This is the story of dog #A232344 who was impounded by Memphis Animal Services (MAS) after someone called in a report of a dog who had been hit by a car.
The ACO’s report indicates the dog had the appearance of injury to the hindquarters. Assuming no person found the dog lying in the road and carried him to the flowerbed (which seems an unlikely act to me), we can deduce the dog had some mobility although the extent of that mobility is unknown based upon this report.
There was no vet at MAS on a Wednesday afternoon (anyone know why?) so the dog was transported to a local clinic so a vet could evaluate him. According to Mr. Andrews’ note, the person who took the dog for the veterinary evaluation advised him that the vet clinic “reported the dog as having several fractures and brakes (sic) in bones in back end of the dogs (sic) body” and that the dog was “euthanized” there.
In reviewing the report from the vet clinic, I noticed a couple of things: The item “Owner Search” is marked “No”. I don’t know exactly what this may mean but on the face of it, it sounds to me as if no search for the owner was performed. Did MAS conduct a search for the owner by canvassing the neighborhood where the dog was found, checking lost dog reports and posting the dog’s photo and info online for at least the standard 3 business days? I don’t know about the first two, although there is no mention of either in the records, but the last one I can answer – MAS did not post the dog’s photo and info online for at least the standard 3 business days. I know this because I happened to see this dog listed on PetHarbor and when I checked back the next day, the listing had been removed. As such, I wanted to see the dog’s records to find out what happened. This is a screencap of the dog’s listing on PetHarbor before it was removed by MAS:
From the photo, it appears as if the dog had at least some mobility. The photo also shows the dog inside a cage on a chokepole.
The other item I noticed in the veterinary evaluation report was the note from the vet: “suspect pelvic fractures”. The treatment line is blank. I interpret that to mean that the vet performed no x-rays, scans or tests of any kind on the dog to confirm the suspicion of pelvic fractures. This information seems to contradict the line from Mr. Andrews’ notes which indicated the vet “reported the dog as having several fractures and brakes (sic) in bones in back end of the dogs (sic) body”.
Was there anyone, at any point during the time MAS had possession of this dog, advocating for this dog’s right to live? It doesn’t appear that way to me. Of additional concern is the fact that this dog may have had an owner who would have advocated for the his right to live but there are no indications that any attempt was made to reach this owner. Had the dog’s info not been briefly posted on PetHarbor, no one outside MAS would ever have known what happened to him in the pound’s care.
In many ways, this story is a direct contrast to the story of Harper. In Harper’s case, one person cared enough to advocate for the pup’s right to live, took action and the compassion snowballed from there, resulting in a life saved. In the case of dog #A232344 at MAS, no one cared enough to advocate for the dog’s right to live and ultimately he was killed based on an unconfirmed suspicion of injuries which may have been treatable. Further, the records do not show any attempt to find the owner who presumably would have served as this dog’s advocate. Dog #A232344 was put on a chokepole, transported around Memphis, killed based upon a suspicion, and quickly deleted from the PetHarbor site. How many more pets must suffer and die at MAS before the calls for reform outnumber the vigorous defenders of the status quo?