Is there any hope for these three dogs?

These three skinny dogs were placed into the first three kennels on the right in the Rabies Observation area at MAS yesterday.  If they are being held for bites, my understanding of local law is that their only hope of getting out alive is owner redemption.  Memphis has some very stupid pet laws on the books.  Maybe the city attorney could take a gander at them sometime and see about bringing them in line with a modern, compassionate society.

Dora the Explora

An advocate in Memphis, Jan Courtney,  saw this dog in the stray area on an MAS webcam and inquired about helping the dog.  On June 24, Jan went to the shelter to meet the dog, whom she is calling Dora, and took this photo.  Dora was moved from the stray area to an observation area which is not visible on the webcams.  This is the information we have:

ID #228068

Cage # OBV 31

Impounded as a stray on 6-17-11

Female, spayed, about 1 year old

Vaccinated for distemper/parvo and kennel cough

Heartworm negative

MAS requires a background check and home check on anyone wanting to adopt the dog as they state she is a Pitbull mix.

Jan describes Dora as a loving dog with a sweet disposition.  She observed a “slightly hairless spot on her right side” which MAS attributes to possible flea allergies but Jan reports that, save for that spot, Dora has a beautiful coat and appeared healthy.

In checking back with MAS about Dora and whether she would be moved to the adoption hallway, Jan was advised that, due to the suspected allergy, Dora “is not a good adoption candidate for the general public and really needs to go to a rescue group or person.  So, the dog is still waiting on someone to get her.  I have no idea how long I can hold her as we are getting full again so the sooner the better.”

If you are interested in contacting MAS about Dora, here is the contact info:

Memphis Animal Services
3456 Tchulahoma Road
Memphis, TN 38118
Phone: (901) 362-5310


Since MAS does not list its pets online (except for a lucky few), we have no way of finding out information about a pet in need except to ask MAS.  When we ask, they say “File a FOIA request”.  When we file a FOIA request, they say “We need the ID number in order to pull the record”.  [Return to beginning of paragraph and read repeatedly until dizziness occurs.]

When I saw this cat being hanged by a worker at MAS, I wanted to help the cat.  Even if the cat was feral, I hoped we could at least neuter and earnotch the cat then release him, with permission of a colony caretaker, on the caretaker’s property.  It turns out the cat was killed by MAS.  I couldn’t help but wonder about the records for this cat and what information they might contain.  When Kim, a TN resident, filed a request for the records with the webcam shot of the cat, she was told basically, we need the ID # (which she has no way of getting without MAS providing it) but we know exactly who this cat is and have a statement already prepared about him.  If they know exactly who the cat is, why are they attempting to deny the records request for lack of an ID number?  [Return to beginning of post and read repeatedly until dizziness occurs.]

Here is the response from the city regarding the records request:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: <>
Date: Jun 28, 2011 2:37 PM

To: Kim
Cc: <>, <>, <>, <>

Without additional identification of the particular animal, for instances its ID number or information on where the cat was when the shelter took possession of it, there is no way for the shelter to provide the requested documentation.

If your concern is relating to the use of the cat tongs, below is Mr. Pepper’s response:

Cats tongs are meant for that very purpose.  He is not suspending the cat; the Animal Care Tech featured in the photo indicated that the cat got loose and into the sink in the dog area (hence; the dogs in the picture).  The cat was very unsocial and not easy to handle. The techs were transporting it for euthanasia – it has been euthanized.  Billy indicated the cat began jumping around (common behavior for cornered feral or unsocialized cats) after he grabbed it.  Dr. Coleman and I have both reviewed this photograph and agree that seems to be an accurate description.  The reality of working in a high volume shelter with animals, such as this, is very different than the appearance as we all know.

Here are the tongs used and as you can see by the description there intended use is around the neck.  Billy indicated he did so and it began jumping (again, not an uncommon response).

Gently restrain feral and fractious cats with ACES Cat Tongs. Anatomical design prevents “too-tight” closure around cat’s neck. Best designed product on the market. Includes replaceable rubber jaw covers permitting wider opening variation and even gentler handling. Two lengths: 28″ and 38″. 

Matthew Pepper

Administrator of Animal Services
City of Memphis
3465 Tchulahoma Rd.
Memphis, TN  38118

Phone:  901-362-5310

Fax:  901-362-6876

Jill M. Madajczyk
Sr. Asst. City Attorney
(901) 576-6540 (direct dial)

When I look at the webcam shot of this cat, I see a cat clearly suspended in mid-air by the tongs around his neck.  Apparently, Matt Pepper and associates do not see this and seem to indicate this use of the tongs is 100% approved by shelter management.  What do you see?  Please weigh in whether you are a layman like me or a pet professional (or volunteer) who has, or has not, used tongs on cats.  Also, how might Memphis taxpayers be able to view MAS records, which they are entitled to do by law, while the city has Operation Bob & Weave in full force?

Sweet Jane

I saw this dog being brought in today on the MAS webcams. I assume she is a stray, I haven’t seen her listed online and she is being housed in the area off-limits to adopters. She looks like a plain brown wrapper Pibble – just the kind I like. I’m calling her Jane. If no owner comes to redeem Jane in the next 3 days, she will need someone to care for her. Please share her so people know she is there. If you would like to foster or are interested in adopting Jane, please contact Meows and BowWows or just leave a comment on this post.  I’m sorry we don’t know much about her – in fact, I chose the female pronoun because that’s what she looks like to me but I have no verification on gender – but at least we know that she is a little scared and could use a friend.

Incoming Pibble looks a little nervous, gets some reassuring pats.

You're all right little dog.

Come on this way.

I'll get in the kennel first, then you come in when you are ready.

Don't worry, I won't pull you.

Take your time.

Everything works out fine.

MAS: Chokepole Haven

More caps from the most recent day I offered to help a dog in need at MAS.  They were apparently too busy to reply:

Incoming pancake.

Dog appears to be very afraid.

Dragged all the way to the kennel.

ACO gets another poor dog to drag around.

Abuse continues.

and continues.

Almost over.

Finally gets to kennel. This part of the suffering is now ended.

Memphis Bits and Bobs

Take heart Memphis taxpayers – you’re not the only ones getting the shaft.

The new MAS building will have the capacity to house dozens of additional dogs and yet Matt Pepper says, “We’re going to be overcrowded the moment we walk in.”

Editorial:  Blame the irresponsible public blah.

A sign regarding protected wetlands inside the fence at the new MAS building. I'm happy for the wetlands - can we do pets next?

MAS Policy: Scruffing should be used ONLY when necessary

MAS’ policies on humane treatment of pets and scruffing can be found here.  How do you think they’re doing?

I’m drunk, I’m naked and I’m doing dog surgery!

Stewart Gibbs.

Chicago, IL – Stewart Gibbs, a 44 year old owner of a Doberman Pinscher, was attempting a DIY cyst removal operation on his pet in his apartment this month when the landlord showed up regarding an unrelated matter:

When the landlord knocked on Gibbs’s apartment door and heard no response, he let himself in, where a naked Gibbs ran towards him, covered in blood.

The landlord called the cops, obviously:

When he opened the door to officers on Sunday evening, his hands were covered in blood and he ‘appeared highly intoxicated,’ according to police.

Officers said there was also blood on the walls and floor of the condo and the Doberman had a ‘large open wound on its right ear,’ according to the Chicago Tribune.

Mr. Gibbs asplained to the officers that he was a cardiologist, which thankfully, is a lie.  He is a head pencil pusher at a medical group.  Or was:

A man accused of operating on his pet Doberman while drunk has lost his job as a top administrator for a large network of doctors in DuPage County.

Last week, Mr. Gibbs’ former employer, Dupage Medical Group, sacked him and released a statement:

[…] “Mr. Gibbs is not a licensed physician and was not employed by DuPage Medical Group in a medical capacity.” The group declined further comment.

The dog, called Foley, was treated at an emergency clinic and is now in the custody of Chicago AC & C. Mr. Gibbs has been charged with one felony count of aggravated cruelty.

The Ground Beyond is Sour

The new MAS shelter. Note the shrubs.

Third Time’s a Charm

I hope.

Since I haven’t yet received any info on my offer to help any dog in need at MAS, nor have readers received any info on this dog, or this one, I’m posting yet another dog who was apparently surrendered to MAS on June 22 (the day I made my most recent offer to help).  He looks like a normal, healthy, adoptable puppy.  If someone will please contact the shelter to request his ID # and information, I will try to help him.  And the offer stands for the previous two as well, should we receive the requested info on them.

This pup appears to be investigating things while the surrendering party completes the paperwork.

Think I'll sit down while I worry about that big yellow sign.

Hey - unbelievably adorable puppy available tor paying attention to down here!

This leash thing is annoying.

wag, wag

What's going on over here?

Pick me up.

Now I can check out the counter!

Pup being carried.