Mor(e)on Dog Bed Issues at MAS

As I posted previously, MAS is no longer using the Kuranda beds which had been donated by caring members of the public for the pets at the previous facility.  With the new $7.2 million building, the city decided to go with what a mayor’s spokesman says is a cheaper and more sanitary product:

[T]he mayor’s spokesperson said the Shor-line product was chosen over the Kuranda beds because it doesn’t absorb bodily fluids, which may reduce the possibility of disease. Also, the Kuranda beds are more expensive and costlier to replace.

The product referenced is not a bed but rather a metal kennel deck with holes in it.  And dogs immediately starting eating the coating off of them as soon as they moved to the new facility:

A spokesperson for Mayor A C Wharton’s office confirmed that 21 of the kennel decks are showing signs of chipping paint. Shor-line, the company that installed the beds, is replacing the damaged ones. Damage was caused by dogs chewing and gnawing on the beds. Some animal advocates worry that chipped paint could be toxic to dogs, but Shor-line’s website claims the PVC coating is non-toxic.

I visited the Kuranda website and found that MAS is signed up for the shelter donation program where donors can purchase Kuranda beds at discounted rates for direct shipping to the pound.  It seems a shame to know that any such donations made in past were reportedly vandalized by the staff and any future donations will not be given to the pets at MAS.  Further, it seems wasteful that all of the previously donated Kuranda beds are now presumably sitting somewhere, gathering dust.  I ask again, what happened to the donated Kuranda beds?  Has the city sold them for a profit while dogs lay on cold metal platforms in the pound?  Did the city send them to the landfill along with the thousands of pets it kills each year?

I contacted Kuranda to request a response regarding the claims made by the mayor’s office about their beds being expensive disease spreaders.  I received the following:

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Below is the comment I posted on the website regarding sanitizing Kuranda beds. I’m puzzled that they would call metal grates “beds” and think they would offer any comfort to a dog, not to mention how impossible it would be to FULLY disinfect every nook/cranny of those holes on a daily basis. Our beds have been used for years in vet hospitals, animal shelters & boarding kennels where they are totally disinfected every day while providing a comfortable “bed” to sleep on. I’d be happy to provide the shelter with a sample bed to evaluate. –Carol

Both our pvc and aluminum frame beds w/solid 40oz vinyl are non-porous therefore not able to absorb fluids/bacteria. the solid surfaces are disinfected daily in kennels, clinics & boarding kennels without issue. The design of the bed tucks the heavyduty vinyl into the frame leaving no gaps or places to grab for chewing. Kuranda beds come with a ONE YEAR warranty. There are deep discounts for shelter purchases and a Donate a Bed program. Contact carol@kuranda with any questions.

I guess that answers that.  Although I wouldn’t advise Kuranda to send any beds to MAS since they are likely to be vandalized upon receipt – and probably withheld from the dogs just like all the existing Kuranda beds.

A reader reports: Donated by the public, these Kuranda bed covers had holes cut in them by the MAS staff at the old building so that when the dogs pissed on them, the urine would leak through.
One little hole quickly leads to an unsafe and unusable bed. At the old building, these beds were the only comfort item provided to the dogs in the stray area before they were killed.

For the emotional and physical comfort of the dogs at MAS, they must be provided soft bedding.  If the city is opposed to using the donated Kuranda beds and/or is unable to stop the staff from vandalizing them, there are other options – old blankets and comforters for example.  Bedding is a comfort item which helps reduce stress, keeping the population healthier and making individuals more adoptable.  The full-of-holes kennel decks that the city touts as more sanitary are in fact, not.  Nor are they beds.

Given the history of abuse at MAS, it is not surprising that they are denying the dogs these basic comfort items but it is disappointing.  If the city truly cared about keeping the shelter population healthy and getting more pets out alive, they would provide soft bedding.  It’s such a small thing but it can make such a big difference.  Does anyone involved with MAS care about making a difference or is it easier to just maintain the status quo?

26 thoughts on “Mor(e)on Dog Bed Issues at MAS

  1. I have two couches in my living-room (that I’ve never even sat on) covered with sheets for 5 dogs. At the end of the day and all the “kids” settle down for the night, each dog gets covered up with a quilted baby blanket. I’m down to 2 XL kennel crates (4-6 inch padded pet bed) it the living-room just in case someone wants their own dog-bedroom. I just can not imagine how depressing, cold and lonely the shelter dogs must feel. Shame on them…

  2. Taking into account the things that go on at MAS it just wouldn’t be expected that they would make anything more comfortable for the dogs. They, as a matter of fact, have made the dogs in the stray area downright miserable. Can you see them giving blankets to the dogs…..that would have to be washed daily? I’m afraid they would not go out of their way to make any dog more comfortable. As for making themselves more work…forget about it. They just don’t do the work that is expected of them now. Sure wouldn’t want to make the list longer of things not done there!

    Dot is right. Shame on them……..

  3. I know of other shelters that will not use blankets, towels, sheets, in the dog kennels, saying that they spread disease. I think they just don’t want to deal with cleaning them over and over again. Also any shelters are short on helpers and don’t want anything that leads to extra work. Poor animals have to deal with cold, hard, wet, concrete flooring — this stress make the animals more likely to get disease. So sad.

    1. my shelter used to not be able to use soft bedding because our washing machine did not get hot enough to sterilize the soft bedding- therefore it was not safe to reuse
      but now we have a new washer and we can :-)

    1. Chris – Is your facility signed up for the discount program on the Kuranda website so that donors can have beds sent directly to you? If so, please post the link.

  4. “If the city truly cared about keeping the shelter population healthy and getting more pets out alive…”

    But they don’t. That has never been their goal. Their goal is to continue on with the old “catch and kill” method of animal control. It doesn’t work, of course, but that does not matter to them. MAS is determined to keep a death grip on the old, failed model of sheltering no matter what.


    1. Maybe the people who had him CAN tell a story. I do hope Ms. Hogan is getting a little nervous about now. A tip to crimestopper lead authorities to Senatobia.

  5. A Christmas Miracle…..with the help of tipsters to crime stopper. So relieved that Kapone is back where he belongs. His family will have one very happy happy Christmas.

  6. Dont know where else to put this. Happy day. I now believe in Santa!!!!!! Kapone has been found safe!!!!!!!!!!

  7. The rescue shelter I volunteer for has kuranda beds, plastic beds we call “kidney beds” because they are shaped like a kidney, and blankets. And somehow, through the grace of God, we manage to fully disenfect the beds every day, and keep the blankets clean, and prevent the spread of disease (I’m not saying we never get a case of kennel cough, but it is well under control)! How DO we do it? Oh yeah, we aren’t LAZY.

    1. And I’m sure you follow correct and humane cleaning protocols, too. So revolutionary!

      Memphis really does need to let 1974 go and join the rest of the world in the present.

  8. Why does anybody still think that MAS is ever going to care? Changes have to be made in the attitudes of the politicians and today the politicians are not afraid of losing their jobs! We have a city run, a city controlled, city unionized bunch of people working there! No one there is afraid of the ones that they have to report to…and it’s quite apparent that no one cares because no one tattles and everyone covers for everyone else…I would love to know the turn over rate at MAS….bet it is mighty low! I’ve always heard that birds of a feather flock together…it’s amazing that so many hardened folks can find each other!

  9. I took a tour of MAS a couple of weeks ago and was completely disheartened when I saw a room FULL of dog beds (not K beds but soft, fluffy donated beds) not being used. In the kennels, not a single dog had a blanket or soft bed in their cage. As far as sanitary – the so-called beds they have now seem impossible to clean. A dog had pooped on one I noticed, and there was feces all in the little holes and on the floor underneath. I can’t imagine trying to clean that myself, let alone trusting an MAS employee to clean it properly… especially in the instances where they don’t remove the dog from the cage for cleaning. Most dogs do not urinate/poop where they sleep… I’m wondering, were the K beds really messed that often? Nothing new at MAS except excuses.

  10. FFS, could they not throw down a sack of straw or something? Or get someone to make a few waterproof covers for beds which could be replaced every day.

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