even here, there is sadness.

My question: Why was this dog kept in a cage in the stray area for 2 days?

If the dog was brought in as a stray, she should have been held for 3 days, not 2.  If she was brought in by an owner requesting euthanasia, she should have been euthanized immediately, per MAS policy.  If she was a regular owner surrender, she should have been offered for adoption, rescue and foster.  If there were some special circumstances regarding the dog – for example, a judge had deemed her dangerous or she bit a person and the owner surrendered her – she should have been euthanized immediately after any required rabies quarantine period, per Memphis city law as I understand it .  I could sit here and make up possible scenarios all night but my point is – I can’t come up with any reasonable explanation for keeping this dog in a cage for 2 days and then killing her.  Can you?  If anyone has any information on this dog, please leave a comment.

I’m sorry my “uplifting” post turned out to be such a bummer.

42 thoughts on “UPDATED: Dum Spiro Spero

  1. Hey worthless MAS employees/ACO’s – PLEASE learn from John!! Don’t we just love this man?! Apparently he understands the meaning of compasion/humane !

  2. That dog clearly has a collar on – someone loves/loved her at one time. Is she in the stray area?
    Bless you, Jon, for caring about these precious animals and making a bad situation just a little less bad.
    Are there breed rescues in the area who could get more involved? This one looks like a golden.

  3. There is a very active Golden Retriever rescue in Memphis. I think they scour the shelter, because they frequently have shelter pets. I know that for the first 3 days, the dogs cannot be placed because they are not officially “city property” for 72 hours. I am going there tomorrow and will inquire about this dog in particular, because, yes, this dog looks to be in the stray area.

    1. Can they (or, more accurately, will they) kill her before the 72 hours is up? Please let us know what you find out about this beautiful dog.

      Thanks so much!

      1. That beautiful dog has been killed on the 26th. Please see Memphis Animal Services Volunteers facebook page for photo.

  4. We should send this guy a thank you card for doing his job the way it SHOULD be done. Love him.

  5. DAMN THEM! She deserved to live. They all do. Thanks for letting me know, though. I was really hoping for something good to happen . . .
    I’m not on facebook.

    1. This is the photo Arlene was looking at:


      I want to clarify that we do not know it’s the same dog. To me, that dog does look similar and obviously the kennel door is open as if the dog was just removed from the same kennel as the one in this post. But we don’t know for certain at this point. The dog in the photos above should have been held for 72 hours. If anyone can verify if the dog in this post is still alive, please let us know.

      1. So help me GOD, if they trangressed the 72 hour hold, I am going to be up their asses like a hornets’ nest from hell.

  6. The only reason I can think of for this behavior – over and over and over – is that they either enjoy the killing or they are too stupid to understand there’s a better way to handle these precious animals.

    Godspeed – run free and healthy once again at the Rainbow Bridge, pretty girl. You deserved so much better than to end up in the kill room in this hell hole. Please join my pack when I get to the Rainbow Bridge. I’d be honored to have you. You matter to me!

  7. Sorry, everyone, but this one has hit me hard! This is what I just sent to wharton/pepper/board. Guess I wasn’t very nice or respectful, but that hasn’t helped yet. Hope I haven’t created more problems for the animals.

    “Far as I’m concerned, you all are simply thumbing your noses at the “irresponsible public” with this continued unnecessary killing and mistreatment of animals in that hell hole of a “shelter” you run. You aren’t even following your own policies. I’m really angry that this dog never had a chance to be adopted or reclaimed. She certainly does not look sick nor does she look dangerous. You must enjoy the killing. There are better ways to do this, but you do nothing but make excuses or ignore those who would like to help. What will it take for you to make some changes? Don’t tell me a new building is going to do it. You will have the same personnel and the same policies and attitudes. those are the things that need to be changed. Some day you’re going to have to answer for what you are choosing to do now.”

    My question: Why was this dog kept in a cage in the stray area for 2 days?

    If the dog was brought in as a stray, she should have been held for 3 days, not 2. If she was brought in by an owner requesting euthanasia, she should have been euthanized immediately, per MAS policy. If she was a regular owner surrender, she should have been offered for adoption, rescue and foster. If there were some special circumstances regarding the dog – for example, a judge had deemed her dangerous or she bit a person and the owner surrendered her – she should have been euthanized immediately after any required rabies quarantine period, per Memphis city law as I understand it . I could sit here and make up possible scenarios all night but my point is – I can’t come up with any reasonable explanation for keeping this dog in a cage for 2 days and then killing her. Can you? If anyone has any information on this dog, please leave a comment.

  8. I never thought of them liking the killing but I now think it’s a brilliant revelation. It’s power. My husband said something brilliant too: “It’s a shame in this country we live in that we call so advanced we house murderers in jails with cable TV and kill mercilessly defenseless animals. Animals we have made dependent on us then we turn and kill them. God help us as a society”.

  9. Are you guys sure the dog was put to sleep or was it being moved to the adoption hall? There are two doors right there at that particular camera- one being where the animals are euthanized and the other is a doorway leading to the adoption hall where healthy hold and the adoption area of the shelter is.

    1. Just stop the bs about the ‘healthy hold’ area, would you?!!! As you note in a later post, the dog was killed – and we saw which way he was taken. That hall and door go to one place only – the kill room.

  10. Giving someone the death penalty for their terrible ‘crime’ of being born.

    Only the lower animals (humans) could come up with such a “bass ackwards” concept.

    Mark Twain was right:

    “When studying the traits of the so called “lower animals” and the traits of humans, I find the results humiliating to me. I think Darwin had it backwards…humans did not ascend from the lower animals….humans did, in fact descend from the higher animals”
    — Mark Twain

    This Memorial Day I wont just be remembering the brave men and women who have given their lives for their country, I will equally remember the equally as beautiful, precious, living, thinking, feeling, breathing, loving, soul-filled Children of God, who walk on four legs, who gave their lives, or to be truthful, actually had their lives TAKEN from them due to the human animal’s ignorance, arrogance, speciesism, indifference, cowardice, laziness…..etc, all of which are far more deadly than war itself.

    I not only hang the Stars and Stripes, I hang a flag for the murdered pets, who will never be forgotten, and who will, one day, see their murderers brought to justice.

  11. I found this out from another MAS volunteer’s facebook page-

    I turns out that this dog had a behavior problem -he did something awful and they did not think he was adoption material….this time, they made the right call. I verified this – I am on your side- but this is one of those isolated cases.

    1. If this information is accurate and the dog “did something awful” and was not a candidate for adoption, then MAS made the WRONG call by keeping him in a cage for 2 days. They have been killing dogs all week like there’s no tomorrow. They continually tell us they are “over full”. If this dog was doomed to die upon intake, why did they leave him in a cage for 2 days before killing him – a cage that could have been used for a pet who was not doomed to be killed upon intake. Did they just want this dog to experience their “spa treatment” of being hosed down with shit water for 2 days before they killed him?

      If this info is correct, I stand by my question – why keep the dog in a cage for 2 days?

      1. I too would like to know what “something awful” means? Some people think accidentally scratching a bumbling toddler is ‘awful’. C’mon, fess up or zip the lip, so to speak. WHAT WAS THE SOMETHING AWFUL???? Prove to me it was necessary to kill that poor soul. I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU. FB, huh? Could it be FMAS???? Making excuses again?

  12. I want to know what that something awful was, too. Time to give us the details . . . not that I don’t trust MAS, but I don’t trust MAS or what the “friends” tell us.

  13. I will tell you what I heard from a staff member, not from a volunteer or “friend.” I make no claims as to the veracity or authenticity of the story.

    The woman who had the dog took him/her in from the street where s/he was dumped, and fed and cared for the dog in her yard for (I think) a month or so. The dog got out of her yard, into a neighbor’s yard, and killed their small dog. The neighbors called the police. The woman’s homeowner’s insurance was going way up and she had a couple of thousand dollars in (I think) court costs, or a lawsuit. Here’s where it gets murky, because I have heard this from a staff member who was not the one at intake, but…she brought the dog to the shelter and asked them not to euthanize immediately, despite judge’s orders, because she loved the dog. She came back 2 days later and gave the go-ahead for euthanasia.
    Again-I have heard the details second-hand. I have also emailed Mr. Pepper for clarification.

    1. Once again, IF this story is accurate, we are left with nagging questions. The main one being: So when it chooses, MAS can defy judge’s orders?

      I’m not sure that this version of events adds up to me.

      1. I think it’s all murky but most things are at the MAS I’ve noticed. They are their own country and do whatever they want. The workers are heartless, all except that young boy I think his name is John. Whenever I look at the pictures from your blog…when I see them in my inbox of my email…my stomach knots because I know it’s something that is going to give me nightmares. I feel though that I let the dogs down if I don’t look. So I look and say a prayer for the babies that were killed. I think my consolation is that I believe the people working there will be judged by their actions when they die, hopefully by the dogs they killed. So behind the kill room door is a vet that kills them? I am almost afraid to ask how…I know I am babbling and I’m sorry this subject though is just so upsetting to me. Damn those people who work there! Damn them for doing this and not protesting or helping the animals!

  14. Not sure there were any judge’s orders yet. Maybe have not been to court. BUT any dog that has killed another dog has a dangerous/vicious dog hearing. If the dog is ruled dangerous/vicious then the only person the dog can be released to with certain mandates followed is the owner. If one euth the dog before the hearing the judge probably will be easier. Just a thought. Since the dog just came into the shelter the court date has probably not been yet. Maybe everyone here needs to try to get the facts before they jump to conclusions.

  15. The dog attacked and killed a smaller dog.
    The dog was impounded.
    There has been no dangerous ruling.
    No case in court yet.
    the owner signed over the dog.
    I am working on when this happened. At the scene or later after the dog was impounded.

    1. Killing a smaller dog IS awful, but that should not be a death sentence. There are ways to confine a dog like that, many breeds and breed mixes have a high prey drive…this should not have required killing as an outcome. Poor baby.

      1. This beautiful dog is not vicious that I can see. After all, she is standing right next to a much much smaller dog with no sign of being vicious. I also agree with Morgana. She should not have been sentenced to death. The worst should have been a home with no other small pets.

      2. We have to bear in mind that Memphis laws regarding vicious dogs are rather draconian. The one I read recently (when they killed the beautiful white dog from Rabies Observation) stated that the dog’s only chance for survival after a bite is if the owner redeems the dog. Otherwise, the city ordinance says the dog is to be killed. Like many other localities which have enacted stupid laws on the rebound from high profile dog attacks, Memphis’ books are full of dog laws which do nothing to address the true problems.

      3. That’s more than a damned shame, since inoccent souls are lost forever. Hey, I have had to put dogs down for killing other dogs, so I DO understand that. But that was in our particular situation, and not without alot of soul searching, sobbing, and sedatives washed down with wine. SO. Will things ever get any better? Well, MEMPHIS WILL OR I’LL BE DEAD FIRST!

  16. i was trying to think of situations where an animal might be received for euthanasia but not euthanized immediately.
    Not that this has anything to do with this individual dog, but i’ve previously experienced where someone surrenders a pet for euthanasia, but then we find out that the pet may have another owner (such as a microchip that doesn’t match the surrenderer’s info, or a rescue that the pet was originally adopted from that may want to reclaim).
    Neither situation happen often, but they have caused an animal that was here for euthanasia have to wait a day or so while we verify it’s ok to proceed. Obviously it’s not ideal, but better to err on the side of caution

  17. None of us know, but the fact here is that this dog is dead. She was killed, not euthanized, so let’s call it what it is. I’m not convinced she was a dangerous dog – we just don’t know what happened.
    I rescued a pit puppy who was extremely dog aggressive and attacked (or attempted to) each and every dog she encountered. At only 6 months old, she had been used to train fighting dogs (and was probably bred to be aggressive). After trying very hard to find a way to get her into a good home, we realized that she was not adoptable and I made the decision to let her go. She never would have calmly walked past another dog, never. I loved her and it broke my heart to put her down, so I know a little bit about this. BUT the dog in the webshot does not look like my girl around other animals.

  18. Funny how the ACO John could easily and gently carry the dog, cradled like a baby, and then in steps FRANK “scruffing” LIGHTFOOT who feels the dog MUST be dragged by a catch pole.

  19. My imagination is doing all sorts of things back to Frank…:) Karma is a bitch, Frank

  20. I wanted to give everyone an update on this case. Community Action for Animals (caamemphis.com) has a court watch for animal cruelty cases. We attend Memphis & Shelby County court weekly.
    Today, this case was heard. The owner of the golden mix was in court. She admitted her dog, a habitual running at large, attacked and killed the smaller dog. She admitted her boyfriend took the dog after the mauling and dropped it off in another neighborhood. The dog returned home and the owner then brought it to MAS for surrender. The photos of the dog that was mauled and killed were horrible. Very graphic, very.

    The prosecutor turned the photos so the owner of the dog could see what her irresponsible behavior caused. She turned her head and refused to look. THe prosecutor demanded she look to see what allowing her dog to run at large had brought about. Another’s family pet dead, and her pet dead, killed at MAS. THe woman still looked away. The judge stepped in and ordered her to look. He also ordered that a large screen tv be brought to the court room and from now on photos of these cases will be shown so that every person who allows this to happen will have to look. She was found guilty of all charges and an order placed for her to not have pets.

    The judge and the prosecutor stated that her actions caused the death of two dogs. The least she could do was look at the photos of the destruction.

    Today we saw 37 cases, from running at large to cruelty.

  21. The owner signed the dog over to MAS. By city law and MAS policy it could have been killed immediately.

    Perhaps they were trying to be compassionate and allow the owner time to change her mind? No, that’s not it.

    Perhaps they thought the dog could have been better with a different owner? No, that’s not it.

    Perhaps they are lazy and didn’t care if they left the dog in a strange place for two days with no human contact until they got around to killing it? Yep, maybe this is the answer.

    Honestly, I wish I knew. My guess is that they just don’t care.

  22. We have a great Judge here, Larry Potter and a great prosecutor, Neville.

    They both “get” it. If only the remainder of the City would.

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