Dog #A232344 at MAS

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?

67 thoughts on “Dog #A232344 at MAS

  1. I’m having a hard time with this one. X-rays would have helped – could he have been humanely stabilized (and given pain meds) while an owner was sought out?

    If the dog was indeed suffering with a lot of damage, then putting him down was the correct thing to do. In a way, I’m a bit relieved that MAS didn’t just stuff him in a cage and leave him there for days while they decided what to do…heaven knows they’ve done that before.

    But no search for an owner? That makes no sense. Surely the urgency with an injured animal warrants a door knocking campaign to find the owner with a card left at each house in the area conveying the need for immediate contact?

    1. If the dog was medically hopeless and suffering, I would agree that euthanasia was appropriate. But there is no indication that was the case.

      As an aside, I once had a cat who apparently was hit by a car and suffered a broken pelvis. He was picked up by an ACO out of a ditch and taken to a vet clinic. We searched madly for him for days and finally, at the last vet’s office we visited, found him. The vet’s recommended treatment was 6 weeks of cage rest, which we did. He was treated according to the vet’s instructions and well cared for by us at home during this time.

      That cat was the best cat I’ve ever had. I can’t tell you how much I loved and love him, even though he’s been gone many years now. I am eternally grateful that in our absence, he still had people advocating for his right to live. I don’t know how I could have coped had he been handled in the way this dog was handled.

      1. The decision to euthanize was made by a qualified vet.
        MAS’s vet clinic does not have X-ray, etc as it is mainly used for s/n. MAS does send injured animals to the Humane Society, if they will accept them . A 12 pound full grown pit bull(yep, you read it right) from a cruelty case went to Hearts of Gold Pit Rescue this last week (see Winston on the SOS Memphis FB page). Yes, they still get it wrong a lot more than they should, but they are making many improvements (I know that makes me an enabler of the status quo, but I will just have to live with that).

      2. How is it relevant to state that MAS has no x-ray? MAS had NO VET when this dog was brought in. So even if they had an x-ray, there was no one to read it. The dog was sent to a clinic that *took no x-rays*. It’s irrelevant and I suspect you tossed it in to confuse the issue. Should this dog’s owner (if he had one) feel in any way comforted by the fact that MAS has no x-ray and a qualified vet determined he should die without a single test to confirm the extent of his injuries?

        The treatment line is blank. The dog received no medication to ease his pain. Unless you consider a chokepole to be “medication”.

        There are many trumpeters of the rare cases of pets who make it out of MAS alive. Many many. I will keep my spotlight aimed at the vast majority of pets at MAS who have no one advocating for their right to live. Because that’s the rule, not the exception, at MAS. And it’s one that needs changing.

      3. @yesbiscuit
        MAS has one vet. I doubt she is there seven days a week. Maybe Tuesday is her day off I don’t know. But MAS does not have the facilities to evaluate badly injured animals. The correct thing to do is to send the animal to the emergency vet at Summer if Dr Coleman is not available

        I’m not trying to argue with you or confuse the issue. There are things we agree on. But you have your dream (or agenda, as we naysayers put it), and I just keep getting tripped up on that reality thingie( or the status quo, as you would probably phrase it). It doesn’t mean that I (or others in Memphis) won’t keep trying. And it doesn’t mean that we won’t succeed.

        Meanwhile, I’ll mourn the ones that don’t make it out. But I love the sound of that trumpet when they do.

      4. I’m agreeing with patience on this one. They took him to a vet qualified emergency vet that made the decision. The other option was to leave the dog in the cage overnight until the MAS vet came in the next day or euthanize the dog immediately on sight at MAS. Would I have liked this situation handled another way? yes but I cannot fault them on this one. With that said some basic emergency medicine would be appreciated.

        I agree with patience about WInston, who knows what type of special diet or GI disorder this baby will have once he has put on weight, but they opted to save his life and place him in a home.

      5. I can say from experience, a broken pelvis is THE MOST painful break anywhere in the body. If it was a pelvis break, the doggie wanted to die. …or at least get some demoral.

  2. What am I missing? The dog was picked up at 8:17am on 9/13/11 at 1104 Louisville and taken to shelter. Text memo says 9/14/11.

    at 4:03 pm on 9/14/11 G. Andrews determined dog should be taken to vet clinic to be examined.

    at 6:06 pm on 9/13/11 R. Mickens took dog to Summer hospital where no x rays were taken and dog was put down.

    No vet at shelter, no pain meds given even though dog came in the am and not taken to hospital until after 6 pm, dog on choke pole, no owner even searched for. This is repulsive to me! There are no excuses for the suffering this poor dog endured.

    1. The dog was picked up, taken to the shelter, taken to the vet and euthanized on the 13th. The memos at MAS were both written on the 14th. Glenn Andrews wrote his memo on the 14th at EOS, since the dog was euthanized the evening of the day before (and after Glenn Andrews had left for the day).

  3. If you were to ask me….I’d say they broke the law KNOWINGLY and someone needs to answer for it…IMO

  4. anyone notice they spelled “breaks” BRAKES in the dogs bones??? is this a medical professional????? sick and sad luckily the dog is over the rainbow bridge now and will never suffer at the hands of humans ever again. RIP

  5. My question is why did they take him to the Summer Ave Animal Hospital? Dr. Tower’s animal clinic is about 4 miles closer.

  6. I would encourage those of you who speak and criticize so freely about “not looking for an owner”of this poor dog, who was not microchipped and had no collar, to physically come here to Memphis, go to this particular neighborhood, get out of your cars, and walk around looking for the dog’s owner…. there are citizens of this city who, for one reason or another, do not have internet much less a computer, are functionally illiterate, do not even know what a vet is, and yet are owners of these dear animals. The people that are concerned and working to advocate change in how the animals of this city are treated are up against much more than you know , and frankly your criticism is not doing anything to further this cause. Perhaps you could change your tactic from criticism to starting a campaign encouraging Nathan come to Memphis and consult with us…or yourself for that matter since you speak as if you know exactly what we ought to be doing…we would be grateful for the help.

    1. AFAIK, I am the only one who’s occasionally allowed to use the “I live in Memphis, you don’t” rant. Lest you forget, YOU ARE ALL ON THE SAME SIDE. Please do not make me use all caps again or I will make Shirley put you in the moderation hole and she and I will bond. Do you really want something terrible like that to happen???

      1. That should be “all of you”. I am not just picking on poor Ashley.
        FYI it is a very poor neighborhood.

  7. That’s a long period between pick up and the decision to take the animal to the vet. I would assume the vet chosen was the contract provider, I would also assume the vet was looking at the dog therefore, best qualified to decide treatment. Sometimes when you are not in the office it’s tempting to outguess the vet. I have seen animals hit by a car in mild shock and they look fairly comfortable, almost like they would get up and trot away. Others appear almost unconsious, then take off the face of the good samaritan. There was a case recently when a samaritan approached a dog and stupidly began to play vet at the roadside. Of course the frightened dog snapped and broke skin. Sad end of story due to untrained people trying to overstep their knowledge. The dog which appeared to be a victim of heat stroke would have recovered had an animal control officer handled it with a come-a-long. Because of interference creating a bite situation before AC could arrive, the dog had to be destroyed and decapped for rabies.

  8. I’d like to see their actual written policy about holds and trying (at least a little) to find an owner & provide medication…Shirley – Do you have a copy of their policies?

  9. I feel badly for the owner who may still be wondering and worrying about their dog. I once, long ago, had a dog who slipped his collar, leaving his tags unhelpfully on them. Not a good moment but I caught him quickly and now have a high fenced yard.
    And as for some people not, for some reason, having internet or microchips, that would be poverty. This condition can and often does strike a lot of us with unemployment as high as it is. As to illiteracy, my dogs actually could not care less if I say “Aint her pretty” or ‘isn’t she pretty”. The poor and less educated can, oddly enough, still feel love. So far there isn’t a baseline income requirement for that.

  10. A few comments:

    Poor people’s pets also have a right to live, just like other pets.

    I don’t set the bar for a pet’s care at “Well at least they didn’t beat him with a steel pole before killing him” or “At least he only suffered for one day as opposed to longer” just because MAS has been found to do those things in the past. The bar for me is at “Every pet has a right to live and to be protected from harm”. If we start comparing atrocities to judge whether care is humane, we’re playing their game.

    If you come here to offer a differing opinion – which is welcome – leave out the personal attacks – which are not welcome – if you want your comment published. I’ve been pretty liberal in the past about letting people vent but something’s gotta give at this point and it will be you.

  11. I would think the reason for no x-ray being taken was that the vet, while technically having a contract with the city, has found that the city doesn’t want to pay for any treatment for broken bones. The dog, if treated, would likely have a cast (or two) and some mobility problems, and with the below-standard cleaning practices at MAS, the cast would be compromised, leading to further problems that would cost money and time to deal with. Since their foster program is not set up well (I’m trying to be kind, as I appreciate the few people who help with puppies and kittens), finding someone who would care for the dog at their home during the healing process, is not going to happen, so euthanizing was the practical way of her dealing with MAS and their lack of interest in seriously helping any animal that couldn’t be selected for the ‘Lucky 20’ area.

    And I’m glad the dog was NOT taken to Tower’s clinic. He doesn’t care about the animals at MAS, as we’ve seen by how seriously he takes his participation on the advisory board. I don’t live in Memphis, but if I did, and my dog was hit by a car right in front of his place, I wouldn’t go in looking for help.

    1. Again, I am reminded of the story of Harper, as well as my own kitty whom I mentioned in a previous comment. In both those cases, diagnostic tests determined that the prognosis was far less grave than initially feared. Could this have been the case with dog #A232344? We’ll never know, now.

    2. I wondered about this, too, KateH. Without having the vet’s contract in front of me, I would assume they were much more likely to be paid for killing the dog than saving him. Still, the vet had choices. Knowing what the shelter is like, the vet might have contacted a rescue group, or a group that has a lot of contacts with rescues, and asked them to pledge that they would fundraise to pay for the dog’s care, including tests. A group like, say, Friends of Memphis Animals Services. The dog would have had his broken limbs fixed and there would have been time to find his owner . . . again, since the shelter does so poorly at looking for owners, FOMAS could have done this, regardless of the neighborhood. This dog is — excuse me, was — no less worthy of care than the pit bull mentioned above, or Harper, or Patrick in New Jersey. This dog deserved better. Who cares if the owner is poor? The dog deserved better, period.

  12. I read the above post by Yes biscuit about attacks being prohibited and grounds for banishment. I had high hopes that could include the attacks on the city and the shelter. I didn’t know hate could heal, and yet it appears that hate is the weapon of choice in this debate. What did Yes Biscuit mean when she said attack statements would be deleted ? The No Kill shelter 3 hours from my door is a hell hole, but I don’t come on here and slam it, I try to help make it better. Naming it and calling it out like a bar fighter would only run people the other direction. I understood what Patience meant. Some adults don’t know how to read or write to find their dog, some have no transportation to get to the shelter. It’s not that they don’t care. Truthfully they couldn’t get the dog fixed either in all likelihood. I am sorry the dog had to be euthanized, I’m glad it didn’t die alone on the street.

  13. With broken bones, ESPECIALLY a broken pelvis, the MAS would be no place to recouperate. Even at a foster home or with rescue group, a broken pelvis is asking too much for a dog to endure during recouperation. The pelvis can’t be stabilized like any other bone. Would they continue to administer pain meds? That still doesn’t stop THAT pain.

    I don’t like the thought of killing any animal for any reason, except for pain relief and that would be the humane exception for this dog. Still, the AC should of put forth a little effort into finding the “owner” to let him/her know.

    1. Do we know this dog had a broken pelvis? Since the records indicate no diagnostic tests of any kind, I don’t see how anyone could conclude that was the case. In Harper’s case the vet suspected the pup would have to be euthanized due to a litany of major health problems. After diagnostic tests were performed, those suspicions were determined to be incorrect in Harper’s case. In this case, the dog was suspected to have have a pelvic fracture and killed without any confirmation.

      1. Welllll, let’s not forget about Stanley – he sat at MAS for 7 weeks – NEVER moved from his kennel- EVER…when I took him to the vet, and x-rays taken, was told he had had broken pelvis and ruptured knees- Shirley has the pics to show him sitting in contorted position b/c of his injuries…with pain meds, puppy food (more calories needed to put on weight) and lots of love, Stanlry is quite the picture of health now – All of the animals deserve that chance.

  14. Bottom line is that someone cared enough to call in a report of an injured dog. And, regardless of the income and educational levels of the owner, this dog, this young dog deserved much better than he got.

    @Frankie, there have been a lot of us here who have done a lot to try and help these animals – positive things, not hateful things. We have written respectful letters (both email and snail mail), we have made phone calls, we have sent money, we have adopted animals. We are doing the very best we can to help, some of us from many miles away. The problem continues to be that those who are in charge and have the power to change are unwilling to do so. I don’t see hate here from Shirley – she continually reminds us to be respectful in our contacts. What I do see is the unwillingness to accept excuses for why things can’t change and the persistence to keep things in the spotlight. I’m sure there are many who would wish us to just go away and leave them to do what they do, and they may be frustrated that we won’t walk away.

    However, when I see or read about these precious animals who pay with their lives, through no fault of their own, because the humans who have the responsibility to treat them with kindness and compassion and to give them a chance for a good life refuse to do those things, well, it’s infuriating.

    I’m glad that this pup didn’t die alone on the street, either, but I’m also sorry that no one thought he was important enough to someone to let them know what happened to their dog. Poor people can love just as much as rich folks.

  15. Sometimes I do agree with what is said on this post but other times I just think that we are not there. We do not know how badly that dog was hurt. Is it better for him to sit in a kennel for the stray hold days in pain than for someone to make an educated decision and euthanize the dog so that he does not suffer. If someone lets
    an injured dog suffer is that any different than animal abuse? Alot of people sit up on their high horse and tell everyone what they are doing wrong but what are doing to change it? Are you there petting the mange dog on the head with your bare hand? Are you working everyday taking care of the animals that you love and then you have to turn around and watch them die because a rescues full or no one is interested in adopting that particular dog and you can’t close the doors because you are county funded and have to be open intake? So maybe go to the shelter work your ass off everyday, actually not sitting on your bottom criticizing the people that have to make those hard decisions. Look in the mirror first, think of what you would do, then go to the shetler and work for a while and then see if any of your choices would change!

    1. The choices were not limited to “let the dog suffer for days” or “kill him the same day w/out a single diagnostic test to determine the extent of his injuries and make an informed prognosis for recovery”. This dog had a right to live and no one advocating for that right. He may have had an owner but according to the records, no attempts were made to find the owner who would have served as an advocate for this dog. IMO, a tragedy.

      1. That’s a good question. Before I give my answer, I would ask you and anyone else who has an opinion to chime in with your own answers. Who should pay for an x-ray (or x-rayS, if needed), on an injured pet picked up by MAS?

      2. How silent we all are.

        It’s easy to say “someone” should pay for this dog. I’d probably do it myself if I’d been there. But then you open up that can of worms- if you do this dog, do you do every dog?
        Every cat? Of course you do. That’s the premise of NK.

        But whose pocketbook does it come out of? Do you set limits on what can be done? Is it the responsibilty of MAS and the city? I hear the Repubicans who already complain about their city taxes shout “obamacare for dogs”
        Is it the owner’s responsibility? What if he can’t pay?
        Should you set up a fund? Who decides how it’s spent?

        It’s hard for me to develop an opinion in just a few minutes on something that has so many questions(most of which I haven’t even listed).

      3. Our local (open admission) humane society has set up a fund for just such instances. Right now my daughter is fostering a 9 year old cat whose owners spilled hot grease on him 2 years ago and didn’t treat him. When he was surrendered, my daughter agreed to foster him and the shelter vet actually opened up the wound. Since the open sores are so large, he will have to have more surgery to close them/do a skin graft/whatever he needs. That money will come out of the special fund established for just such purposes. And I will be contributing what I can to that fund to ensure that there will be enough for the next animal.

        In addition, the hs has something called “guardian angels” where an individual can sponsor a specific dog or cat and contribute to his/her care. Many of the harder to place animals (such as the elderly or not-so-cute) have guardian angels.

        There are ways, but the desire to do something different must be the first step. The second step, in my opinion, is finding out how other successful shelters are handling such circumstances (HBC is happening all over the country and I’m guessing that all of the victims are not killed) and then see which would fit.

        In teaching, we call that best practices! It’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel, but without the desire and commitment, it doesn’t matter a bit what successful shelters (many are open admission) are doing to save animals’ lives.

        Would this particular dog have been a good candidate for treatment? You see, that’s what we’ll never know because he was killed before that determination could be made. And, as sad as his death is, the real sadness is that no one gave him a chance.

      4. Maybe the vet took x-rays saw the damage and decided to euthanize. Maybe they gave him pain meds too. He/she would probably not inform MAS of the test or meds since they won’t pay for it and may get I’m trouble for not asking permission. I wouldn’t be surprised if their job is simply to deem the animals them sick and kill them. But maybe the vet did more and just hasn’t made it public knowledge.

      5. Here in Interior Alaska there is a non-profit organization set up specifically for this sort of thing. They raise funds (beyond the budget provided by the government and our tax dollars) for *special needs*…usually medical expenses beyond the basic vaccinations required by law.
        Sometimes an owner will reimburse the fund. Sometimes an adopter will donate to help cover the expense. I’ve made several donations to the fund, and I’ve had others make donations to the fund in the name of my pets or others. It’s a good idea and it helps.
        I wasn’t so thrilled when they bought a 4-wheeler for shelter staff to play with (they said they needed it to *work*) and, of course, they bought three different sized helmets to go with it so that ALL workers could use it! (I have NEVER seen ANYBODY wear a helmet the few times I’ve seen that 4-wheeler in use…)

    2. @db
      That sounds like a wonderful idea.
      Although this will probably keep me in the moderation hole, I will mention that MAS has also sent injured animals to the Humane Society, rescues and fosters. There were several featured on the FB pages of the animal groups last week. I don’t have a clue what percentage of injured animals are sent out and what number are euthanized at the shelter or the vet without being given an option for further treatment. I guess that would show up under medical on their daily euthanization list.

      But if you’re going to try to save them all or as many as you can, you have to answer the kind of question that tholmes has asked. And the answers aren’t always easy.

      1. I’m glad that at least some of the injured animals get a chance. Since I’m not a FB member, I don’t see all of those pages. Who pays? is a legitimate question – but there are ways to answer it and no, nothing about helping animals is easy. I know that from personal experience.

        Right now I have a very thin feral I’m trying to help. At least he’s getting enough food and will have a safe, warm, dry shelter before the bad weather kicks in. Will I be able to trap him? I hope so. Will he be healthy? I hope so. If he is, will there be a better (ie safer) place for him? I hope so. If not, I will make the tough decisions I must for him (and have done before). But I’m not going to not try. I just don’t have it in me to walk away from an animal I might be able to help.

        It’s not easy loving animals.

      2. Yes, it would be great to have money set aside for those times. In some shelters it’s just not there. I wish it was all cut and dry that you always had funds to go out of your way and save every single animal. That would be awesome…. Then I open my eyes and see that sometimes (and I see this first hand, everyday) shelter workers can care they can dig into their own pockets, Ive done it, when there is not much there anyways and help buy the things that make it a nicer place for the animals. I know that alot of shelters sometimes worry about if they will have enough food to feed everyone, much less tests.

        I just see it this way: If I was there and the animal was not in pain and could stay comfortable for the hold days to wait and see if an owner will come. Then if that owner could pay for the medical attention. Then yes, I say keep him comfortable and give it time to see how it goes. Then again if the animal is in pain, has some serious issues and it is beyond the shelter to help the dog. Then is it better to keep that dog in a small kennel hurting, uncomfortable and scared so you can wait for a POSSIBLE owner… POSSIBLE? I wouldn’t do that. No way.

        I wasn’t there so I don’t know how bad it was, so I can’t say wrong or right but I can say if that dog was in pain and uncomfortable and they felt that it was more pain to the dog to hold him in a kennel waiting for a maybe I can’t fault them.

        I wish that there was an easy answer, but we don’t know all the circumstances.

      3. @db I wish there were lots more people like you and your daughter to foster and to help those that need it. Sometimes it is very hard to find that.

  16. “If you come here to offer a differing opinion – which is welcome – leave out the personal attacks – which are not welcome – if you want your comment published”……….OK, I have to call BS on this one.For all of the folks who freely choose to offer their opinion on this blog, there have been PLENTY whom have written in a derogatory manner about workers at MAS and other facilities that have been mentioned. Bloggers have been allowed to refer to shelter workers and others as “monsters” and “murderers” and other choice euphemisms, etc. and yet I’ve not seen any filtering of those comments not to mention any threats to filter them. Just as suspected, there seems to be a double standard at work. While I agree that personal attacks are not necessary in these discussions, that door should always swing both ways.

    1. Agreed. However, first time posters are chronic for posting hateful *monster* sort of stuff. This is how many (usually new to rescue) relate to the horrors that they often discover.
      Two wrongs don’t make a right! But…
      There’s a difference between outrage toward someone whose actions (or lack thereof) anger or frustrate you, and slandering the author of a blog. EVERYONE has right to their opinion. Many people don’t recognize hate-speech, especially when it is their own! The blog owner has the right to do whatever they want in terms of moderating comments.
      I’ve found it helpful/polite when Shirley has given warnings. There are those that can’t/won’t see or hear. I don’t miss them when they are gone. There are others who perhaps notice and listen and learn. I like that!

  17. This dog was posted on the No Kill Memphis Facebook page on September 13 11:11am There was time to help this one but no one knew the dog was injured except MAS. No one knew except MAS and MAS didn’t tell anyone. This dog could have been saved but the community was never given the opportunity to help.

    1. THAT truly is the issue! I know we all made comments about seeing this picture – why they would post a picture of a dog WITH a choke pole around it’s neck – certainly doesn’t fit the “great marketing” theme! We were never notified. What a travesty! RIP cute pup!

      1. Ditto Ona and Jody! I don’t ever remember reading about the community refusing to help a hurt dog or cat when the shelter or rescue reached out. Who could have looked at that sweet face, knowing the dog was hurt, and not have contributed?

  18. Thank you, YesBiscuit!, for asking these difficult questions. To me, the saddest part is that apparently no attempt was made to contact this dog’s owner. And imagine how this story could’ve ended differently had the dog been wearing a collar with ID tags. Maybe the dog had no owner. I guess we’ll never know.

  19. Do yall know the neighborhood in which this dog was picked up?
    I do.
    A door knocking campaign… in New Chicago?
    Not if you want to go home.

    It is more likely than not that this dog had no owner (no collar, tags, microchip). If by chance there was an owner, once again, it is more likely than not that they would deny ownership in fear of fines for having a loose dog or fear of medical bills to treat the dog.

    The median income in that particular neighborhood is around $15,000/year. Not nearly enough to treat a badly injured animal.

    It is VERY true that residents of this neighborhood would have no clue about any group willing to assist in treatment and likely wouldn’t have a clue how to even begin to look for said group.

    I completely agree that even a poor person can show love & compassion and that even a poor person’s dog should have the right to live. I don’t think anyone would disagree.

    And I agree several things have been brought to light due to this blog.

    But, unless you live here, unless you know this city, unless you know the mentality of the vast majority of the people in this city you can not compare Memphis to ANY other city in the country.

    Memphis is officially the poorest city in the entire country.
    Memphis has the second highest crime rate in the entire country.
    Memphis has the highest infant mortality rate in the entire country.
    Memphis has the most crooked government you could imagine.

    There are a small handful of people in Memphis who are willing to fight to the death for every animal alive here. But the majority of people in Memphis do not value the life of another human being… or even their own life. An animal means nothing to them. They are objects that can be replaced at any time if wanted. They aren’t living things with feelings and souls. They are objects. That is all. I have seen people speed up and literally AIM at dog in the road…just for fun. And I have seen people sitting on their porches LAUGHING after the dog was hit!

    Maybe an owner could of been found.
    Maybe the owner loved this dog.
    Maybe the owner would of taken on the massive medical bills.
    Those things are as likely as Memphians will stop killing each other tomorrow.

    I completely get the anger & frustration with so many animals being killed everyday for no reason other needing more space for more animals that are unwanted. It bother me as well… a lot.

    I won’t tell anyone to stop sitting behind the computer & looking at web cams and to come here and do something. It’s been said a million times. But, I will say… you do NOT know this city or the people here. Memphis is unlike ANY city in the country.

    The bottom line is… if we can’t get people to care about other people or even themselves… How on Earth are we suppose to convince them to care about an animal that they can replace at anytime in a Wal-mart parking lot??

    1. Austin is unique.

      Charlottesville is unique.

      Reno is unique.

      Ithaca is unique.

      Shelby Co, KY is unique.

      Memphis is unique.

      None can be compared to the others except that Austin, Charlottesville, Reno, Ithaca and Shelby Co all quit using their uniqueness as an excuse for the needless killing of shelter pets and started saving lives. Memphis can do that too. I believe.

  20. It isn’t an excuse, it’s a REALITY. A sad reality that we live with every day!

    Is Austin the poorest city in the country?
    Does Ithaca have the 2nd highest crime rate in the country?
    Does Shelby Co, KY have the highest INFANT mortality rate in the country?

    I didn’t think so.

    Memphis has over 650,000 people living here. Even if we rallied 50,000 people together today to take in every animal possible, that wouldn’t solve the problem here.

    The leadership in this city isn’t *THAT* concerned about animals dying when there are thousands of BABIES dying yearly. Or when a 4 yr gets shot while sleeping in their bed because of drive-by.

    The *REALITY* here, not an excuse, is that the leaders and most of the people living here do not see animals dying as an epidemic when there are SO many other HUGE problems here.

    Every time there is a story about the shelter or an animal abuse case there are the typical “Oh, how sad.” comments, but most of the comments are more along the “OK, so what! It’s a dog! babies are dying everyday! Do something about THAT instead.” lines.

    Call it what you like. Say what you want. Compare Memphis to any place you chose. It will NEVER change the mentality here.

    The people who truly care are working their behinds off as best they can. Let’s promote them instead of telling them they aren’t doing enough and demanding more.

    I am sure your heart is in the right place. But, you just do NOT understand Memphis. I seriously doubt it will ever change, and if it does it will only be for the worse.

    1. OK, let’s go with your belief for a moment. Memphis sucks. It will never change, except possibly for the worse. There is no hope of ever stopping the abuse and killing of pets at the pound.

      So should I take my ball and go home? Is the abuse and killing of pets in Memphis now ok because Memphis sucks? Should I just accept the sad fact that the situation is hopeless? Should I get on board with whitewashing the abuse and killing of pets by highlighting the rare success stories and sweeping all the rest of the misery under the rug?

      Thanks for telling me I can say what I want. I say that even if Memphis is populated by nothing but pedophiles and there isn’t enough money to buy two sticks to rub together – it will never be ok to accept the abuse and killing of pets at the pound. Never. The reality that you speak of is that many communities, each facing their own unique set of challenges, have gone no kill by implementing the programs of the No Kill Equation. I believe that Memphis can do it too. But even if you are right and they can’t, I do not accept that the abuse and killing of pets at the pound should be whitewashed and enabled. And I never will. Not in Memphis, not in any city in this country.

    2. This discussion reminds me of the Novi Sad Cats ( They are a *small* group of people in Serbia trying to protect and safely rehome cats. Think about it. Cats. In Serbia.

      Safe to say that Serbia has a LOT more problems than homeless cats and that these dedicated few are up against it when it comes to changing the minds of some people (including some local vets who can’t give a rat’s ass about the well-being of a cat and intentionally kill them), but they continue to work at it. They use their own resources and what little they get in donations and they try to teach people that cats are a good thing. That cats should be valued.

      They have no real animal shelter, just what they can cobble together.

      They continue to do what they do because they want things to change in Novi Sad. Will they succeed? Time will tell. But if they weren’t *trying*, then surely nothing would change. Ever.

      Memphis needs to change. The attitudes towards animals needs to change. This happens one person at a time and it happens because people who want it get together and work at it.

      As long as the *shelter*, the authority in animal care as far as many people are concerned, continues to not value animals, the community as a whole will not value animals. The shelter takes a leadership role, for good or ill, it guides the community. And people who value animals are more likely to value humans and themselves.

      The illiteracy, the lack of valuing life, lack of self-respect, lack of ambition – these issues aren’t quite as separate as one might think. When you can have empathy for a pet, when you value that animal, you realize there are needs outside your own. And that maybe other people have needs outside your own as well. You cannot start to become a self-actualized person until you are able to make these connections.

      A fully functional shelter is not the be-all, end-all answer to Memphis’ problems. But it is a necessary step for the community in that it leads by example, it provides assistance and guidance, it *educates*. And it also provides a safety net for the animals who need it.

      1. Millen: You’ve said it beautifully. It’s what I have said but more eloquently, without stepping on toes.

    3. Memphis isn’t the poorest city in the country. And it doesn’t have the highest crime rate, either. Not even close. That dubious distinction goes to St. Louis,MO–a large city with
      strong support for the no-kill movement. Your “argument”
      (more like myth) is spurious. Don’t believe me? Go google
      U.S. cities with highest crime rates and highest percentage of residents living in poverty. Any place can change. Any city can stop killing healthy pets. Memphis just isn’t all that “special.” And those tired old excuses just don’t cut it anymore.

      1. You can also look at some of the “unique” characteristics of Reno – drunkest city in the US, highest population of felons, unemployment/foreclosures… Drunk criminals with no jobs saving 90% of the pets at their shelter.

  21. @resvatn:
    You state that the median income in the neighborhood where this dog was injured is $15,000 annually, and that is not enough to pay for treatment of the dog’s injuries.

    First, it’s unclear just what the dog’s injuries were. Given that, I don’t know how you can estimate how much money it would have taken to treat those unconfirmed injuries.

    Second, I personally made $14,500 last year. Yes, that makes me pretty darned low income. Yet, I have managed to not only provide my owned pets and my foster animals with preventive veterinary care (and, no, the vet doesn’t cut me a break on the fees); I have also treated my animals for some fairly serious injuries and ailments that have totaled hundreds of dollars. It’s possible to be low income and still care quite well for one’s pets.

    In my opinion, your posts make many assumptions that may not be applicable to this particular dog’s situation. Additionally, the bottom line is that the dog had no definitive diagnosis, and thus none of us can assume the dog was untreatable.

  22. I may sound like a broken record, but the first thing that has to happen is making the choice to change things. I keep hearing excuses ( or reality, whatever word you want to use) for why other places can change but Memphis can’t. I don’t buy it!

    1. Memphis going to change; change is inevitable. But to get to the change you want, you have to work with what (or who) you have, and you have to accept the reality of that. Both No Kill advocates and opponents have to realize that the “majority” in Memphis might not be the ones who instigate the changes, but they are the ones who will or will not make it work. And I’ll argue this ad infinitum, ad nauseum: they are human beings just as those who work at MAS are. The vast majority of them have jobs and families they love. Most of the ones who have pets value them, although it may not be the way you or I do. Does everyone here value their familiy in the exact same way?

      If you want them to accept that advocacy for animals is truly important to you, you have to accept that their advocacy for other things is equally important to them. Don’t be defensive, listen and find common ground. Please remember that they are not “what we have to work with”; they are “who we need to work with”.

      1. @db this is not directed towards you except for the first sentence. I am just too darn lazy to write a second post.

        And thanks for taking care of the feral kitty. My 2 were both ferals and occasionally they remind me of that fact!

    2. There are way too many things MAS can do right now, starting with listing all strays with pictures on Pet Harbor using their existing Chameleon software.

      On September 13th, MAS was using the Chameleon software and listed Dog #A232344 with a picture on Pet Harbor. This dog’s listing had started circulating on the Internet a little after 11:00am. They didn’t take this dog to Summer Ave. until 6:06pm. Funds could have been raised to cover x-rays in that time but no one knew the dog was injured except MAS.

      On September 13th, MAS stopped listing strays on the Internet. 28 pages of dogs suddenly went to ZERO pages of dogs. Now the strays have almost no chance of being found by their owner, pulled by rescue, or adopted.

      1. @Ona
        I agree with you about the pictures. Has anyone asked or been told why they stopped putting them online?

      2. In May 2011 the City of Memphis published “Responses to concerns regarding the Memphis Animal Services” on the city website. Item #7: Failure of the shelter to utilize their Chameleon software to interface with Pet Harbor so that every pet is viewable online by the public.
        Response: We are exploring the feasibility of this suggestion.

  23. None can be compared to the others except that Austin, Charlottesville, Reno, Ithaca and Shelby Co all quit using their uniqueness as an excuse for the needless killing of shelter pets and started saving lives. Memphis can do that too. I believe. YB Sept 27 2011@ 8:04 p.m.

    You can also look at some of the “unique” characteristics of Reno – drunkest city in the US, highest population of felons, unemployment/foreclosures… Drunk criminals with no jobs saving 90% of the pets at their shelter. YB Sept. 28, 2011 @6:57

    I fail to see the benefit of either of the above comments. Living in a rural area I take my animals to Reno one month and Sacramento the next. Both cities have been wonderful hosts. Rhetoric that is not fact, which is in fact slander should not be repeated. When Mr. Winograd said that, at the No Kill Conference 2011 both Bonney Brown and Mr. Schneider tried to take it viral, it made me angry for the citizens of Reno. A more gracious communtiy than most by any standards

    . Reno is a tourist based community and one of the persons at Petsmart ( where I take my animals ) had seen it and was furious.. She contacted the local casinos and the the tourist bureau. They have family who work in the casinos, needless to say she is no longer a supporter of the Nevada Humane Society . My understanding from her, is the casinos which had hosted their conventions at no costs will not be doing that again.. Repeating malious statements that cause financial losses is prosecutable in California. I don’t know about Nevada, but I know the locals there are getting sick of it. Most of the rescues and fosters read blogs and most of them need to work to support their families. She said she tried to post and was put in a moderation bin and not pulled out. So this may be my final post, but it shall be worth it. . To pass on her sentiment “pony up the statistics” to back up your statements, also ” Nevada has strong republishing hate material” laws”

    Kathy has been doing breed specific rescue for 20 years , most of it supported by her husbands employment in upper managment at the Eldorado Casino, these are the real people who are hurt by Mr. Winograd standing on someone elses back to appear a little taller. Now this blog is partaking of the slander of the city it claims is a sucess. Reno is not a No Kill City. The Nevada Humane Society claims to be a No Kill Shelter, and it keeps it’s euthanasia low by turning animals away. That is not sucess. The little Northern Nevada SPCA has been no kill for 13 years and doesn’t claim to be open admission, NHS does. Yet animals from Reno are turning up in Yuba City. Why is that, and who pays the vet bills?

    1. Going on memory, I think it was this piece that Bonney Brown referenced in her workshop at the No Kill Conference this year:

      Reno: 2nd drunkest city in America (Fresno is #1)

      The No Kill Conference was in Wash DC (in July), not Reno. I’m not sure if you confusing the Nat’l Animal Control Association Conference which was held in Reno in May or if you are just generally flaunting your trollishness. In any case, you’re out.

Leave a Reply