A couple of readers visited the Memphis pound on a recent Saturday about one hour after the place opened. They sent me some observations as well as some photos.
Reader #1 wrote:
Probably 95% of the kennels were dirty – poop/ diarrhea in those kennels. Some of the [metal] beds were broken and many had the paint chipped off. We were told the kennels had been cleaned that morning- we were there at noon. There were some puppies that were listed at only month old in the normal size kennels.
The first kennel we came upon had a kennel card of a pit bull but the dog was some sort of hunting dog. This dog also didn’t have any collar on it. I think we saw a total of 6 employees and 7 volunteers. It was mentioned that there had been a parvovirus outbreak a few weeks ago.
Reader #2 wrote:
I found the shelter to be filthy. It stunk the second we walked in – what happened to this great ventilation system?? We were not greeted at all – and we noted the same thing when other visitors came through the door. In fact, [we] greeted more people coming in than the volunteers!!
As we walked through, I’d say 98% of the kennels had poop in the kennel – sometimes on the floor where the dogs/puppies could step in it. I found the metal beds troublesome. I asked the volunteer about the plastic coating that was obviously peeling/being eaten off. She said, “Well, at least I know it’s not toxic.” Well, that was reassuring – NOT. The wires that work to open the guillotine system were broken on 3-4 of the kennels. Thus – if you can’t work the wires, you can’t clean properly and/or are spraying the dogs. I also noticed as we went from one of the adoption areas into the food processing room . . . the volunteer looked through the glass at the employees inside (before opening the door) and put her finger to her neck in a slicing motion – like “cut the crap, we have visitors.” Then she motioned to the left with her head in our direction so the 3 employees in the food prep room would know a visitor was coming through. Don’t know what they were doing at the time that she needed to stop them.
The outside, concrete run . . . as we walked out, I noticed an enclosed plastic rat/mouse trap to the side of the door. How safe is that if a dog is out there playing and gets that in its mouth?? Geeez.
The volunteer also told us that they’ve had a couple of volunteer orientations – both about 25 people. But they don’t have many that return. Why is that?? I think there is a problem there if volunteers are not returning.
We didn’t see more than a 100 dogs. The volunteer said there is another room that the intakes come through – and stay until they are evaluated. I can only imagine what happens in that room. It is off limits. Makes me sick to my stomach.
As a lot of others have mentioned before . . . it is only a new building. Nothing more.
Below are some of the photos I received. It seems as if the city never addressed the problem of the peeling paint off those shoddy metal platforms as they had claimed. It’s disappointing to hear that several of the cables used to raise the guillotine doors are already broken. What kind of quality does $7.2 million buy these days anyway? If visitors are only being shown 100 dogs, that leaves hundreds more locked away behind closed doors. At a place killing 3 out of 4 pets, the least they could do is unlock the doors and let people in to see and touch the animals. They won’t even use their Chameleon software to post all the pets online. How is anyone supposed to help these pets if no one but the city knows they are there?
And why so many dirty cages? It’s understandable that some cages might be in need of spot cleaning at any given moment because workers/vols can’t possibly be everywhere at once with the scooper but it is simply unacceptable for nearly every kennel to have feces in it one hour after opening on the busiest adoption traffic day of the week. Adopters are not exactly drawn to stink. And they certainly aren’t eager to cuddle puppies who have run through poop. This stuff is a no-brainer. Come on, Memphis!