Snapshots from MAS

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the images from the MAS webcams. This is one of those times. So many pets who appear to be mistreated and needlessly killed while lifesaving options exist. I know that MAS isn’t going to go no kill tomorrow. I’m a reality based person. But I sincerely wish they would at least implement some basic programs of the No Kill Equation to reduce the killing tomorrow. Today, actually. Here are 2 very simple ideas which could be enacted immediately:

  • Stop killing pets when there are empty cages.
  • Open up the stray area to adopters.

Sometimes I feel like all I’m doing is pissing in the wind. The sweet little dog I was hoping to help the other day is dead. He never even got a cage. They just took him from the lobby to the kill room. I’m sorry.

Memphis – this is YOUR animal “shelter”.  Take a look at what you are paying for:

8 am: Puppies in dirty cages at MAS.
10 am: MAS about to open for business, pups still sitting in filth.
Visitors and staff member looking at pups in disgusting cages.
Poor little dog.
Improper handling of pup.
No dog likes being on a chokepole. They should be used rarely and properly, in order to maximize safety for workers and dogs. MAS seems to use them improperly on most of the dogs in the stray area.
Some dogs freak out when you put them in a chokepole even though they would behave normally if a leash was used.
Dogs should NEVER be dragged by a chokepole.
To me, this dog's body language says "I surrender". Does he really require a chokepole? (1 of 3)
This looks like a dog in need of help, not a chokepole. (2 of 3)
Same dog, still looks like a pancake to me. (3 of 3)
Two black kittens placed into an open wire cage. (1 of 2)
The two kittens appear to be huddled together as their cage is carried to the kill room. (2 of 2)
Does MAS place ANY value on the lives of the innocent?
Resistance is futile. MAS kills 3 out of every 4 pets in its care.
Empty cages at MAS - a facility that kills many pets for "space".
More empty cages.
Still more empty cages.
And yet, there are still more empty cages.

Memphis, please – stop the killing.

19 thoughts on “Snapshots from MAS

  1. Maybe the cages are empty because they are transporting the animals to the new “shelter”? …wishful thinking.

    Does anyone know what will happen to this shelter once the new one is in use? Just wondering if it could be used as an “overflow” or perhaps as an educaton facility for proper handling/caring for animals?

  2. These photographs reduced me to tears, there are some staff showing remorse but the ones using the poles are not. The empty cages signify the lie that is MAS. This hellhole is a disgrace the animals need help!!

  3. These photos make me literally sick to my stomach. And the killing goes on and on and on . . . despite easy (yes, easy) changes they could make RIGHT NOW!
    Damn them all.
    RIP kittens and puppies, cats and dogs – you deserved so much better on this earth

  4. The photos give me gut wrench – the killing is national….my area is no different – they hide it though. They cover by doing cutesy little promos on tv or the newspaper and of course the occasional cruelty story to re-inforce the bad bad public….most people don’t know how horrible animal control is – at least that’s my opinion.

    On the upside – I work with some wonderful people that help spay/neuter pets for an affordable price – well over a 1000 this year so far. And then those that need homes go to a one of a kind adoption site.

    It’s this type of initiative by many that will save the animals – animal control will lose its power eventually but not soon enough – at least that’s my opinion.

    1. No, Crystal, they’re killing them because that’s what they do. Day in, day out, every day. They kill because it’s convenient.

  5. I am totally in support of a no-kill shelter. But I was there for 90 minutes last night in the lobby during an adoption drive and I saw 8 animals brought in just an hour and a half. At the rate they are brought in there is no way they can not euthanize these animals until something staunches the flow of incoming dogs/cats. I saw a number of empty cages in the last few visits I’ve made there in the last few weeks, but there are notes on the one’s I’ve seen indicating the vet doesn’t want another animal in there until it’s been decontaminated. It may sound like I’m defending them and I’m not. I’m horrified by the way animals get handled on the way to the kill room but sometimes the photos are used to point out things that there are valid reasons for.

    1. Shelby, Not only are you defending the killing, you are ENABLING it.

      If a cage needs to be “decontaminated” per order of the vet, MAS workers need to get on that, immediately. Clean it and put another pet in it. It means the difference between life and death and nothing could be more urgent in a shelter.

      There are ways to reduce intake which could be implemented if MAS was truly interested in doing that. Just a few quick examples:

      1. Stop accepting feral cats for killing. They have no legal right to impound feral cats. Feral cats have a home – it’s the community. MAS should establish a TNR program to reduce the population over time.

      2. Get rid of the MSN law and redirect efforts to get no cost spay-neuter to people who need it.

      3. Lead by example. Strengthen MAS’ relationship with the community and show them BY EXAMPLE that every pet’s life is valuable. Stop the abuse and needless killing.

      1. Regarding your three points:

        1. Stray/feral cats are brought in by people because they are considered nuisances, almost never caught by ACOs. Are you suggesting MAS say “we don’t want it, take it back”? My guess is MAS will wind up with its own feral colony. They are already starting a TNR program and already have a waiting list. I hope it can be expanded soon.

        2. Memphis does not have true MSN. ACOs and MPD are not going after people with pregnant cats or fully equipped dogs. The s/n ordinance only goes into effect if the owner of the animal has been charged with something else. It’s a secondary offense only. There was a HUGE debate in the city council about this; you can find the whole thing in the CA.

        A no-cost s/n is no cost only to the owners of the neuterees. Unless we can get a really big grant from someone or get services, equipment, medications,etc given to us by someone with very deep pockets, it’s not going to happen. I’ve even heard that the low cost program at MidSouth S/N is running out of funds for some of their programs(only heard it once so I don’t know if it’s true).

        3. We agree. I also wish that MAS and the Mayor, etc were more forthcoming about those that do set an example at MAS and FoMAS. Maybe people would be more likely to believe change is possible at MAS if they aren’t always being told everyone there is a thug (not casting aspersions on YesBiscuit; this is a constant meme in comments in the CA or any media outlet on any animal issue)

      2. Absolutely yes – that’s what I’m saying. If MAS or any facility is accepting feral cats – or any pet – for the sole purpose of killing them then they should not accept the pet. Of course I make an exception for any pet who is medically hopeless and suffering, in need of euthanasia.

        True MSN, psuedo MSN, whatever. MSN is a proven failure everywhere it’s been tried. We need look no further than the poor gentleman whose dog was impounded by MAS and then died at the hands of negligent vet staff after Pepper illegally refused to allow the dog to be neutered at the owner’s vet clinic. Intake rates have gone up since MSN was implemented. That’s the wrong direction.

        Instead of explaining how “it’s not going to happen” unless a money bomb gets dropped on the city, why not explain how it IS going to happen? That’s how real change happens from real leaders.

  6. how does this continue?
    Even with public outcry they continue to kill openly.
    i know I’m late on this question but who the power to step outside of memphis? Federal?

    1. They’re killing openly, because right now it is legal. Cruelty issues, ethical issues, training issues, and leadership issues aside: what they’re doing is perfectly legal in the city of Memphis,the state of Tennessee, and the United States. It’s like the death penalty for people – you may be for it or against it(I am), but it’s legal.

      1. @patience You really need another name because it appears that you really don’t have very much patience.

      2. @miller. I’ve also been told on here that I have too much patience! Perhaps ‘annoying’ would be better? Or ‘living a life in moderation’? :)

        Or I could also use my cat Patience’s nickname : the Alien Rat Kitten. But I’m afraid that both you and I are going to be stuck with my name being patience. At least you know the comments to avoid reading!!

  7. @patience, re: MSN and money for free s/n. “A no-cost s/n is no cost only to the owners of the neuterees. Unless we can get a really big grant from someone or get services, equipment, medications,etc given to us by someone with very deep pockets, it’s not going to happen. I’ve even heard that the low cost program at MidSouth S/N is running out of funds for some of their programs(only heard it once so I don’t know if it’s true).”

    Where are the funds from licenses currently going? Several cities are looking at the funding model (which only works well when barriers like MSN and pet limits are abolished/repealed), perhaps combined with a non-profit partnership to provide all services needed.

    “New ideas in animal services from Calgary”,

    Our Mission and Philosophy,

    1. Cee,
      AFAIK, funds from licenses and adoption fees still go into the City of Memphis General Fund. That is one reason FoMAS was set up, so people could make donations to the shelter itself.

      I like the work Bill Bruce is doing in Calgary, but he is dealing mainly with Animal Control and RTO and we’ve got stray/owner surrender problems we’ll need to deal with also.

      I’m still learning about Portland; it looks interesting.

      Memphis also doesn’t license cats. I can’t wait till that idea goes before the City Council as a serious proposal. That’s gonna be a real catfight!

      A free s/n program would be great for this city; we do have several corporations with deep pockets HQ’ed here, but I don’t know if anyone has ever approached them on the subject.I think we would at least need the funds to set up and begin operating a clinic and it would be a fight to get it located where it needs to be

  8. Example of a proactive free spay/neuter campaign, “Project T1Y” funded by pet license fees.

    1. Community is educated about benefits of licensing/ID and barriers to licensing removed (no pet limits, no BSL (breed bans), no MSN laws), and that ID fees go to help animals – NOT the city.

    2. Lowest income areas (postal codes/zip codes) are identified using free census data, and one area at a time is targeted.

    3. Info about free spay/neuter services is printed and delivered (ideally door-to-door by volunteers, but could possibly be delivered in same envelope as utility or tax bill, etc.). Might be possible for volunteers to arrange to pick up pets and return them after surgery…?
    (Example from Feb. 2011 newsletter,

  9. Example of an incentive rewards program cities or shelters could copy to encourage licensing and Responsible Pet Ownership, “I Heart My Pet”, – discount savings card good at variety of businesses. Discounts more than offset cost of pet license.

    Perhaps a “Gold” version of this discount savings card could also be available for a higher annual fee for those who can afford to pay more, with discounts at businesses that would appeal to those people? Maybe others can come up with other ideas… A “Animal Volunteer’s Special Discount Card/ID”?

  10. Example of a U.S. group looking to create a no-kill community with the help of the funding model –

    Gimme Shelter Portland, .

    “Gimme Shelter Portland is a non-profit organization dedicated to replacing Multnomah County Animal Services (MCAS), the only taxpayer funded animal services agency in Multnomah County, also known as animal control or “the pound,” with a modern, vibrant animal services agency which:

    + develops and maintains a stable, sustainable source of funding.

    + implements a comprehensive strategy of lifesaving programs and services proven to end the killing of lost and homeless dogs and cats.”

Leave a Reply