Memphis: A Private Trust Betrayed

Much has been said about the betrayal of public trust in Memphis with regard to the city pound.  There is another betrayal of trust which dovetails with that, although this one is far more personal and individual in nature.  It is the betrayal of trust between a pet and a person charged with caring for him.  And at the Memphis pound, that trust is betrayed, repeatedly.

Betrayal of trust: An ACO drags an incoming dog on a chokepole.

Betrayal of trust: A chokepole is used as a weapon against this incoming dog to force him into a cage.

Betrayal of trust: Neither the dogs nor their food are removed from cages while workers hose them down each day.

The bond between people and pets is sacred to most pet owners. But for the city employees, paid by Memphis taxpayers to protect pets from harm, that bond carries with it a mandate from the community: Honor our obligation to provide humane care for the community’s pets. Of course the pets at MAS do not know this. Each individual pet there simply looks to the human caring for him with complete trust, as pets are wont to do by their very nature. For them, it is a personal and instantaneous bond, created in the most trying of circumstances but given freely nonetheless. To my mind, this makes it unique and something to be cherished.

Betrayal of trust: A dog is dragged from a cage to be taken to the kill room. The worker doesn't even glance back to see if the dog has a toe caught on the grated flooring or is too scared to walk.

Betrayal of trust: Dragged to the kill room on a chokepole.

Betrayal of trust: A scared dog pancakes on his way to die.

Betrayal of trust: Two dogs taken from a cage simultaneously. They will be tied to the wall in the kill room and forced to watch other pets die before them.

To the Mayor, the city officials, the MAS staff, volunteers and supporters who are concerned with whitewashing the abuse and killing, I ask you to consider the following.  Every pet at MAS is an individual, worthy of love and protection.  Can you look into the eyes of each of the trusting pets in the stray area, who are kept behind closed doors with no chance for adoption, and believe that they deserve to die?  If you can do that, you are a monster.  You should stay away from pets and all other living creatures for the rest of your shameful existence.  If you can’t do it, isn’t it time to demand change?

Betrayal of trust: A dog from the stray area seeks comfort through eye contact with a worker taking him to the kill room.

This photo is one of the most powerful images captured via the MAS webcams that I have seen.  It encompasses so much of the continuing tragedy that is MAS.  I’m sorry brown dog.  I’m hoping for you – for all of you.

In Which I Answer Some Questions

I love reading the search terms that bring people to the blog.  Some are in the form of questions.  Since I don’t know if the searchers found any suitable answers, please allow me:

What to do if you see a loose Pitbull? Invite him over for dinner, see if he’s got any tags on his collar.  If so, call the owners and invite them over too.

Should I yell at my Beagle? Oh but what, pray tell, could a Beagle possibly ever do to deserve this?  The answer here is NO of course.  On the off chance the Beagle was being a Very Bad Beagle, he really won’t care whether you yell or not anyway.  He’s just going to do his Beagley stuff, regardless of the volume of your voice.

Is baloney good for treats for dogs? About as good as it is for humans I suppose.

Why doesn’t my neighborhood get mail? Perhaps you live in my old neighborhood?  When I lived in Boston, I had a mailman who – swear to science – only delivered the mail on fair-weather days.  Whenever I hear that old saying about mailmen that goes “Neither rain, nor sleet nor dead of night…”, I still feel compelled to yell out “Nuh-uh!”.

Of course some search terms are not questions but interesting nonetheless:

throwing up after laughing  This sometimes happen if you watch too much C-SPAN.  Remember to change the channel for regular breaks.

naked drunks  Endeavor to avoid.

pot belly beagle  I beg your pardon?!  My Beagle is just big-boned!

weeble  173 hits in the past year according to WordPress which is pretty good for a dog blog, I think.

As you might guess, the most popular search terms that lead people to the blog are variations on “YesBiscuit!”.  Here is a sample:

yes bisquit

yes buiscuit

yes buscuit

biscuit yes  (Oh! So Euro!)


yes!biscuit  (O!K)


yes biscouit

yes biscui  (A French reader, perchance?)

yes buiscet

yes busiuit

yes bisucit

There’s more.  Lots more, I’m sorry to say, but you get the idea.




Memphis Flyer Writer Pwns the Whiners

Remember the great article about MAS that appeared recently in the Memphis Flyer?  One of the “Friends” wrote in to complain about it in a letter to the editor.  Among the complaints are that Memphis is not like Austin (which is true – Austin must work a lot harder to maintain no kill than Memphis ever would have to) and that the writer didn’t interview the “Friends” for the piece.

The author responded:

An attempt was made to contact the volunteer coordinators at Friends of Memphis Animal Services, but there was no response. I did interview a couple of volunteers for the article, but they mostly complained about the volunteers’ relationship with Friends of Memphis Animal Services. Without a response from the Friends group, I could not run any quotes from those interviews.

Oh.  Oh dear.  So apparently she not only got blown off by the “Friends” on her interview request, but she also gave them the generous courtesy of not quoting the volunteers who went on the record as being bullied by the group.

Then the “Friends” publicly complained that they weren’t interviewed.


Open Thread

Open threads are Ponzi Schemes.


You may remember on August 26 when some “people” at MAS thought it was very ha to put a stuffed monkey in front of one of the webcams.  In fact, they couldn’t stop laughing, as evidenced in this FB posting:

Besides patting themselves on the back for their amazingly clever display of shamelessness, what else were the folks at MAS doing on August 26?  Oh that’s right, the usual:  killing pets.  Fifty-three of them on that particular day.  But yes, let’s all keep snickering at our stupendous hilarity.


Fifty-three lives snuffed out by MAS, almost all of them for “space” while the pound had plenty of empty cages and lifesaving alternatives continue to be ignored by the city.  These pets were never offered for adoption, never taken out for walks, never even given names.  It’s just a cage and a death sentence.  In the company of barbarians.

Try this little exercise:  Close your eyes.  Count to 53.

It hurts, doesn’t it?

Tonight there is a meeting of the MAS advisory board which is supposed to be open to the public.  If you attend, please ask the people who are so taken with their self-reverential wit this simple question:  What’s so funny about killing 53 pets?

You can see some of the 53 beautiful animals needlessly killed by MAS while some were having fun with a stuffed monkey here.

You don’t have to say anything.

You don’t have to say anything.  I already know all of it.  I can not personally save every pet on every kill list in every pet slaughterhouse in the country.  I am focused on the big picture – systemic change, so that one day there will be no need to scramble every night, making desperate pleas for doomed shelter pets.  If we continue to chase their “Just save one more” carrot, we will be forever at the mercy of those who refuse to stop the killing.  If we act based upon our emotions without putting careful thought into it, we will end up hurting the ones we seek to protect when we run out of funds, out of foster homes, out of our minds.

I know all of that.

As such, I endeavor to avoid looking at kill lists.  I choose not be held hostage by those capable of killing a healthy/treatable pet when lifesaving alternatives exist.  I refuse to be kept in their little cage of cruelty, forever running madly on their spinning wheel, begging everyone to just save one more.  It’s a form of abuse.  Do.  Not.  Want.

I fail.  Sometimes I feel compelled to look.  I can’t stop myself.  During those weak moments, I suffer.  I am ashamed of my failure.  I am ashamed to be of the same species as those who would put a needle of death syrup into this dog and call it kindness.

Unknown ID # dog at Robeson Co Animal Shelter in NC, on the kill list for September 14, listed on FB as "Male Hound/Terrier, Pit Bull 8 Months Entry 8-30 Call RCAS 910-865-2200 or email us at"

Why the Memphis Pound Wants to Kill the Webcams

Does anyone believe the abuse and killing is going to stop once the MAS webcams are off? There is no logical reason to make such an assumption. In fact, it would be logical to assume the abuse and killing might worsen once the webcams are gone. The employees complained because they don’t like getting caught – repeatedly. Plain and simple. The real reason the city administrators want the webcams removed is because, like all things that slither and slouch, they prefer to hide.

Two pups on their way to the kill room at MAS.

A litter of pups on the way to the kill room at MAS. (1 of 3)

A litter of pups on the way to the kill room at MAS. (2 of 3)

A litter of pups on the way to the kill room at MAS. (3 of 3)

Another pup to die.

Incoming dog on a chokepole.

Another incoming dog, dragged to a cage. (1 of 2)

Pancaked in front of the cage. (2 of 2)

Two dogs being taken to die, the little white dog tries to resist. (1 of 4)

The little white dog is pancaked. (2 of 4)

Still trying to fight it. (3 of 4)

He fought the whole way. (4 of 4)

Chokepole used on dog in an upper tier cage.

UPDATED: BOLO – Columbia, SC Stolen Dog


Columbia, SC – Scotty Johnson has a landscaping business and takes his 11 year old dog Kayla to work with him every day.  On Saturday, he left his truck running with Kayla asleep inside while doing some work at a residence.  The truck was stolen and now Mr. Johnson is heartbroken:

“She is so special,” said Johnson. “I mean, I talk to her. I know it’s stupid. But she understands everything I say. If she can’t find me, she will run everywhere, trying to find me, just going crazy.”


“She ain’t a dog. She’s my kid, and like I told my wife, it’s like I am letting my daughter down. I left my truck running with her in it. And they’re gone. I let her down,” said Johnson.

The truck has since been located but the trailer with Mr. Johnson’s landscaping equipment was not attached.  And Kayla was nowhere to be found:

If you have any information you are encouraged to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. Or you can email News 19 reporter Nate Stewart at: NJSTEWART@WLTX.COM

Update, 3:30pm: There is no happy ending. Kayla has been found dead at the side of the freeway.

The Bright Side (?)

Hey, at least these places are offering the dogs for adoption and posting them online before placing them on the kill list.

Dog #13997175 at Fort Worth Animal Care & Control

Dog #A910266 at NYCACC - Brooklyn Center

Loose Pup at MAS

Webcam watchers followed this poor puppy who was loose last night.  Although attempts were made to advise MAS about the loose pup and staff were observed in the pound, the puppy was not captured until this morning.  He spent most of the night in the Isolation area.

A reader has offered to pay his adoption/pull fee if anyone is able to provide a safe and loving home for him.

Unknown ID number, unknown gender.