Note: The following is a combination of information gleaned from MAS records on Dog #A227027 and my personal assumptions based on the daily routines at MAS which are visible to the public on the webcams. The records were obtained by a TN resident who submitted the following request to the appropriate Memphis officials:
Under the Freedom of Information Act, I am requesting any and all records regarding the dog in the attached photo dated 6/2/11 at 9:58:32am. This request includes intake card(s), vet record(s), computer history, id #, euthanasia records, etc. Thank you for your attention to this request.
Monday, May 30, 2011: An Animal Control Officer from MAS responds to a call from the Memphis Police Department, impounding an emaciated female dog listed as a Pitbull, ID #A227027. The dog is placed in a cage in the stray area at MAS and presumably provided with food and water. No veterinary care is provided and no veterinary notes are entered into the record. No rescues are contacted. No pleas of any kind are issued to get help for this dog.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011: The emaciated dog is left in the cage while a worker hoses out the dog’s waste. She is presumably provided with food and water. No veterinary care is provided and no veterinary notes are entered into the record. No rescues are contacted. No pleas of any kind are issued to get help for this dog.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011: The emaciated dog is left in the cage while a worker hoses out the dog’s waste. She is presumably provided with food and water. Two notes are entered into the dog’s record: A technician notes that she is emaciated and “Referred to Mr. Pepper for disposition”. The shelter vet notes that the dog is suffering and she recommends “euthanasia as condition exceeds our available resources to treat at MAS”. No veterinary care is provided. No rescues are contacted. No pleas of any kind are issued to get help for this dog.
Thursday, June 2, 2011: The dog’s weight is noted as 40 pounds and she is killed by MAS. The shelter vet signs the final disposition record and dates it. The date appears to read “6/2/11” with an apparent attempt to alter the 2 into a 1.
No veterinary care was ever provided for this dog. No one was ever contacted to try and get her some help. She was left in a cage for more than 3 days in an emaciated state while workers hosed out her waste as she lay shivering. Then she was killed by the very institution the public pays to prevent Memphis’ pets from cruelty.
When I saw this dog on the webcam on June 2, I sent a screengrab of her to Matt Pepper with an offer to help. He responded that she had been “euthanised to prevent suffering”. After reviewing the dog’s records, it seems to me a more accurate description would have been “to prevent further suffering” since MAS had already allowed her to suffer for more than 3 days. And she suffered in an area of the pound off limits to the adopting public, out of sight from those who might have taken up her cause and offered to provide care for her. She had no one advocating for her right to live within the pound. And no one outside knew she was there – until it was too late.
More importantly, this dog may well have been saved, possibly with minimal veterinary care and a dedicated caregiver providing small, nutritious meals at regular frequencies. She was apparently able to walk on her own at the time she was killed, which is far more than many emaciated dogs who have been saved by rescuers are capable of doing. She should have at least been given the chance to live, even if MAS was unwilling to care for her.
Goodbye lil punkin. It breaks my heart to see you turn your face away from the direction you are being led at the very end, as if looking for someone to help you. There are people who would have helped you, if only MAS had cared enough to let anyone know you were in need. I’m sorry humanity failed you so cruelly. You will not be forgotten. You are loved.