Update on Jane

This dog does not belong in a dumpster.

Ona sent this report and a bunch of additional photos:

I started taking pictures and then she took my water bottle.  She came back and took my keys.  Then she heard Jon and her tail started wagging. He came in and sat down and she absolutely smothered him with kisses.  Jon told her to get the keys and she picked them up and dropped them in his hand.  Next we had a bath in the driveway and then Jon and Jane went for a small walk.  She said hello to a neighborhood cat. I put her back in the sideyard and gave her compressed rawhide bone.  I left her and watched her through the garage window.  She buried the bone!  It took her a long time but she did a remarkable job.
She is SUPER sweet.  She already looks different.

Thank you Ona for all the photos and for keeping us updated.

Looking at the photos, it appears clear to me that Jane is a good dog.  Despite whatever wrongs may have been done to her by humans in the past, she has lots of love to give to humans in the present.  We have heard repeatedly from Matt Pepper and Memphis killing defenders that most of the dogs in the stray area at MAS are Pitbulls and that they would not make good pets.  This is the justification used to keep them behind closed doors, not allowing adopters to see them and not posting them online.  They get held for 3 days and then mostly, they get killed.

I saw Jane being brought in on a webcam.  I saw her being shown a few minutes of kindness by a caring ACO.  I wanted to help her.  I didn’t know anything about her beyond what was visible in the webcam shots but I wanted to help her.  I’m just a damn Yankee sitting at my keyboard in SC and Jane is just a plain old Pitbull.  Thanks to caring people in Memphis and lots of other compassionate individuals who sit at their keyboards and want to help pets in need, we were able to give Jane a chance.

I ask you Matt Pepper, Mayor Wharton and all those who defend the policies which deny the public access to the vast majority of MAS dogs and defend the practice of killing more than 7 out of 10 pets who come through the doors:  Is this a fluke?  Does MAS normally house only BAD strays and we just got super lucky when we happened to see Jane?  And are all those who helped her deviants?  Are you really sure that if you posted all your pets online upon intake and opened up your stray area that some other caring person might not find another good dog in there?  Because if there is that chance – that there are more caring people in this world and more good dogs in your stray area – how can you deny them that opportunity?  Every dog deserves a chance.

If you would like to foster or adopt Jane, please contact Meows and BowWows or leave a comment here.

44 thoughts on “Update on Jane

  1. No dog or cat belongs in a dumpster or in the city landfill but I do not believe blogging will turn this shelter into a no kill one. They do not fear a blogger just like the major animal welfare groups do not fear Nathan Winograd. You might ruffle some feathers and irritate them but they will continue to have the power to keep killing thousands of animals each year until something more is done.

    1. I agree Jessica. Blogging has never turned any community into a no kill community. But the No Kill Equation has. And I hope Memphis will implement the elements of the No Kill Equation so that they can join the other successful no kill communities in this country.

    2. Jessica, if you don’t think public discourse (“blogging’) will change things, what is your suggestion? Personally, I think public humiliation is the best way to change the thinking of these shelter managers. They thrive on status and power, and negative public discourse erodes away at that, bit by bit.

    3. What a pessimistic, useless attitude. The public exposure of wrong has, throughout history, changed behavior, and it will continue to do so through collective offline and online methods.

      Last time I checked, when a city sends you a cease and desist letter – they give a flying rat’s buttocks about what you are doing.

      When news agencies highlight the work of a blogger – they care about what you are doing…and oh boy, the entity being targeted cares too!

      When folks show up at city council meetings b/c they heard about the shelter from local media and ohmygosh! this blog, then Memphis cares about what you are doing.

      All the things that require change require putting caring into action. And it starts with a few simple words. And persistence. And tenacity. And you know what? Shirley is doing that with her words and connecting people and not giving up. That is what no-kill is about, and if you cannot see how important and powerful that is, then sadness boat for you.

  2. weepy with happiness!
    someone taught Jane those “tricks”… she can become someone’s service dog…

    1. That was my comment as well – she could be a service dog for someone. I once placed a Golden with basic obedience training with a disabled woman who was unable to travel to get an officially trained service dog. She explained the dog was provided free but the owner was responsible for air fare, hotel, expenses and such and that was not something she could do. Her idea was to find an adult dog that already knew the basics and teach him to perform specific tasks at home (such as opening doors). And she just wanted a companion too. So there are people out there who want “unofficial” service dogs they can train themselves.

  3. Clearly Jane is a very dangerous pitbull who will eat the next person she sees. Matthew Pepper, take note – plain brown pitbull who has clearly been neglected is actually going to make someone an awesome pet. MAS could be doing this EVERY DAY. It doesn’t have to be special. You, Matthew Pepper, could be the force for good here. You can still change how MAS functions.

    Such a smart and clever girl! And you can see the change in her eyes – she knows she’s gotten a second chance and she’s grateful for it!

    Huge thanks to Meows and BowWows for this happy next step in Jane’s life.

  4. I love this dog–she’s absolutely wonderful. I believe MOST of the dogs in the stray area are just as wonderful in their own individual ways. The first one who got out–the scruffy white terrier who got adopted–was just as great although entirely different from Jane.
    As a plain brown pit mix, she’s the type most likely to die in a shelter along with the other pits and pit mixes and all the black dogs. All they need is a chance. It’s nice if she can be of service to someone, but far as I’m concerned, that doesn’t really matter so much because she’s intrinsically valuable and deserves to be loved just for herself, just the way she is. Someone will be very lucky to adopt her.

  5. A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
    Margaret Mead

  6. Jane (and YesBiscuit and Meows & BowWows) is at the very least a great example of the saying “Saving one dog may not change the world, but it changes the world for that one dog.” Hearing about Jane may not help MAS decide to make needed changes, but her story may help garner the energy and votes necessary to make changes happen in Memphis and MAS. Meanwhile, Jane will be safe, working towards getting a real home… with lots of keys…

  7. Go Jane! Like the spark of mischief, but that she also retrieved the items on command! Someone put some effort into her at some point, and if she didn’t react badly to the neighbor’s cat then thats a good sign too. Makes me wish we had room for another dog, the puppy’d LOVE a playmate!

  8. Implementing the no kill equation would work but who is going to make them do it? Not the bloggers. Nathan said many times shelters must be forced to change. You can’t do that hiding behind your keyboard hoping someone else will do it.

    1. Jessica, what would you suggest? Many of us are not locals and, as such, cannot be there to attend meetings, picket, etc. We are doing what we can – and we will not stop. I’d love to hear your ideas, though. We all want the same thing -for the abuse and mistreatment and killing to stop!

      I’m in love with this pup. Maybe it’s time to borrow the motor home and take a trip . . . wish that was in the realm of possibility!

      1. Nathan is insane. How does he imagine “force” could be applied in this situation, and what would constitute “force”? Who is going to “force out” Pepper, or the Mayor, or even any of those moronic unfeeling ACOs we see on the cams? Not Winograd. Not the legion of “no kill advocates” in Memphis. Oh wait, there ARENT a legion of no kill advocates there…

        Winograd is kind of hiding behind his keyboard himself, IRT this situation, isn’t he? It’s not like he’s rushing down to Memphis to rouse the troops.

        Though a Winograd tirade would be the LEAST useful thing to effect change there.

        Ranting about “no kill” is going to get no one anywhere in Memphis. Insisting that if MAS doesn’t immediately institute the “no kill agenda”, they are total fail, is a sure way to accomplish nothing.

        There are many many many steps they could take that would improve life enormously for the animals they take it. Let’s get them to THAT place first.

  9. jessica — a capa type law, either statewide or federally, would force change on city and county shelters and the first step in making a law is organizing grass roots support by methods such as blogging; the yesbiscuit blogger has been threatened with legal action for what she put in her blog – how is that hiding? as for your opinion of the other commenters, dont assume they havent taken any other action, you may be surprised at how many are hands on activists and volunteers and rescuers; as for winograd please remember he was director of the tompkins county shelter and turned it into the current example of no-kill success; the yesbiscuit blog has already helped save jane the dog and charlotte the cat just to name two — thats not nothing

  10. emilys – how are we going to get them to THAT place? if you look in the archives of this blog you will see many examples of attempts to work with the current mas administration that have been futile — there are a couple of local groups that are successfully rescuing pets from mas, we can help them by volunteering and donating; we can continue to embarrass the mas administration by publishing facts about their failings in order to rouse the community to action; but working with the entrenched powers-that-be has been demonstrated to be a waste of time (im NOT criticising the mas volunteers or employees, its the policy makers and administrators who are unwilling to make any improvements)

  11. I am a No-Kill advocate and I will continue to push the No-Kill Equation in Memphis.

    1. I am behind you 100%, Ona!!! I love the pics of Sweet Jane licking your husband’s face – how many more Sweet Jane’s are waiting at MAS?! I would bet MOST of them! Thank you Meows and Bow Wows!!! Thank you, Ona and Shirley!

  12. Is it true the shelters in Collierville and Germantown TN are no-kill? I was reading on a page that the shelters in the suburbs of Memphis were already no-kill. I have read good things about the Collierville Shelter in the past, but don’t know what it’s like now. Would love some feedback about the other shelters in the area and what they are doing. What are the number comaprisons between these shelters and the mas?

    1. Collierville and Germantown are also kill shelters. They both kill for space but not at the rate Memphis does.

      I dont think Germantown holds more than 15 dogs. I once did an event with Germantown and they only brought 8 dogs because that was all they had. An animal that ends up in the Germantown shelter has a good chance of being adopted.

      Collierville does a good job and their save rate is probably near what MAS’s kill rate is. They also have a good TNR program, a good volunteer program, and a foster care program.

      1. So the mas does not have any programs. They just catch and kill mostly unless someone comes in wanting to adopt an animal they have approved for adoption. Trying to get the picture here. No wonder their kill rate is so high if they do NOTHING to help the animals. Might need a road trip.

      2. They have half hearted attempts at some things but no true comprehensive programs.

      3. Why would a shelter that big not have a volunteer program at least. That costs them nothing and they might get some extra help. With huge cuts in $ everywhere I can see not having programs that might be cost prohibitive, but programs that provide free help makes no sense. I know some of the shelters have cut foster programs unless the fosters absorb the cost due to budget, but volunteers cost nothing and provide extra help. No wonder the mas has problems if they don’t look for extra help anywhere. Has anyone thought of starting a group to help the shelter? That might be a start. Maybe it could provide volunteers if the shelter can’t do it. Just thinking here for ways to help this place! God knows they seem to need it. I seriously think I will make a trip there to see. Should be interesting, but just hope I don’t bring a car load of cats back.

      4. The Germantown shelter is much smaller than MAS and more effectively run. You have to understand, Germantown’s mayor generally listens to her citizens and there’s much less BS to get through in order to get things done. They actively post all available pets on petfinder and work with rescues. There are fees for owner surrenders and they only accept pets from residents. The shelter is definitely in need of repairs but overall, much much better. I believe the main issue w MAS in leadership from the Mayor down and a misinformed public. MAS does have a volunteer program.

  13. Nathan has proven over and over again his no kill equation can work anywhere. He cannot be everywhere which is why people should go onto his website http://www.nokilladvocacycenter.com and find out how they can put pressure on their shelter until change is achieved. Emily, your comments show you have not read the website or you have some unexplainable dislike of Nathan who has saved thousands of animals from a fatal injection or the gas chamber with his no kill equation. I really don’t understand people who bad mouth someone who has done more good than probably anyone in recent history for shelter animals.

    1. I’ve read him, and heard him. I think REDEMPTION is brilliant.

      I think heand his followers have turned into extremists demanding allegiance and accepting no questions. His insistence that cats have more rights than other animals and that native wildlife are of no concern disgusts me, and his latest screed on saving unborn puppies was completely over the cliff.

      As many people resist him as listen to him. In fact, people would implement many of the sensible easy components of the “agenda” if it were not for him and his abrasive hectoring.

      The whole phony phrase “no kill” just sets my teeth on edge.. but that’s something no one is allowed to question either.

  14. I am a supporter of Nathan Winograd and I didn’t make that clear enough in the beginning. As far as blogging though, it can help start a movement but people then have to act on what they believe in and I see that as a pretty rare thing. I feel blogging can give people a false sense that they are making real change when most likely they are just preaching to people who already believe in the same thing. If you don’t act on these things then what is the point. I know there are some people who are going to city council meetings and protesting bad shelters. Nathan travels around the country or maybe even the world giving seminars and he tries to get shelters to change and has gotten some to do it. I hope much more of this will be happening and average citizens and rescue people will start to come forward too and demand an end to the killing because as I see it these shelter directors are not going to worry much about what is said on a website. They hope you just stay behind your keyboards and keep blogging about what they do and never act on it.

    1. Then what are you doing? What is your contribution? Are you hiding behind your keyboard or out making a difference? Have you forced change? Lead by example because the only example given so far is how to preach from behind a keyboard. Leaving comments on a blog also doesn’t change a shelter into a no-kill one.

    2. Jessica, if you are not aware of people taking action because of what they read here, then you have not been reading this blog.

    3. And what is productive about telling someone whose “blog” just saved one dog’s life at this shelter, that they are not making a difference? You have taken time out of your rescuing schedule to tell Shirley what she does on this blog hasn’t and won’t make a difference? Ever heard of exposure? May I ask what you have achieved in posting on this blog?

  15. Off topic I know….anyone know where you can get the colored ID bands that gorgeous Jane is wearing?

  16. I am behind here but wanted to say this about the no kill thing. I adopted one of my dogs from a shelter/dog pound in a very small town in Arkansas (Osceola). They almost NEVER euthanize. The ladies that run the shelter in this tiny town are huge advocates for the animals, they post them on petfinder and actively recruit fosters and rescues to save the animals. My dog was actually taken from his prior owners due to neglect and they were thrilled to have us drive up from Memphis to adopt him – this dog, btw, a cocker spaniel, is my older daughters best friend and guardian, they are so bonded and if anyone tried to harm her while he was around they’d be in big trouble, LOL. Anyway my point is that even in a tiny town with no budget, they are doing a great job of being maybe not no kill but nearly so. I am still in contact with the lady that runs the shelter nearly 2 years later becuase they are so nice and caring, and she loves it when I send her updated pics of the dog and my daughter. I cannot imagine anyone at MAS actually caring (well besides some of the volunteers) what happens to these animals once they are out of sight, ya know? Thats the difference – the people at the Osceola shelter CARE. They GIVE A CRAP. Amazing what a difference that makes, eh?

  17. I have been in rescue for over 20 years and have been participated in getting rid of a bad shelter director, I have been to demonstrations, atteneded seminars to see what else can be done to get more shelters to change. That is activism and that is how things get done. I have been around long enough and talked to enough people to know most of them do not do these things. They go along with the status quo especially people in rescue. They won’t put pressure on their shelter to change even if they are killing over half of the animals they take in. I can tell you right now no shelter director will care much about what is written on a blog and they will continue to kill those animals until something more is done.

    1. Jessica,

      I think everyone is straight on your opinion of the futility of this blog. If you have new information to add, please feel welcome to do so. Otherwise, it is unnecessary to reiterate your opinion.

  18. Emily says, “The whole phony phrase “no kill” just sets my teeth on edge.. but that’s something no one is allowed to question either.”

    HOW can you have a problem with the phrase no kill? I truly cannot understand that. You are not sitting in a cage in some shelter right now awaiting your death so is that why you don’t take it seriously? Nathan has backed up his words with action that has not only saved thousands of lives but is paving the way for many shelters to follow in the same path. Is it because he is against aborting puppies and kittens? Most people don’t realize that late term puppies and kittens can be born alive and are euthanized dudring their first breaths of life. Then they are put in a trash bag.

    Nathan is well aware as cat advocates are aware that cats and kittens on the street become prey to wildlife. I get very tired of cats being seen as the big predators when actually they are part of the food chain also just like every living creature out there. But if birds are protected then cats should be too.

    Well I won’t spend any more time blogging so please go on and keeping typing about how awful the shelter is and how terribly they treat the animals. They will be very happy that you won’t be leaving your computers any time soon to stop what they are doing.

    1. Toronto Humane Society had a really strict euthanasia policy and animals were left dying in their cage because the director didn’t want to euthanize them. They were over crowded and animals were suffering. That’s possibly why some people are resistant to no-kill because at times euthanasia is the least cruel option. Everything has a time and a place. There is the fear that taking a hard stance against euthanasia can make it difficult to see when it’s necessary. THS was in my opinion pretty much the polar opposite to MAS and it too was scary.


  19. I guess theres another Jessica around here so Ill post my last initial from now on. Anyway, so glad to see this beautiful girl in her new home! I teared up reading the paragraph about what shes been up to since shes been home. Thats how a dogs life should be, not sent to doggie concentration camps.

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