But is it a “pleasant experience” for the dogs in the stray area?

A piece in the Memphis Daily News provides details of the new building housing the misery that is Memphis Animal Services.  Jeanne Chancellor, one of the “Friends” of MAS, is quoted, in part:

“The noise level is so much better, and the dogs are more spread out so you don’t walk into a room with 300 dogs in it. Now it’s 20 or 25 dogs. It’s just not as overwhelming for people who visit. … It’s clean, it’s gorgeous and it’s full of animals that need homes. It’s a much more pleasant experience now to visit here and adopt.”

The old building was full of animals that needed homes too but MAS refused to allow the public in to see and touch the vast majority of them so they would have a chance at getting the homes they deserved.  Instead, MAS locked the doors to the stray area, keeping the public out and taking most of the dogs directly from their cages to the kill room after the legally required hold period expired.  There has been no change in this policy as far as I have heard now that the killing is being done in a new facility.  If anyone has seen such an announcement or has even heard a rumor that the policy of preventing the public from saving the lives of most of the pets at MAS has changed, please let us know.


32 thoughts on “But is it a “pleasant experience” for the dogs in the stray area?

  1. So the new animal pound is small and hold less dogs? Does that mean that they are killing the ones coming in faster because of lack of space? And this is an improvement? Sorry, I don’t get it.

    1. It’s been very confusing to me too Joni. At first, I had heard that the dogs were going to be housed in runs with guillotine doors so that they could finally bring their cleaning protocols up to the minimum standard of care for shelters. Then I heard that no, the guillotine doors could not be used b/c they would have to house dogs on both sides of the runs in order to have the same number of cages they had at the old building. I’ve never been able to get a straight answer on this.

      1. Maybe we will be blessed with another commentary from Lasagna Hall- surely she knows the answer?!

    2. Joni, the new building has a number of rooms for dogs with about 25 runs in each having quillotine doors at the center of the run. In the old building there were basically 4 large capacity rooms (cat/puppy area off the lobby, adoption hallway, stray hold and the room where the bite quarantine and court case dogs were held). In the new building there are also separate ventilation systems for the different areas, which will decrease the transmission of airborne diseases like distemper.

      1. But, are there dogs housed on each side of the quillotine doors which would render it useless? Will kennels still be hosed out with the dog (and its food and water) still in them?

      2. Yea, I’m getting tired of hearing about those damn quillotine doors if there are in fact useless. Maybe the bloggers who visit the shelter during the Grand Opening on Saturday can figure this one out!

      3. I have been to the shelter a couple of times since it opened. There is one dog in a run with guillotine door, and the dogs get moved from one side to the other so that the dirty side can be cleaned.

  2. I clipped this from that Memphis Flyer:

    “The stray area is now open to the public, which was not the case in the old facility, and the grounds include a large, concrete dog run area in back, as well as a spacious, fenced-in grassy area in the front for dogs to exercise.”

    It doesn’t say the policy has changed, it only says it’s now open to the public. Nor does it say that the grassy area in front for the dogs to exercise is for those dogs from the stray area. Though it would be so nice if were for them.

    1. Hmm – so can people go in to see and touch the dogs from the stray area, take them out to the grassy area for exercise and apply to adopt them if they find one they fall in love with? Anyone know?

  3. Maybe someone can go in and attempt to begin adoption proceedings on a dog from the stray area and see what happens. That should give us the definitive answer! I mean, someone who isn’t a blogger.<<<——evilpeople

  4. “number of rooms for dogs with about 25 runs in each having guillotine doors at the center of the run.”

    Anyone know the exact number of rooms — how many dogs total can the new shelter hold compared to the old shelter – more dogs or less dogs? Same with cats — how many can the new shelter hold? How many cats did the old shelter hold?


    P.S. Are ALL the animals being listed (with pics & info) on petfinder on intake? If not, why not?

    1. Straight from the Rotary Club Report (interview with Matthew Pepper):

      1. The new building is 36,000 SF in area as compared with the existing building which is
      11,000 SF.

      2. The new building will have 22 separate Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning units
      (Roof mounted HVAC units). This system is cheaper to install as compared with fewer,
      larger units but will require a high amount of maintenance and high utility costs,
      especially with 14 complete air changes per hour.

      3. The new building had some roof drainage problems with water flowing onto the new
      main entrance but this problem has been solved. There was also a drainage problem at
      the rear of the building which has been corrected.

      4. There will be a total of approximately 296 cages (210 canine, 86 feline). This is only 36
      more cages than the existing MAS on Tchulahoma Road. Moreover, the new building will NOT be able to be expanded according to Matthew Pepper.

      5. The biggest job for the staff is constantly cleaning the cages. Matthew Pepper explained
      that in many new facilities around the country, the “best practice” is to have two cages
      (back-to-back) per dog. These cages are separated by a “guillotine” vertically sliding
      door which allows the staff to move dogs from cage one to cage two through the
      guillotine door and then clean cage one. With cages laid out in rows like egg crates, this
      layout with double cages per animal highly facilitates sterile cleaning of an entire row of
      cages by one staff member. Furthermore, there is no “handling” of the dog to move it
      out of its cage. Food is simply placed in the second cage and the guillotine door is slid up
      to allow the dog to move to the second cage. Then the door is dropped allowing the
      first cage and all the cages in that row to be cleaned at the same time.

      6. Unfortunately, the cage-layout in the new building repeats the same type layout of the
      existing facility which has one cage per dog. Therefore, in order to clean the cages (a
      constant ongoing activity), staff must physically handle and remove each dog from its
      cage and leash it to a wall hook while the cage is being cleaned. According to Matthew
      Pepper, this is not only a time consuming, inefficient system but it requires more staff,
      more time and the cleaning results are less sterile than could otherwise be achieved. As
      he puts it: “This is definitely not a best practice” (The new facility was planned and
      designed before Matthew Pepper came to Memphis in March.

      1. How can you increase a facility’s size by 25,000 sq feet and only come up with 36 additional cages? And, don’t think that the cages are larger either.

        Oh yea, it is probably that state-of-the-art medical facility which Janet Hooks plans to use to make the shelter profitable.

        Anybody see a problem here?

      1. The cages aren’t cleaned with the dogs in them. The guillotine doors are in use at the new Shelter location.

  5. If there are only 20-25 dogs up for adoption that can be seen, that is a poor rate if there are actually 300 at the shelter. How can any of these dogs be adopted/rescued if they are unable to be seen? What rescue group is approved/helping with these dogs?

    Is MAS using Petharbor or Petfinder? They should be using Petharbor so people can look at both the stray and adoptable dogs! This is how I look at dogs of my breed so I can post to the different breed lists I am on.

    They should do cats the same way. I did not mean to ignore them!

  6. This “speak” is not about the new shelter…but it will tell anyone who cares….nothing has changed. Yesterday ACOs were called to a rough area of Memphis to pick up a dog. They came and attempted to catch the mama dog but failed. The ACOs were aware that the mama dog had puppies under a house that were not weaned…”who cares?” Thank God they failed to catch mama and last night some very good folks got mama and crawled under a very dangerous house to retrieve 6 puppies. This a.m. puppy cries were heard so Jerry went back under this dangerous house and retrieved # 7. Tonight mama and all babies are safe, warm, fed! MAS is and will continue to be the same uncaring hell hole it has always been. Different wrapping paper but the same people with the same attitude!

    1. You can’t put lipstick on the pig and get anything other than a pig. MAS is who they always were and most likely will always be with the present people working there.

      Thank you for saving mama and those babies from MAS. They would surely have died there.

  7. Don’t know just how many cages in the canine adoption area but in looking at the friends fb page the highest kennel number with a dog listed for adoption is 39.

  8. There has got to be a better way to showcase these wonderful dogs to the public so that “kill room” would be less of an option. These guys deserve better than this, and Memphis knows it.

    1. I believe the only FB page belongs to Friends of Memphis Animal Shelter (correct me if I’m wrong). This is a mystery to me since this is a volunteer 501c3 group and no one in it is an actual employee of MAS. Good question as to why MAS doesn’t have it’s own FB page! Goes to show who’s running that show!

  9. Here is the million dollar question of the day: what are the hours of operation at MAS? On the webpage it states the facility opens at 11:00 a.m.. The recording on the OLD phone number (MAS) states 11:00 a.m. When citizens called last night, to the NEW number, after 7:00 p,m., there wasn’t any recording at all. On FMAS FB page, they mention MAS is opened at 10:00…… Tracy Dunlap sent out an e-mail to volunteers (no, sadly I did not receive it – darn – he must have lost my e-mail address), it says the facility is opened at 10:00 on Saturday…….Does anyone out there have the answer to this question? How could Hooks/Hall/ Chancellor/Beamon/Dunlap not think this is important, as well?! Don’t answer, I DO have the answer to that question!

    1. All was revealed today in emails from Dr. Hall. (I do believe she reads yesbiscuit!!)

      Tomorrow, the Wizard of Oz begins at 11:00 AM (Grand Opening of MAS) – complete with Wizard Wharton, the wicked witch of the west and the yellow brick road. Everything will glitter in Oz! If you’re able to go, watch out for the flying monkeys!!

      Then, reality hits again and Oz turns back into hell for these animals.

      1. Sorry to those who got spammed by Memphis city officials today asking them to forward messages to me. One reader told me she added “memphistn.gov” to her blacklist so she won’t get any more of these. As she put it “They can deliver their own messages.” They seemed to know how to find me when they wanted to threaten me with legal action, I’m sure they can find me again if they really want to get a message to me.

  10. Hello Ladies, I find it very odd and strange for people not to have anything to do but aggrivate, aggitate a facility about doing their job while you sit at home in other Cities or States. I love all animals and a sucker for puppies. But common sense kicks in eventully. You ladies need to chill on the crap you dish out. There is to much noise in your wagons which means you should find other possitive things to help keep you busy. Hey, some Human Beings could use your energy.

    Sucker for pups n more

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