Talk Me Down

Please forgive me if I ramble as I am distraught over this situation.  Hey, at least I’m going back to delete all the swear words before posting.

When we first saw this poor dog being dragged by a noose around the neck at MAS, pissing herself in fear, several readers tried to find out what happened to the dog.  Although initial inquiries were ignored and deleted, we ended up receiving a response from Glenn Andrews, the person pictured dragging the dog.  He offered to hold the dog, whom he indicated was a female, for adoption by reader Tammy.  Since we were unsure if Mr. Andrews was speaking about the same dog as seen in the webcam photos, a caring Memphian volunteered to go to MAS and try to determine whether this was the same dog.  That individual was scared by the dog’s fearful and aggressive behavior in the cage.  The “Friends” posted on their FB page that the dog was a male and was not adoptable to the public due to aggression and might not even be allowed to go to rescue.  Naturally, we were concerned.  Tammy asked Mr. Andrews about this and whether she would be allowed to adopt.  He replied that yes, Tammy could adopt her.  And she was definitely a female.

This was a very confusing situation and I know everyone involved with trying to help this dog was concerned.  We arranged to have a behaviorist go in and evaluate the dog and advised Mr. Andrews.  Since we couldn’t get a reply from Mr. Andrews on that issue, Tammy called MAS.  Mr. Andrews was not in but the woman who answered the phone said the dog was marked for “euthanasia” and as having failed her behavioral evaluation.  Since there was no behavioral evaluation performed, this was again confusing.  Nevertheless, the worker advised Tammy the behaviorist would be allowed to see the dog provided she was still alive at the time the behaviorist got there.

The behaviorist described the dog as giving “mixed signals” and was unable to perform a full evaluation due to aggression.  As such, she did not charge us for her services.  She recommended the dog as being “unadoptable” in her opinion.  Tammy did not feel she would be able to provide the care needed for this dog.  I understand that.  I wouldn’t be qualified to take on a dog like this either.  So once again, we had to adjust our strategy for helping the dog.  Outreach to various rescues in the area had already begun but now our information was different.

This morning however, the rug was pulled out from under us.  Tammy advised that she had spoken to Mr. Andrews yesterday and he had provided new information about the dog.  In fact, per Tammy’s recollection of her conversation with Mr. Andrews, the dog is feral.  MAS ACOs have been watching her for 3 years in a pack of feral dogs.  She was born into that pack and has never been socialized to humans.

All the efforts that have been made thus far for this dog have been wasted time because we did not have this critical piece of information.  This past week, instead of spending our blood, sweat and tears on trying to get this dog evaluated and rescued, we should have been looking for a sanctuary spot for a feral dog.  But we didn’t know that’s what we should have been doing because Mr. Andrews never disclosed that information.  The people who volunteered their time to go to MAS to see the dog were actually going to see a feral dog, which we did not tell them because we did not know.  And now, she’s slated for killing by MAS and I feel I have no choice but to throw a hail Mary pass in the final seconds of overtime in order to try and save this dog.  So here it is:

Does anyone know of a possible sanctuary with an immediate spot available for this feral dog?

I know, it’s a long shot.  Believe me, I know.  I hate to do it but I don’t know what other options exist at this point.  I wrote to Mr. Andrews this morning to try and get clarification from him on this situation.  He hasn’t responded as of this posting.  If he does, I will update this post.

All of us are trying to help this dog.  How could this situation have been allowed to happen?  Why weren’t we told this dog was a known feral animal from the outset?  Why were we told it would be fine for Tammy to adopt her?  Why would a pound that is killing 3 out of every 4 pets who come through its doors undermine a group effort to try and save a dog who otherwise has no advocate?

This poor dog.  I am so sorry I failed you.  I will keep trying until they take your life but I know there are precious few grains of sand left in the hourglass.

70 thoughts on “Talk Me Down

  1. Shirley, I spoke with Tammy, yesterday and we both were just as upset about this…..MAS is behind on approx 700 calls and yet they have been on this mission for THREE years to catch this dog (part of a feral pack) – apparently these dogs have been doing just fine, existing in their world, not bothering anyone…..and to NOT divulge such an IMPORTANT part of the equation is mind-boggling. You are right, wasted efforts on a behaviorist- we could have been searching for another way to get this dog to a place where she could roam and live out her life…..I don’t think we failed her – unfortunately, this is just another notch in MAS’ belt – another senseless killing about to happen. I am so sad.

    1. And all the rescues who were contacted were lead to believe this was a pet BECAUSE WE HAD NOT BEEN TOLD THE TRUTH. ACOs can’t get to cruelty calls because they are so behind but they have time to get this dog? I am just sad and angry. Thank you for your help in trying to save this dog Jody, wasted as it turned out to be, but not anyone’s fault except MAS’s.

  2. I am wondering WHY they even bothered to capture her in the first place? Was there a nusaince call about her or her pack? Was she injured? I am confused…

  3. I would just like to make myself clear on one point. I do not want to see any person bad-mouthing the two women that evaluated this dog for us. One was a local rescuer who went in to verify it was the correct dog and whether or not she was aggressive. The second woman is a trained behaviorist and well respected in her field. The dog in question is feral and not socialized with humans. Neither women could get into the cage to properly evaluate the dog. The dog was lunging at the cage door, growling, showing teeth and exhibiting very aggressive behavior. It was unasfe for either women to go into the cage and/or attempt to remove the dog from the cage to “bring it to a better place for evaluation.” Please, do not attack these wommen with your comments as neither did anything wrong and both went out of their way to help us. Thank you.

    1. Tammy, I really can’t see how anyone would bash the two women that went to see this terribly frightened girl! NO ONE was told them they were viewing a FERAL dog- yes, Shirley- confused is the word of the week….and yes, with all of the backlog of calls, instead of going after the animal cruelty cases (that would mean ACO’s would have to go to court), bite cases, THIS is what they chose to spend their time doing – I just don’t agree with their thinking – what else is new, right?! Tammy, thank you for your hard work with this terrified dog!

    2. Sounds to me like the two evaluators did their job correctly. A feral dog is not adoptable – and that is what both of them concluded. It’s MAS that I am upset with – they wasted the time of these two women since they knew this dog was feral and let them attempt an evaluation anyway. They wasted the time of the people trying to help this dog – who contacted all the wrong people since they didn’t have this key piece of information. And they failed the dog – who is most likely dead when she could have just been left where she was if she wasn’t hurting anyone.

  4. This dog looks like a Carolina dog and the fact that she was thriving in a pack makes that even more likely. “Feral” may not be the best word to use for her–more like a natural dog reacting to
    unnatural, terrifying surroundings. The Carolina Dog Rescue and Conservation Project may be able to help or at least put you in touch with people who can help. She doesn’t belong in a regular sanctuary–and shouldn’t be made to live as the only one of her kind. These dogs should be protected by law but, sadly, they’re not and they often die in shelters in the Southeast. She could be adopted by someone with time, patience and an understanding of Carolina dogs. Once she’s out of the cage and the shelter, she will probably not react with fear aggression, although as an adult female she may always be somewhat dominant with other dogs, especially unspayed females.

    Contact info is here–

      1. Yeah, I saw that but am at work so limited in what I can do at the mo. If anyone else is free to call, please do so and let us know.

  5. So MAS knew that this dog was feral, but decided to manhandle her anyway?

    Tell me they have no procedures in place for sedating feral dogs for humane handling?

    And…if they know she’s feral and unadoptable, why do they insist on caging (torturing) her? Again, what is policy and procedure on this?

  6. Is there any way we can find out WHY they took this dog from the pack? This is so sad…thank you for everyone who works to save these animals!

  7. I’m wondering what the hell is the reason that they put her – and left her for days – in a cage in the first place? They have so many perfectly easy-to-adopt dogs being surrendered every day that get taken straight to the kill room, but this one, which they handled horribly, knowing full well it was terrified and willing to protect itself far beyond the ACOs skill levels to deal with humanely, was left in a cage, getting even more fearful and dangerous? I am NOT saying the dog should be killed – it sounds like it should have been left out in the community – but once MAS got its shitty clutches on the poor thing, – which it sounds like they knew was feral for years! – they decide to not go with their SOP of killing things the moment they can? Insane, and just shows, yet again, that there’s no sense to how things are done there. NONE.

  8. Shirley… I have a friend that does feral dogs.. I messaged him just now.. not sure when I will hear back.. I have no idea what he charges or even if he has room.. here’s the link to his FB page .. Please .. if everyone floods him.. maybe he will help.
    1 336.260.1003
    Please contact him.. it would be better if a lot of people show support for this dogs life.

    1. every one.. if we can get this dog saved.. it may help show these people at the shelter .. there’s is hope, help and the people do care.. I really want this dog saved..Memphis needs to be shown by example. Can a chip-in be started?

      1. I would donate towards her care if Dogrepair can take her.

        But do not expect MAS to learn a damn thing from…well, from anything. Learning does not seem to happen there.

      2. I will chip-in too. Better do it NOW, as MAS will surely kill her as fast as they possibly can and will probably say she won’t be adopted out because of her aggression.


      1. Hi Folks, I got your messages. I am in the middle of rescuing 3 adults and 10 puppies from an empty house. Puppies are feral, adults are very scared but not feral. I am a home-based rescue, so I’m way over my head already.

        You you try Debbie Jacobs of in Vermont. She knows a lot of people.

        Jim Stay, Dog Repair, Inc. Mebane, NC

  9. Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Forks, Washington specializes in feral or severely undersocialized dogs, as well as wild hybrids, dogs with a bite history, and dogs showing abnormal behavior that require specialized care. The founder, Steve Markwell, is extremely knowledgeable and has taken dogs from thousands of miles away. They are always full, but because of the nature of his work, he may well have contacts in Tennessee that would be helpful. You can read about placement there at this page:

    There is an emergency number given on that page. Although he provides an email address as well, I recommend calling, per these instructions from the placement page:

    “ONLY if this is an immediate emergency, call 360-320-OLYMPIC (6596) and leave a message. Do not email if you call, do not call if you’ve emailed, and do not expect anyone to answer the phone — you must leave a message.”

      1. I asked on Olympic’s facebook a request for assistance with link back here. Hope that helps.

  10. CONTACT RANDY GRIM OF STRAY RESCUE INC. He is the person who saved Quentin, the dog who survived the gas chamber back in, oh, 2000something. All he does is feral and stray dogs. Google him and flood him with emails and phone calls. Perhaps he can assist as well. He’s a great guy!

  11. This is abhorrent behavior. No communication, no accountability, no checks and balances. It’s just the same old status quo. Nothing changes. I forwarded your post to the Mayor…. but I am sure it will be ignored as well. More reason for the shelter to be privatized and run by caring, compassionate individuals. Sigh

    1. You’re absolutely right.

      It may seem funny to you or me (or sad) that MAS & FOMAS think they are doing SO good & SO proud of only killing 77% while we see their record as pitiful, disgracefull, sadistic, cruel, abhorrant, and just plain wrong way to operate a shelter. How do they get so brainwashed into the status quo of killing without consciounse and abuse & mistreatment as standard procedure? Laziness mixed with a lack of compassion is a bad combination to be employed in the business.

      1. there is nothing funny to us or anyone else about this. It is so discouraging that we can’t get better help. Janet Hooks quoted “I want people who have experience with animals.” Well, duh, i do I have applied FIVe, , count em, FIVE times for an Animal Technician at MAS, which I am highly qualified to do. I get rejected every time. It’s despicable, and she just sits on her toosh and collects that cushy paycheck… heck with the animals or the outrage from the public. Darnit.

  12. This is from Nathan Winograd’s blog today titled The Inmates Are Trying to Run the Asylum.

    “To save the animals of Dallas, you do not need a Task Force, endless meetings, or even focus groups. The key to ending the killing is already evident. Dallas, Texas is slaughtering animals by the tens of thousands because Dallas Animal Services is not comprehensively implementing the programs and services and culture of lifesaving that makes No Kill possible. To combat this, the Companion Animal Protection Act should be enacted into law. CAPA mandates the programs and services which have proven so successful at lifesaving in shelters which have implemented them; follows the only model that has actually created a No Kill community; and, focuses its effort on the very shelter that is doing the killing. In this way, shelter leadership is forced to embrace No Kill and operate their shelters in a progressive, life-affirming way, removing the discretion which has for too long allowed shelter leaders to ignore what is in the best interests of the animals and kill them needlessly. If you do this, you will be successful.”

    Is there any reason that this would not work in Memphis? Killing needs to be ended. The Companion Animal Protection Act should be enacted into law.

    My heart is broken for this poor dog who has been sitting in that kennel from the 13th until today, the 26th.That dog is absolutely terrified in that kennel. There is no reason for this. There was no reason for the lies by omission that those inquiring about this dog were not given valuable and important information. This dog should be returned to freedom where she was born and raised. The ACO’s should be ashamed of ignoring cruelty cases and instead have focused on this poor dog. The entire MAS needs to be terminated asap.

  13. Does anyone feel like they deliberately left out the crucial detail of her feral-ness because they wanted YesBiscuit readers to fail? So they could say, “See, we told you so!”

    To my mind, this just makes them look awfully malicious, petty, and willing to exploit animal life just to confirm their collective ego… or deficient in their communication skills, at best.

    1. I was thinking similar too. Seems like they figure if they let the difficult cases leave maybe we’ll assume that’s an accurate representation of the dogs/cats they take in. Then we’ll lay off with the criticism.

  14. Try Pets Alive in Middletown,NY – I think it’s or .com. But if you google Pets Alive, Middletown NY you will get to their site. I KNOW for a fact that take in dogs like this and work with them….they have a very unique relationship with the well known Best Friends in Utah so they are reputable. I just don’t know if they have room right now – perhaps if they have room coming up soon and you can get this story on the news, possibly you could board her short term with donations…….Good luck! You are welcome to e-mail me at if I can give any more help. If they work with the dogs and over time the dog is still considered unadoptable, the dog can live at their sanctuary forever. And to the freak of nature who dragged this poor dog by a rope – did you really think that would help this dog trust people? You all will be in my heart and prayers…..

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. Just e-mailed. Unfortunately, we haven’t had any responses from Mr. Andrews today so no idea on the status of the dog. They are all watching the blog though. I guess they enjoy pulling off our wings and watching us flail.

  15. I don’t understand why they still have this dog. Based on the description an actual no-kill shelter could justify killing her – she is aggressive to humans. She counts in the current 10% non-savable rate. Yet a shelter that kills easily adoptable puppies as soon as they walk in the door kept her alive for over 13 days. Not that I want this dog to die, but I am just puzzled as to why a kill shelter would keep an aggressive dog vs. highly adoptable dogs.

      1. So when someone wanted to adopt some of the previous dogs posted on the board telling those people that the animals were suffering and were mercy killed was acceptable, but when someone wants to adopt a feral dog telling them this fact isn’t? I don’t think I want to know what these people are thinking.

      2. Those sub-humans will answer to the Creator! They have displayed the most despicable behavior anyone can. They have taken an innocent creature, caged her, and then held her for “ransom” of people’s goodness of intent. Do not anyone say that those sub-humans at MAS have any compassion, any goodness, nor even any good intentions. They are the basest of creatures! I have nothing but contempt for them.

      3. Just a note to let everyone know the Carolina Dog rescue person has replied to me and requested add’l photos, which I have just sent. I’m also e-mailing with Kerry from Pets Alive. We still have not heard from MAS as to the status of the dog.

  16. BREAKING NEWS: We have an offer to take her from a reputable rescue. Trying to get some word from MAS. They are just about to close for the day. Stand by for details.

  17. Steve from Olympic Animal Sanctuary here – if your current placement option doesn’t work out, please let me know. We can help. I will be in the area next month, and we have some other connections there. Not near email today, but I can call you if you have a way to get me your number. I don’t want to leave my private number here though.

  18. L-a q-mann here, Steve. Thank you so very much for responding to my FB post. I had a gut feeling you would after seeing your website for the first time today!

  19. Can’t send much, but will do what I can for any rescue who takes her, too. I hope she survived the day . . .

  20. Please let the dog still be alive….I will donate to any group that takes her…First I want her to be alive and go to live where she can be happy and not scared….secondly I see where this might be THE story that could serve as the impetus to privatize MAS…The awful place has got to go…the shelter has to be privatized. Memphians nor the animals deserve such a “blight” on the city and the animals certainly don’t deserve the almost certain death sentence and the totally undignified to the treatment to which they are subjected!

  21. Is she spayed? That’s the biggest reason to impound feral cats, and I venture it’s a good reason to take in a dog too.

    Well no wonder they were dragging her around with the pole…sheesh. They are incapable of handling a sweet wriggly puppy, she’d be WAY beyond their skills.

    But to hold her (in torture basically) all this time without disclosing all known information…well, I guess that doesn’t surprise me either.

    Has she made it out of there yet?! Keep us posted…

  22. It is appalling — and I WISH it were more surprising!! — how similarly backward and ignorant animal control pounds like MAS and PGAM (Prince George’s County, Maryland’s dog catchers) are. I agree with those whose gut tell them the agency in this case INTENTIONALLY misled and deceived the community. PG’s agency routinely does this, and it is a pathological approach to an “animal control program.” As to policies and procedures, places like PGAM and, apparently, its sister agency MAS, do not HAVE policies or procedures that you can review or consult. And with all competent advisers about wild animal or feral animal behavior completely shut out (because, ahem, we might actually KNOW some things), no wonder that any animal entering their doors should abandon all hope of care or rescue. Remember, too, your tax dollars pay and pay for this damnation. Waste, fraud, and abuse, at your service.

  23. Hi, everyone — this is Steve from Olympic Animal Sanctuary. Very quickly, so you don’t have to spend time looking me up, I’m one of a handful of people in the entire country that specializes in feral dog rehab. I’m going to explain the situation as plainly as I can, and I hope that one of you in Memphis will step up and do what needs to be done for this dog, because if you don’t, she’s dead in a few hours.

    What needs to happen is this: one of you needs to go to the shelter with a crate, have shelter staff put the dog into the crate, put the crate in your vehicle, and take it to a safe location, like your garage or bathroom. That will save her life, and buy us some time to work out placement. The rescue options we have for her are not in Memphis, and we simply cannot mobilize anyone quickly enough to get her out in time. One of you has to do it.

    I understand that you may be concerned for your safety and the dog’s well-being. Your concerns are valid, and I am happy to personally guide you through this process if you’re willing to step up. This is actually mush easier than you might think. Here are some basics:

    Line the crate with straw or shavings, because the dog is going to be urinating and defecating in the crate. No bathroom breaks. No walks. You will not take the dog out of the crate.

    You will feel that you need to provide food and water to the dog, but she will not eat or drink until she feels safe, and that won’t happen in the first twelve hours. She will only spill the food and water all over the crate. If we are not able to coordinate transport for her within twelve hours, I will personally guide you through providing water for her.

    You may, if you wish, thread plastic zip ties through the door of the crate to secure it shut. In most cases these dogs do not attempt to escape, they simply hunker down in the back of the crate and are completely silent and still.

    These dogs do not bite except in defense, and they have to generally be pushed very hard to elicit a bite. They do not come forward — their primary defense is to run away, and it is only when that is impossible and you attempt to handle them that they bite. the bites are not serious in most cases — they are simply trying to create an opportunity to run by making you back away. This should not be an issue because you WILL NOT be handling the dog.

    When you move the crate, you will be able to carry it, with two people, without sticking your fingers where they can be bitten.

    You will have as little interaction with the dog as possible — simply get her out and leave her alone. Very easy. Anything more is going to stress her out and will be a waste of time. I am networking with other feral dog specialists right now and believe we can have her placed very quickly, but I need one of you to buy me the time I need to arrange transportation. I will walk you through every step and be on the phone with you as much as you need, so please, someone in Memphis, the time for blogging, Facebook sharing, praying, and crossing fingers is over for this dog — we have a very clear, step-by-step solution, and I just need one of you to commit to getting her out of the shelter so we can take those steps. If you will be the one to save this dog, reply here as soon as possible with your contact info. I will continue to check it throughout the day, as will Shirley.


      1. Yesbisquit’s initial post to Saving# was updated to include Steve’s long post. Steve did not reply there…probably because he posted to the TalkMeDown yesterday.

  24. She has no chance unless someone from Memphis steps up – it is critical that we find someone as soon as possible.

  25. I just saw the link for this blog on No Kill Memphis facebook page – any updates with this dog? has anyone gotten her out of the shelter? is she still alive? I’m in Memphis- I can help, I can get her out of the shelter. I have a pick-up truck and a large crate. find me on facebook and message me if you still need help and if there is anything I can do.

    1. If you are talking about Mari, the dog we later learned was feral, she has been saved. Thanks to some very generous people all around the country. She should be in her new home right now. Thanks for your offer to help. I am in Memphis too, but not much I could do at the time since I am unemployed and didn’t have a crate to put her in but everything was taken care of and now she is at a home for feral dogs to be rehabilitated. So happy for her.

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