Which do you want first – the bad news or…?

The public can now view every pet at MAS, not just the lucky few who are selected for the adoption hallway.  Unfortunately, the meet and greet area is at the city dump and the pets will be in a decomposed state:

City Solid Waste employees from the Memphis Public Works Division are discarding dead animals at the city dump because of a broken incinerator.

The Solid Waste department handles the disposal of animals at the Memphis Animal Shelter and animals who die at Memphis homes.


Shelly Seeberg, administrator AFSCME Local 1733, which represents Solid Waste employees, said the existing incinerator at 2401 N. Second is broken and she’s not sure if it will be repaired.

Not sure if it will be repaired.  Dang, the city of Memphis is apparently a pretty lax boss.  “Incinerator broken so we’ll be adding 12k pet carcasses a year to the city landfill.  Shrug.”

Memphis taxpayers – had enough yet?


Thank you to everyone who sent me this story.  You guys are awesome, no matter what other people say about you.


35 thoughts on “Which do you want first – the bad news or…?

  1. We need a picture of the animals at the dump. It should go on that billboard so every Memphian can see where their money is going…to death and decomposition. I am crying.

    Can we not find out when the mas(s) slaughter will be, so busloads of us can come down and rescue the damned? a new “raft of the Medusa”….

    1. Gettting a photo of the pile of dead bodies is a great idea and worth a thousand words in the fight against MAS…but you can ask Jeanne of ‘Watchdogging for Justice’ blog that a photo did open an investigation for the shootings of dogs and clubbings of cats (their idea of euthanasia) at the Chesterfield County, SC ‘shelter’ (if you can call a ramshackle building without walls a shelter) and it was a real eye opener to the abuses going on there, but nothing much has changed there in the end. The sheriff is still running it, the ACO’s are still being paid while on leave, the poor dogs and cats have little to eat and are still sitting in miserable conditions, and the investigation four months later is sitting on the sidelines waiting for us to all go away so they can shelve it.

      It is worth a try if someone is willing to capture the pile of dead bodies (wish the government had not stopped photos of the dump after the Gulf disaster), but the key is using the photo to plaster on every spot you can to make more of the public aware, uncomfortable, and so unnerved they feel compelled to push reform. Hard to do in a lethargic or poor community that’s run by a corrupt government, but definitely worth a try…

      1. Miss MM: Whilst I know the situation in SC lingers, which is a whole other travesty, feeling negative in our actions will only draw negativity towards us and our goal. No, I’m not talking warm and fuzzy here, but I have been reading so much NEGATIVE-CAN’T-WON’T etc here, that I have to say it must make AC&Co. feel very cozy…”hmmm, well. they’re not going away, but they are getting discouraged, a prelude to going away”. I would ask that people try to be proactive and positive here on the blog. Think WARRIOR, not Worrier, ok? Everytime anyone here wants to post a negative thought, think about those little faces on the webcams and ask yourself: will this post I am thinking about help THEM? Sheesh.

    2. What happened to the billboard? I went past it 2 days ago & it wasn’t anything to do with animals. I was expecting to see the Kapone reward, so spoken about but it wasn’t there. Ad was about something uninteresting, I don’t even remember what it was.

  2. “Man, all those ‘irresponsible pet owners’ went and broke the incinerator; if only everyone neutered their pet, then we wouldn’t be forced to leave it broken and dump the bodies in the landfill!”

    ….That’s supposed to be a satirical statement, but for some reason I have a feeling it’s scarily close to their actual frame of mind over there.

  3. I called my dad about this one and e mailed him the article. He is a retired microbiologist who worked for the USDA for over forty years.
    He told me (and this is just from speaking with him about the article) that many years ago there were different modes of disposal than there are today. He told me that the big thing with this situation will be if the city adheres to the older modes of disposal. An example of an older mode of disposal would be burying the critters with the proper mineral based chemicals in place along with their mortal shell.
    He also said that if they just literally dump the poor critters and nothing more than it has the potentiality of being a public health risk.
    I know I might seem juvenile or something. But I read this article, tweeted it to ‘yes biscuit’ and then called my own dad because it made me cry to read it.

    1. You don’t seem juvenile to me. I just talked to my Dad too. He and my Mom called to wish me well on my trip. It always makes me feel better talking to them.

      1. Miss Mary, I have been telling my parents about some of the atrocities I’ve seen online and in my backyard (mass slaughter of geese) and they have been thoroughly appalled, but also thoughtful in their responses. It is important to spread the word, but also to have someone to talk to and someone to support your efforts. Taking on this awful institution and fighting for life against those whose mission is death is awfully hard and heartbreaking. Don’t feel bad about talking to those close to you!

        And Shirley, I wish you all the best on your trip to Washington. It is a wonderful honor to be included with so many revolutionaries, but it is also going to be a real pleasure for those who get to listen to your sense of humor, dry wit, and great storytelling! Have a safe trip and nice break!

    2. Think of the bacterial count from rotting carcasses if they are just thrown in the dump.
      Welcome to Cholera City.

  4. I wonder if anyone there has considered also the euthanasia drugs that are part and parcel of the dead pets? In some places, it’s illegal to bury your horse on your own property if that horse was euthanised by drugs because of potential ground water contamination. What’s going on here is way more than the body of a single horse…

      1. Right on Mikken, and don’t forget: you cannot, for instance, use euth drugs on wildlife in the field and then leave the earthly shell there, BECAUSE those drugs have a “second kill” effect on most scavenging species. AND, alot of scavengers, such as some Raptorial birds, are list on protection lists. AC Wharton&Co. bring a whole other level to the death business.

  5. Is there a large city, like Memphis, that has a good shelter model that Memphis can follow? Have local rescue/animal lovers tried to propose a new model? Or is the city not listening and doing whatever the heck they want? Our kill rate in Greenbrier County, WV is extremely high but every animal is posted on the internet, rescues are called and the shelter workers, who are compassionate people, do everything they can NOT to kill. It seems Memphis does nothing at all except take them and kill them.

    1. Yes Julie – Reno, NV has a good shelter model which Memphis could follow. Reno takes in about the same number of pets each year as Memphis but they save more than 90% of their pets. Many people have suggested city leaders in Memphis look at the Reno model many times. No responses that I am aware of.

      1. That sucks that they are not even willing to look at the Reno model. Do you think sending info to the Rotary Club would do any good? The rotary club in my town are business owners and professionals, most would listen to a plan that was working for another city. Would be worth a try. They do have a website which states they are looking for volunteers for their MAS project.http://www.memphisrotary.org/index.cfm?section=projects

  6. wow. you actually had me going there. I really thought they were posting all the animals for the public… Then I kept reading and WHAM! …it actually got WORSE?! Really?! I didn’t think it was possible. I think it would better if MAS ceased to exist and the dogs and cats of Memphis were living on the streets. Really.

    1. The main benefit to living on the street for the pets would be – well, LIVING of course, but also the possibility that someone who wants a pet might take them in and give them a home. The main benefit to being at MAS – erm, ah, let me get back to you on that.

      1. Actually, ALL our cats have been picked up off the street after knocking on our door and have had wonderful healthy long lives in plush surroundings (for a cat!) unlike what would have happened if they were picked up by MAS ACO’s. Hmm, LIFE or DEATH. Think the animals would rather live on the street as hard as it is rather than end up scared to death in a cage or hauled directly to the kill room…

    1. Exactly.

      It also wouldnt surprise me if they are literally dumping the bodies in the dump without doing it the proper way. They dont care about who its hurting because they are just “the irresponsible public” anyway. Ugh.

      I do agree about getting photos of this though.

  7. I live in Caswell County, NC.. and the landfill is exactly where all the murdered shelter companion pets end up.. Kill days are Tuesday and Friday. I live very close to the landfill and go there often. This makes me sick..

      1. The YouTube video about Memphis has a pile of dead animals in a landfill…will have to get back with the link.

  8. I want to know if they will wrap the bodies in plastic bags or just dump them. The plastic will never decompose, the body may eventually but it is Memphis in the middle of the our 100 degree summers. We just got over a rather large flood, the ground is saturated with some pretty awesome parasites. What if these animals have an infectious disease, a zoonotic disease or parasite, what help will the surrounded community have.. What are the effects of euthanasia agent in the environment. I understand one pet isn’t significant but they are bringing them in my the truck load! Environmental agencies should be called in on this one.


  9. Let MAS go NO KILL – then this would be much less of an issue! I guess that’s just wishful thinking – Where is Nathan Winograd, when you need him most?! (sort of kidding, but really wish he and Shirley could come down here !!!)

  10. The online version of the article has been re-written to reflect that the animals will be buried and the mass grave sealed off. The reporter also added comments about how that is done in other areas of the country and had local animal rights folks weigh in on things as well. I had no idea someone could basically re-write an article to that degree and I wonder about that for some reason.

    If the mortal shell of the animal is not tended to before burial that it will still be a public health risk. The logic would be that if they claim they will bury and seal off the graves then that means the mortal shell of the animals are not being treated for burial at all. This also means that Mr. Little and everyone did not consult with the CDC or anyone about this all so much.

    1. The original article was written for the online edition. The updated article is the one from the print edition after more info was gathered. This is done all the time.

      The landfill is sealed at the bottom. If it weren’t, we’d have all died before now. I doubt if the CDC is concerned with landfills as they are not generally vectors for disease. There is nothing in the article that indicates whether the city has consulted with anyone or not; Solid Waste and not Mr Little would be the ones who would be involved in this..

      1. People who read this blog from out of state or from out of the country might not know of The Commercial Appeal past its online version. And it is also to go behind a paywall after a while. The ethics behind adding onto and re writing things on online articles is not really all that solid but that is just my opinion, really.
        Of course the landfill is sealed at the bottom and the like it would be quite bizarre if proper modes of disposal for trash and such were never initiated at dumping sites ever or Memphis would not have recovered from the Yellow Fever epidemic from ages ago..
        And, of course Mr. Little spoke on what the union representative for Solid Waste informed him of. It would have been far to much for Wharton’s main fellow to have consulted with anyone else as backup.
        However. The kill rate at the MAS is so very high that there will be a plethora of animals buried now and the only public health assurance anyone in Memphis has is that the graves are sealed. That is it. From what I have learned that is not truly 100% of the way alright when it comes to animals who have passed on or who have been put down in rather large numbers. Trash and the like have far different biological components on multiple levels.

  11. There is more than 1 incinerator in the Memphis area. Medical waste is incineratored and has to be dumped in a special way. They may not be as big as this one, but at least it is a temporary solutions to use these or rent them.
    The OTHER solution (and the best solution) is to get these animals out ALIVE! So, MAS should start having huge adoption offsite adoption drives, put pictures on the web and allow the public into the stray area. BAM! problem solved!

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