Thursday, November 3 was the last day Memphis Animal Services was open to the public for normal business at the old location. Many of us were concerned about what would happen to the pets left in the building during the closure and move to the new facility. The city reassured local media at the time, telling the Memphis Flyer:
Any animals left in the stray area and adoption areas will be moved to the new facility unless the shelter’s medical director determines an animal must be euthanized due to a medical condition.
ABC24 received similar information from the city:
[A]ll animals housed at the facility on Tchulahoma during that time will be transferred to Appling City Cove unless the Medical Director determines that the animal has a medical condition that would prevent its transfer.
“MAS’ primary focus during this time of transition is the safety and well-being of the animals,” said Public Services and Neighborhoods Director Janet Hooks.
On November 5, 4 cats were killed at MAS – 1 for behavior and 3 for space. 25 dogs were killed that day including 5 with no reason given. 3 dogs were killed for behavior, 1 was killed for being too young, 15 were killed for space and only 1 dog was killed for a medical reason. 2 Pitbulls fell over dead in their cages at MAS that day bringing the body count for November 5 to 31.
On November 10, 2 cats and 1 dog were killed for space, 5 dogs were killed for behavior and 4 dogs were killed for medical.
November 15 was the first day the new facility was open. That day, 2 cats and 8 dogs were killed with no reason given. 12 more dogs were killed for space and 1 dog was killed for medical.
The following day, November 16, 4 dogs are listed as “died”, 23 dogs and 1 cat were killed for space, 4 dogs and 1 cat were killed with no reason given, and 3 dogs were killed for medical.
These statistics do not seem to jive with the city’s public reassurances that all animals would be transferred unless a medical condition prevented it. Further, I do not understand how could space possibly be a reason for killing when the shelter was in transition or when it was first opened at the larger facility.
Remember that MAS refused to allow the public to foster dogs from the stray area during the transition period. How can they deny help from volunteers willing to save pets’ lives and then turn around and kill the pets for “space”? Are these killings the result of the city’s focus being directed toward the “safety and well-being of the animals”? I dread to think.
The MAS fail boat sailed long ago. The only question now is how much longer until the caring people of Memphis wage a political campaign for reform against the city. I hope it won’t be much longer.