Let’s Kill 10,000 Pets in Memphis This Year – Yay Team!

FB posting.

If preaching spay-neuter was the proven way to end the needless killing of pets in America’s pounds, I’d say the “Friends” are on to something here. But since we know the programs of the No Kill Equation (one of which is access to no/low cost spay-neuter) are the only methods proven to end the killing, I call foul.

By implementing the No Kill Equation, Memphis could become a no kill community within months, just like Austin, TX.  This is why I support implementing the programs of the No Kill Equation in Memphis – because I want the killing of healthy/treatable pets to end this year.

But let’s look at the proposed goal as stated above as if it could work.  I don’t think it would, but for the sake of argument, let’s do the math.  (Math wonks note:  I rounded by numbers.)  MAS took in about 15,400 pets and killed about 12,000 of them in 2010.  That’s a kill rate of 77%.  If we reduce the number of pets killed each year by 10%, assuming for a moment that intake rates remain steady (which I don’t believe will hold true due to the MSN in Memphis which typically results in increased intakes), here are the numbers:

2011:  Take in 15,400 pets, kill 10,300 of them – 67% kill rate

2012:  Take in 15,400 pets, kill 8800 of them – 57% kill rate

2013:  Take in 15,400 pets, kill 7200 of them – 47% kill rate

2014:  Take in 15,400 pets, kill 5700 of them – 37% kill rate

2015:  Take in 15,400 pets, kill 4200 of them – 27% kill rate

2016:  Take in 15,400 pets, kill 2600 of them – 17% kill rate

2017:  Take in 15,400 pets, kill 1100 of them – 7% kill rate

If we add up the total number of pets killed in the proposed goal from 2011 through 2016 (2017 is when MAS would hit no kill numbers), it comes to nearly 39,000 pets.  Are you on board with this goal?  Do you want Memphis to strive to kill 39,000 more pets before they reach no kill?  I’ll be voting NO on that one.

Further, the “Friends” state that they know they can’t “adopt our way out” of killing.  Again I say, if the “Friends” can’t/won’t do it, let’s get some people in there who can and will.  Here are 10 steps to adopting your way out of killing.  Note that Step 1 is “Get the Right People on Board”.

Why would any compassionate person who wants to save pets aim for a goal that involves so much killing, using an unproven method that has never ended the killing of healthy/treatable pets anywhere, ever?  As my fellow blogger Brent Toellner puts it:  Success is available to you.  What have you got to lose?

50 thoughts on “Let’s Kill 10,000 Pets in Memphis This Year – Yay Team!

  1. And here I thought that no-kill was pretty much all about adopting your way out of killing the animals. I feel like such a moron now! ;-)

  2. what, you didn’t know that once you s/n your pet, you automatically become a responsible owner and one who never has any behavior/health issues of the sort that cause OTHER owners to bring their pets to a shelter?

    silly you.

    According to your analysis: if they could implement a 10% reduction in killing every year, they would reach a “no kill” status (7% kill rate) in 6 years. While preferably they should (and could) get there faster, I don’t think that’s realistic given where they are now (and the probable reality that the personnel/personalities aren’t going to change).

    At least the Friends is thinking about the right direction even if their primary solution (s/n) won’t get them there. Don’t they deserve a little more support/respect, rather than scorn, for their efforts in such a difficult situation

    1. Please feel free to support and respect them EmilyS. I speak only for myself when I say I can not get behind any “goal” which would result in the killing of 39,000 more Memphis pets to get to no kill when I know it doesn’t have to be that way.

    2. EmilyS – In answer to your question- they deserve absolutely NO respect! Respect is something you earn…….

      1. Yelling at them from a blog to implement no kill NOW isn’t going to get anywhere

        Which is better: to save a few more animals each year. Or do nothing until no kill nirvana comes along?

        Which was better: Shirley figuring out a way to save a few animals from MAS? Or Shirley doing nothing because the shelter and all the people in Memphis are beyond redemption?

      2. I refuse to choose b/c I know these aren’t the only choices. Austin has proven that. Washoe Co has proven it. Memphis could do it too. I believe.

    3. I do get tired of animal advocates who are willfully ignorant of the actual ways of achieving lifesaving success. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to do a minute amount of online research to find out how actual No Kill shelters and No Kill communities have done it. The Nevada Humane Society has put out a paper “How We Did It.” It takes 10 minutes to read and they would learn a heck of a lot, if they were willing to learn.

      Shelter advocates who push for MSN, or stricter licensing laws, or any other blaming the public drivel don’t deserve to be listened to. They are 19th century thinkers and they are the ones who should be required to catch up.

      1. I don’t work for any shelters or rescues and I have emailed the Nevada Humane Society asking questions about how the achieved no kill just because I was curious and they always answered promptly. It’s not like orgs. who achieved no-kill are trying to keep it a big secret – the info is right out there – they just have to be willing to put in a little effort.

  3. Yeah, I like that their entire focus is on spay/neuter. So what if 7000 people can get 7000 animals fixed. That does nothing to save the animals in the shelter right now. Spay/neuter is important, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not the solution to animals in the shelter now. Is neutering my neighbor’s cat going to magically adopt out a litter of kittens?

    And we all know that cities that create these long term, “we’ll be No Kill in 5-10-15 years” never actually achieve their goals anyway. It’s just a way to put off having to do anything now.

    1. Again Jamie, you are dabbling in FACTS, and real life experiences – both of which are frowned upon in some circles.

      I can think of real examples of cities who have failed to meet the “We’ll get to no kill in X years” (San Antonio for one) but I can’t think of any who have succeeded in one of these several years long plans. Anyone?

      1. Nope – but it’s a whole lot easier to talk the talk. Disgusting and a new building with no webcams makes me very nervous. Can they do that after the raid?

    2. “Is neutering my neighbor’s cat going to magically adopt out a litter of kittens?”

      No, but it will prevent your neighbour’s cat from having more kittens. There needs to be planning for the future to slow the influx of animals into the shelter as well as better ways to help the animals who are unfortunate enough to end up there.

      The maths in this article is dodgy. I’m not sure where the 10% comes from or why the intake has remained constant if you are trying to model the effects of the planned spay-neuter initiative. The whole point is that the intake should decrease as animals are spayed/neutered.

  4. They already have Mandatory Spay and Neuter in Memphis. Do these people just not know the laws in their own community or are they just that dumb. I get this time and again from various individuals … s/n will solve our problems. When you talk to them more about it, they think it only applies to dogs and cats coming out of a shelter not the entire community.
    These people need some bodacious education period.

  5. @Daniela
    It all starts at the top – and we all know how the top in Memphis and at MAS feel. It ain’t gonna happen until those folks move along . . . hopefully to jobs not involving animals.

  6. Shirley, the request for info has been sent and I should be hearing something back in 5 days. Got the email this morning. Thanks!

  7. I could not read what they said clearly on the post above so went and read it on their Facebook thing. They are promoting adoptions they don’t seem to be pinning it all on spaying for neutering:

    . Encourage everyone you know in anyway to have their pet sterilized. AND we can work on adoptions! Get their little faces out there. The secret of the Facebook page is to SHARE, SHARE, SHARE. So many adoptions are the result of sharing! The MORE we share the more their little faces are seen. If you know a rescue group, encourage them to come to the shelter and see the lovely animals that are available everyday! We know we can’t “adopt our way out” of the numbers we are dealing with today, but adoptions/rescue can make a huge difference.

    Not real sure about these people but they are promoting both adoptions and spay neuter. How many animals does the MAS take in? It is probably posted somewhere, but can’t find it.

  8. “Your actions are your only true possessions” – Thac Nat Hanh.

    MAS is pretty damn poor AND butt-ugly based on that quote.

    Nope, don’t know of a SINGLE shelter that made it with the “no-kill in XX years” rule of thumb. It was just a cover for “same shite, different year”.


  9. here’s an idea: sponsor 2 people as a team (one from Friends and one from MAS itself… yes I said it) to go to a conference such as:

    by subsidizing their costs.

    You can use funds from the chip in you already have, or start another one specifically for this new purpose.

    For maximum impact, it should be BOTH someone from MAS and someone not from MAS… it could be the start of a team that could impact events there.

    Yelling at them from a blog to implement no kill NOW isn’t going to get anywhere

    1. Good idea, but I think at this point anything from YesBiscuit will be rejected. Even chocolate or a new car they would probably turn away. They have chosen stubbornness. Not that I wouldn’t do the same if they offered me anything. Everyone here is just as stubborn but on opposite ends of the issue. Now if you could trick them into thinking going was their I’dea and somehow made their critics wrong then they would go.

      1. Can you blame MAS if they do reject everything from YB? This blog has been highlighting the failures at MAS for the past XX months and attacking the shelter, its staff and management. If you are trying to persuade a person or people to listen to your point of view, the best way to ensure that they *won’t* do so is to tell them they’re doing a crap job. It doesn’t matter how morally “right” you are, you still have to exercise some social intelligence when you’re dealing with people.

      2. Social intelligence. Here’s a thought: Maybe I’m the hater and the extremist who exposes all the lies and brings to the surface that which is buried in the muck. There is already a well established group at the other end who wears rose colored glasses and selectively edits out any criticism. And in between is a nice, wide opening for someone local to step in and seem reasonable and likable and supportable by the majority. All we need is that person…

      3. I don’t blame them at all cause I know that if I was in their shoes I wouldn’t listen either (not that I would do or believe in what MAS does). I don’t like giving in, especially to people who piss me off. At this point changing would be giving in, and the powers at be would think that is proof they are wrong and incompetent. They are caught between a rock and a hard place. They probably believe changing means admitting fault and that they will loose their jobs while ignoring the problems buys them time and the chance nothing will ever happen.

      4. But they can so easily spin it (something I know they’re good at) to make themselves look like heroes:

        Damn it, we don’t care what you outside pot-stirrers say about us – we care about our community’s pets and we are not going to allow them to be abused and killed by anyone! Just watch us getting lost pets back to their owners and adopting homeless pets to the public! Memphians are THE BEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD and you just watch how we eliminate needless killing here!

        I mean, I can’t do that. I’m just a blogger in SC. But they can.

      5. Oh they could do that and it would be easier than constantly fighting change. But will they? That would take determination, hard work, passion, and effort. That’s a positive perspective. That would be admirable. Hopefully they get to the point where they show us up by succeeding. Then maybe they can have some chocolate ;)

    2. EmilyS,

      If I believed that yelling at anyone on the blog could get someone to implement no kill NOW, I’d be doing that all day, every day, targeting every kill shelter in the world. I’ve never believed that. I do believe however that I can use my voice to help support the boots-on-the-ground, to call out misinformation when I see it, to shine a light on issues the powers that be prefer to keep hidden, and similar type things. I have no illusions of grandeur, believe me. I use my blog as a form of advocacy. That’s my choice. If you, or anyone, thinks it’s a dumb choice, I have no problem with your opinion.

      As far as using existing funds to send some people to a conference, that would be inappropriate. Those funds are being solicited for direct costs of saving pets who have no advocates, which is entirely separate from the idea of attending a conference. Matt Pepper, the person in charge at MAS, has attended the No Kill Conference (fee waived by Nathan Winograd) and says he believes Memphis could be no kill. He is the person who would implement the needed changes to get started on that path. I haven’t seen him taking action in that regard. No one else at MAS is in a position to make policy or implement programs.

      If you would like to set up a ChipIn to collect funds for this purpose, please feel free to post a link in the comments here. And watch your mailbox for a letter from the city attorney.

      1. @Emily S: Shirley has ALWAYS ended her posts with “Memphis, please – stop the killing”. It IS polite to a point, but I do not know if she is shouting…if she shouts PLEASE, does that make her wrong? You guys are so tied up in your own bootlaces sometimes (not you Shirley, the others). DOn’t you get it that action is the only way?

    3. Excuse me, but hasn’t Mathew Pepper BEEN to a No Kill Conference? And isn’t he still stuck on the Asilomar Accords or whatever that mess was?

      You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make them drink.

      Works the same with kool-aide too.

      1. well, ugh. Pepper went to a No Kill conference and didn’t see the light.

        So you all expect no kill to be implemented NOW in Memphis… how is that happening?

        No where have I criticized you Shirley. The original chip in was an idea I offered and I’m still one of the few who has contributed.

        I think you are saving animals at MAS the only way you can, at your distance.

        It’s a retail operation and every animal saved is a tribute to you.

        My only comment now, and the sole purpose of my comments, is to try to elicit ideas that can move the operation into the wholesale realm.

        But I can STFU. There are apparently no ideas worth considering other than the full monty…

      2. I can’t say whether Mr. Pepper truly believes that Memphis could become no kill, only that he has said as much. Seeing as he hasn’t taken any action toward that though, I think new leadership is needed in order for real change to happen.

        Dozens of people have contributed to the Chip In to help pets in Memphis and I truly appreciate every single donation. I’m glad you suggested it, even though it resulted in a legal threat (which no reasonable person could have foreseen) because I think it’s a good idea.

        EmilyS, it’s not that no other ideas are worth considering – not at all. We have a limited number of communities that are comparable to Memphis and have transformed to no kill. I want to follow their example because it’s proven and it’s fast. Therefore, I have confidence that following their examples will lead to success in Memphis too. But for the sake of argument, if city leaders in Memphis wanted to put forth some alternative plan that made people feel confident that it would successfully lead to no kill as quickly as it has happened in other communities the size of Memphis, I would absolutely be open to hearing it. If it instilled the same level of confidence in me that the No Kill Equation does, I’d throw my support behind it. It’s just that I haven’t heard that plan yet. In fact, all I’ve heard are lies, denials, cover-ups, blame and excuses. So here I am, typing away…

    4. August 2010,I obtained 2 tickets to a No Kill seminar in Raleigh,NC. I offered the tix and to pay for lodging to any city/county councilmember, to any city county animal control officer, and to any member of Spartanburg Humane Society staff. NO ONE took me up on the offer. The CEO of SHS said” Thanks but , we’re not interested”. That was before I began digging for euth stats and salaries.
      Not interested in saving lives and money?!

  10. ask them how many spayed and neutered animals they kill– the lives saved by birth control are those which never occur–the ones that ARE alive need to returned to their homes or get a new one.

    1. Jack: I doubt they would even know – they sent Ranger up here noted as “neutered” when he most certainly is not! They can’t find their ass with both hands at MAS.

      1. That reminds me of a dog I pulled from the pound for another group. Went down and she was in a cage with another girl, who looked like she had recently whelped. I was just double checking it was the right dog so I paid the adoption fee and left. The next day I got a call from the spay/neuter side telling me that the female border collie I thought I was getting was actually a boy. Good god, is it that hard to tell the difference?

    2. The dog I just adopted is listed as neutered on his intake papers too; though they went ahead and neutered him again according the vet papers. Makes you go hmmm…

  11. If so many adoptions are the result of sharing, then why not post available animals on the interwebs?

    1. Because MAS only deems 20-30(at most) animals, at a time, to be adoptable…..There are close to 300 animals at MAS, and only 10% are allowed to be viewed by the public…..MAS needs to have adoption events – they need to market ALL of the animals they have, not just the handful that they deem adoptable.

      1. If they took these “unfit” pets to places where people are gathered and held an offsite adoption event, you know what would happen? At least some of them would get adopted. That would mean more clerical work for the MAS staff, more vax needing to be given, more neuter surgery to be performed, more background checks and home inspections – gosh, it sounds like an awful lot of work.

      2. And then they’d have to clean all those cages before the new animals came in . . .
        what are you thinking?

  12. The animals advocated for adoption by the FMAS are only the animals SELECTED for adoption. There are another 100 – 200 kept behind locks, never seen by the public. These are not hugged, walked, bathed. They are kept for 72 business hours and then killed. Mr. Pepper claims it is because they are ill or have behavior problems and should not be adopted. But the records from the MAS computer show that in
    January 2011:
    999 animals were euthanized at MAS
    281 were for medical reasons
    133 were for behavior issues
    45 were for being too young (puppies)
    523 were euthanized for space.
    281 because they were ill.
    133 for behavior and
    523 FOR SPACE!

    That is NOT the picture Mr. Pepper paints as to why he does not allow the public to adopt or even see these dogs. Oh, he says they are almost all pits (as if that means they deserve to die)or they are sick or aggressive. NOT The case according to Pepper’s own shelter records. Here is the record on some other breeds that were of the 523 killed for space:
    German Shepard – 60
    Lab Retriever – 83
    Chow Chow – 26
    Add to that Cocker Spaniels, Yorkies, Cairn terriers (the ToTo dog), Border Collies, Akitas, Huskeys, Airedales, Dobermans, English Springer Spaniels, Great Danes, Mastiffs, Golden Retrievers, Rottwielers, Rat Terriers, Pomeranians, Boxers and Schnauzers.
    And this is just one month.
    Any “Friend” who defends keeping these dogs from being viewed by the public should be ashamed.
    Any “Friend” who claims adoption can be increased should include the possibility of adoption for ALL animals at MAS. Not just the lucky 20.

    1. Well put Cindy! How the hell can they just kill for space I don’t know…well, I do, but I am working on being polite for the rest of the day as an exercise. BORING!

      The biggest problem with the “lockdown” on the stray hold area is it is not only a lockdown on the place, it is a total media blackout area. We can’t get info on who’s in there, what breed(s), etc. Its like the black hole of MAS – things get sucked in and destroyed, but nothing comes out…

  13. Dear God, and that’s not even the cats, too. Those statistics need to be published – billboard? ad in local paper? Anyone know the writer of the articles in the paper? This is horrific.

  14. I just did a cut and paste of those numbers to the MAS folks and a few of the media. This is the kind of information the “irresponsible public” needs to be made aware of.

  15. Wow, kill less of them, have a smaller kill rate…how hard is that for the people at MAS to understand? Im not good at math and even I get that. I also agree with whats been said above about the dogs in the back that never even get to be seen..just breaks my heart. Of course though, they are killed because you know, no one S/N him/her.

  16. Eventually, I believe we will manage to get all the kinks out of our new plans and goals for the “shelter.” The “shelter” is going to change because the citizens in Memphis have had it just like the animal advocates have.

    In the meantime….any animal that we can get spayed/neutered is a huge success. Just one more that won’t be adding other animals that will not meet with the best of fates. Just one makes a huge difference.

    1. I’m just curious why you think things are going to change now. Getting the “kinks” out of the new plans and goals is a far cry from what I see happening now.
      Perhaps I’m a doubting Thomas, but I don’t see anything changing except perhaps the location of what’s happening now.
      I agree that spaying and neutering will help, but that’s not going to make a difference for the animals who are already born and who have to live in the building you refer to as a “shelter”!
      Who from the Memphis community is going to step up and initiate these changes?
      I need more details before I can feel confident about anything.

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