This thread will be updated throughout the day as developments unfold. As of this morning, we are still trying to find a volunteer driver for one leg of transport: Jackson, MS to New Orleans. All the rest is worked out. There would be NO DOG HANDLING INVOLVED as Mari is feral and is not to be removed from the trap for any reason. Just put the crate in your vehicle and drive. We can cover expenses. If anyone is able to drive this leg, please let me know.
Note: Updates will be timestamped according to Mari Time, which is Central time.
9:35 am: Memphis rescuers are on their way to MAS to pick up Mari. This is the link to the webcam where Mari was originally put into a cage. If she hasn’t been moved, you should be able to watch her on this cam when she gets bailed out this morning. Please continue sharing the need for a driver on the last leg of transport above.
11:10 am: Ona and Lou Ann are still doing paperwork at MAS for Mari’s release.
11:46 am: Ona and Lou Ann spoke with Steve Markwell about how to get Mari into the trap. Unfortunately, their trap won’t fit inside the kennel at MAS so that plan is a no go. The trained workers at MAS are refusing to help.
12:00 pm: Alternate ways to help Mari get out of the MAS kennel and into a cage for transport are being worked on. TY for the offers and suggestions. Keep them coming.
1:26 pm: A reader suggests perhaps an animal handler from the Memphis Zoo may be able to help. Sounds like a good idea to me. Can someone call? (901) 333-6500
1:45pm: You know the canine upper respiratory outbreak that’s been in the Memphis news recently? The one that MAS said it had no way to keep from spreading? Apparently Mari may have caught that, which would not be surprising as she’s been at the pound for 16 days. And we know she didn’t come in with it, since the veterinary staff deemed her healthy at time of vaccination last week. But today, she has a snotty nose. So MAS says they are going to kill her if Ona and Lou Ann can’t work out how to get her out of their cage by 5pm.
Mari is now owned by Steve Markwell, according to the paperwork the city gave to Ona this morning. Mr. Markwell does not want his dog killed for a snotty nose she caught while at MAS. He wants to get his dog out and transported to safety. Since the city is refusing to have their trained animal professionals put the dog into the transport cage, Ona and Lou Ann are on their own. Mr. Markwell can get a trained feral dog handler to MAS tomorrow to get Mari out but the city is refusing to allow any additional time. Because Mari has a snotty nose.
Is this really what it’s come down to? If the city is determined to kill her, they will have to get one of their workers to drag her out on a chokepole. Why can’t they just go ahead and do that now and put her in the trap for Ona and Lou Ann?
Can anyone call around to find a Memphis vet willing to come to MAS to sedate the dog for Ona and Lou Ann so they can get her into the trap? The MAS vet won’t help. No one at MAS will help Mari. All they are apparently willing to do is kill her.
3:50 pm: I was on the phone with Ona when you guys started posting that someone was going into the cage with Mari. I told Ona and she hurried off the phone to go see what’s happening.
4:00 pm: I don’t know any details yet but, as webcam watchers know, she’s out of the cage and in the trap!
4:15 pm: Mari has left the building! Ona is driving her to Jackson, MS.
4:45 pm: I just noticed that at some point, I switched posting times from Mari Time to my own (Eastern) time. Oops. At least I’m not attempting brain surgery today. Just spoke briefly with Lou Ann. She said Jan Courtney of SOS Memphis came down to assist and was a dog whispering hero! Working on getting additional details.
4:55 pm: It sounds like Jan sort of assessed our highly agitated goggie from outside the kennel, determined that she felt safe to open the kennel door, sat with her back to Mari, kept her head down in a submissive posture, and talked to her in a calm, quiet voice. While Jan was in the kennel, Lou Ann moved the trap so that it was directly in front of the kennel door and just to Jan’s side. When they opened the kennel door wider so that Mari could access the trap, she went right in. I’m hoping to get a direct report from Jan so she can correct any parts I may have misunderstood and perhaps share with us how you get to be a dog whisperer!
6:15 pm: Mari is headed to Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO). Steve Markwell knows their group and since they are much closer to Memphis than he is, he decided to contract with ARNO to evaluate her before making the ultimate decision as to where it will be most appropriate for her to go. Some of the folks from ARNO are driving to meet Ona in Jackson, MS. I am so thankful that this could be arranged on such short notice. I will finally get a good night’s sleep tonight knowing that Mari is in good hands. I bet Mari could use a good night’s sleep too.
The list of people who deserve thanks is a mile long at this point. I’ve always said that many people care about the dogs in the stray area at MAS. If this story doesn’t illustrate that to the city, I don’t know what will.
Memphis, please – unlock the doors to the stray area. Let people in to see and touch your dogs. They are wanted and loved. We only saw Mari on a webcam. She’s alive today because of it. Once you remove the webcams, none of the dogs in the stray area will have anyone to advocate for their right to live. Which is truly tragic.