Disease Outbreak Reported at MAS

The Memphis Flyer posted a story about a respiratory disease outbreak at MAS at 3:52pm today.  The piece states that 17 dogs have been killed already due to the disease.  Presumably, the interview with Janet Hooks included in the article would have been conducted at some point prior to 3:52 pm:

Shelter staff is also working to remove dogs from the shelter through its Pet Placement Partners.

“We’ve sent an email to all registered Pet Placement Partners soliciting them to rescue as many dogs as they can,” Hooks said.

MAS “Pet Placement Partners” report receiving an e-mail from Tracy Dunlap at MAS listing 30 dogs as being in an area affected by the outbreak and in need of rescue.  The e-mail is timestamped 4:08pm.  MAS closed at 5pm today.

Perhaps Janet Hooks had been advised the e-mail had already been sent to the rescue contacts at the time she gave the interview to the Flyer.  I don’t know.  It would seem some sort of clarification may be needed.

The pound is scheduled to move to its new building in a few weeks.  Neither Janet Hooks nor the late e-mail plea to rescuers indicates how the disease outbreak may affect the dogs locked up in the secret stray area as far as moving to the new facility.  Will all the dogs in the stray area be going to the new building?

36 thoughts on “Disease Outbreak Reported at MAS

  1. pretty convenient timing..I’m not surprised at all that they would pull this. They need to prove the dogs are sick. I think it’s camera 2.. the one that the dog was dragged down.. did anyone notice that the first 2 dogs door tags have changed? Well, I did. The third dog down… was being treated with something and it looked like it was even getting a shot First and second got nothing… cage labels are now different..bet they die tomorrow.

  2. Pneumovirus is an emergent virus, as far as its recognition goes.

    There is no vaccine for it, so I’m unclear why Hooks thinks being vaccinated does anything to protect against it.

    I am also curious how they figured out it was pneumovirus. The testing alone costs around $40 and it has to be shipped to a lab with a 2-4 day turnaround. I mean, does MAS drop that kind of dough on dogs?!?

    According to Cornell, which discovered this virus, it’s a difficult one to identify and it is easily transmittable. So unless the sick ward of the new facility has individual kennels with their own air source, if they get a dog coming in with pneumovirus, damn good chance all the other dogs will get it in the sick ward.

    I presume treatment would simply be supportive, as it is a virus. I don’t know what the morbidity is for the disease, but it does not sound like it causes the same deadly problems as canine distemper, which is in the same family of viruses.

    But like, does Memphis Animal Services NEED an excuse to kill dogs?!?

    1. Clarification: There is no vaccine that I am aware of that is protective against pneumovirus. If someone more well-versed knows that, please share!

  3. First, a rescue was told it was kennel cough, then by afternoon it was an acute respiratory disease. They can’t seem to get the story straight. Wonder if “Yappy Hour” will occur tommorow night? Food, drinks and $10 adoptions! Give me a break!

  4. We all knew the (additional) lies would start soon before the big move. You would think the plea would go out to all citizens if MAS really wanted help in getting the animals out and not st 4pm. But silly me …. this IS Memphis.

  5. If MAS needs to move animals out, why are they only calling on their “registered Pet Placement Partners”? Why not open to all rescue groups and *gasp* people?

    1. That would mean they are actually trying to save animals’ lives, not just give the IMPRESSION of trying to save animals’ lives. Until there is a change in the top levels of administration, the animals of MAS will continue to pay with their lives.

    2. The problem with just letting any “rescue” take dogs on a transfer basis (where dogs are released completely unvetted) is that not every “rescue” is legitimate or someone you want to be handing dogs over to. Google “EDNAH” or “molly reed montgomery tx” if you need examples.

  6. They are actually calling individuals who have fostered in the past, too. I have one in my “isolation” ward at my house as we speak. He is already showing signs of improvement after 36 hours of antibiotics, whole foods, and a warm bed. He’s a terrific patchy pit bull mix…if anyone knows someone in the market for a sweet, mellow boy, Shirley, I can send a picture and make adoption arrangements when he’s well. He’s about a year old.

    1. Claire, that is wonderful that you are nursing this lucky dog to good health. Thank you! Why wouldn’t they send out a plea to the public for help – not sending out the “plea” e-mail with less than an hour til closing (to select few). Why not move the sick dogs to the new facility- so what if it’s not 100% ready – embrace the public, ask for help, we all would band together to nurse these dogs back to good health. There are ways to save these dogs but that’s only if you (MAS) really wants so!

      1. Jody, are you going to take one? Looks like all the Memphis people who read this blog could go get a dog. Just thinking out loud. How many readers in Memphis or close are going to get a dog and help? Looks like a great way for readers to help a dog at this shelter.

      2. Sarah,

        There is no information that the public will be allowed to adopt/foster. In fact, the opposite has been reported. If you have news of MAS backpedaling on this decision, please share. I’m sure members of the public would like to help.

      3. If you look at the FMAS FB page, you can see that dogs are available for adoption today.

      4. Georgiabear, as far as readers here know, the only dogs ever available for adoption at MAS, whether during a disease outbreak or at any other time, are a very few. The vast majority are locked away from the public and then killed — no adopters are allowed to see them, and information about them is withheld so that nobody will know about them.

    2. Any way you could ask your vet what this dog has? Maybe some people here would help with the cost of the test. It would be nice to know what the sickness is.

      1. Sarah S- you must be new to this blog……the citizens, if asked for help- WILL help….we have been left out of that equation. And I would love to adopt or foster one but I already rescued an animal cruelty case dog from MAS which ended up helping me get me fired from volunteering AND I have a 14 1/2 yr old lab with a tracheotomy who needs to remain calm at all times- a new addition to our family would jeopardize her heath…..

  7. It appears that the cameras have all been frozen. One is even blank. Does anyone else have this happening?

  8. I tried to become a Pet Placement Partner, but I live in Alaska and I’m not a 501(c)3.

    I can’t help.
    And I can’t help thinking they like it and want it that way.

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