Saving Buster

Donna from Hearts of Gold Pit Rescue sent someone to pull Buster from MAS last night but the person was refused, as they were not on a list of approved couriers for the rescue.  So Donna is going herself to bail Buster out this morning when the pound opens.  The local news will be there and I will update this post when they add the story online.

Thank you to everyone who networked Buster at the last minute in an effort to save him from the kill room at MAS.  Success.  How sweet it is.

I asked Donna if she has a ChipIn for Buster and she does not.  Donations can be made via Paypal though using as the recipient.  Donations of one dollar, or any amount you can afford are welcome and appreciated.

Added:  As Clarice noted in the comments, the story of Buster’s rescue on the local news can be seen here.  Look at that nice dog.  Shame on MAS for failing him.  A supervisor is interviewed in the clip saying it’s hard to get Pitbulls adopted in Memphis.  Well, apparently it’s not TOO hard.  If you try.

Graham Speaks for Me

It's too early.

We Have a Lodger

Freeloader builds own bunk directly outside our front door.

Freeloader hangs out in her bunk at night.

Buster Has Outlived His Usefulness to MAS

Some of you may remember the handsome Pibble type dog pictured with MAS interim director James Rogers in this article in the Memphis Daily News. I suspect the dog was chosen for the photos to try and put a positive image in the minds of the public.  Like, “See, we haven’t killed EVERY dog that looks like a Pitbull!”.  I wrote to the reporter at the time of publication and asked about the dog.    I was told his name was Buster and no other information was known about him although the paper had received a lot of inquiries after printing his photos.  I thought it was such a shame that Mr. Rogers had wasted the opportunity to promote this beautiful dog for adoption.  As far as I know, neither MAS nor the “Friends” have done anything to promote Buster in the time since the article appeared.  And today, he has apparently started coughing.  So MAS is going to kill Buster if he’s not bailed out by 5pm.

As much as I hate to put out yet another last minute plea for a pet at MAS, the alternative is that MAS got to use Buster for self-promotion and then gets to throw him in the dumpster.  Buster is not trash and he has a right to live so I’m putting this out there.  If you are in the Memphis area and interested in adopting or fostering Buster (ID#238243) within the next few hours, please contact the pound directly at (901) 636-1416 or leave a comment here.  I will help.

Video courtesy Meows and BowWows

What is Displacement Killing?

Facilities which kill healthy/treatable pets do so without cause and in spite of clear evidence of proven alternatives such as exist in the dozens of open admission no kill shelters throughout the country.  Pounds may or may not assign a particular “reason” for the killings:  space, illness, injury, too young, etc.  Whether or not a “reason” is provided, there is no justification for killing healthy/treatable shelter pets.  While euthanasia of pets who are medically hopeless and suffering (or dogs deemed dangerous by a qualified party) occurs in all shelters, it is the only time a pet’s life is ended at no kill shelters.  At pet killing facilities, lives are ended regularly based on arbitrary criteria such as date of impound.  This is different from euthanasia and I believe it’s appropriate to call it killing.

There are a growing number of kill shelters who, in an apparent effort to gain positive media attention and bilk unsuspecting donors, have jumped on the import bandwagon.  That is, they “rescue” pets from other kill shelters, often from the southeast, and have them transported to their facilities.  The animals (usually dogs) arrive at their destination and are presumably evaluated for adoption.  If a dog is sick or otherwise deemed unadoptable by the pet killing facility, he may be killed.  This is obviously not a rescue.

But there is a phenomenon, less obvious to the public, but apparent just the same, called displacement killing.  Any facility which kills healthy/treatable pets and then imports more animals from other pounds is guilty of displacement killing.  That is, some of the healthy/treatable animals already at the facility at the time the imports arrive will be displaced and killed.  Again, the facility may or may not provide a “reason” for the killings such as space, etc.

A healthy senior dog whom the kill shelter has failed to market successfully might be displaced by an imported puppy.  The staff might attempt to justify the killing of the older dog by saying things like, “No one wants him because he’s old”, “We’ve kept him a long time already and still no interest from adopters” or “Wouldn’t it be better to use his cage for a puppy who will probably be adopted more quickly and for a higher price?”  This is displacement killing.

A dog with a treatable medical condition such as mange might be displaced by an imported dog with an attractive coat.  The killing of the dog with mange might be explained away as, “Why spend resources on treating a mange dog who will take some time before his coat returns to a healthy appearance which would be appealing to adopters when we are getting this dog whose coat already looks nice?”.  This is displacement killing.

The killing might not correlate directly, one to one, between the existing animals and the imported animals.  It may be a general excuse for killing such as, “We need to weed out all the coughing dogs before the imports arrive so our population doesn’t get them sick” or “Let’s depopulate the large dogs, which we have a disproportionate number of, in order to highlight the small dogs we are importing who we know will be in high demand”.  This is displacement killing.

Displacement killing may be even more vague.  It may simply be a matter of a kill shelter maintaining its live release rate of say, 60% while importing dogs.  This too is displacement killing.  Had the additional animals never been imported and the shelter maintained its 60% live release rate, more lives would have been saved – those of animals already at the facility.  While one could argue that lives were still saved – those of the imported animals – it must be considered that the imports may have been adopted had they been left at their original shelter or might have been rescued by a no kill rescue group or shelter where no displacement would have occurred.

I am all for transporting shelter pets to where they are wanted.  This is how I got Surrey from TN.  But transporting Surrey to my house in SC did not displace any pets since I do not kill animals.  Rather, it freed up a space at the pound where she was on the kill list.  I know there are many other situations where shelter pets can be transported in order to save lives.  But importing additional animals into a facility which already kills pets is counterproductive.

Name That Animal

If you haven’t played before, the only rule is no researching.  Post your answer in the comments, LOL submissions are rewarded with candy.  Answer will be posted in the comments later today.

TN ACOs Charged with Animal Cruelty

Two ACOs in Sullivan Co, TN were charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty this week in connection with an incident involving a shelter pet one year ago. The ACOs allegedly failed to provide appropriate care for the animal and the word “torture” was mentioned:

“In Tennessee, the State Legislature has defined torture of an animal to be any act, omission, or type of neglect that causes pain or suffering,” [Sullivan Co Assistant DA Julie] Canter said. “(Failure to provide necessary care) can be obviously failure to provide veterinary care to an animal that’s in pain or suffering or any other type of care that’s needed.”

The ACOs are currently on paid leave.  Both are pet owners.  If convicted, I know a place in TN where they could probably get a job and fit right in.

In Which a Kind Citizen Asks the “Friends” to Help Pets at MAS

Posting from the Facebook page belonging to the "Friends" of MAS. (Click to enlarge.)

Yeah, Person from Another County Who Cared Enough about the Pets at MAS to Contact a Group at the Pound to Get Them Help, it would be great if YOU could drive over here and give them the veterinary attention they need. What are you by the way – an airline pilot? Barista? Oncologist? Oh who cares, just come down and help the animals out yourself.


Maybe the “Friends” could ask one of the MAS veterinarians who pull down $80 grand a year to do their job.

MAS Dogs on PetHarbor

Newborn pup, ID#A238808, on grate at Memphis pound as pictured on

Click to visit the above pup’s listing on PetHarbor.

Is this your pet? Dog ID#A238886 at Memphis pound, as pictured on

Click to visit the above dog’s listing on PetHarbor.

Senior Lab, ID#A238739, in need of a soft bed at Memphis pound, as pictured on

Click to visit the above dog’s listing on PetHarbor.

Would you like to add this dog to your family? Dog ID#A238743 at Memphis pound as pictured on

Click to visit the above dog’s listing on PetHarbor.

Does anyone at MAS care if these pets are reunited with their owners or if they are in pain or if they survive? It’s hard to tell from these photos.

Have you ever seen a child make a bed for stuffed animal?  Even a second grader would know that old dogs and newborn pups shouldn’t be left on the hard floor or even worse – on a grate.

I am not criticizing the quality of the photos as to artistic merit or marketability of the animals pictured.  Those are skills which can be learned and hopefully will be very soon by those taking photos at MAS.  I’m saying these photos reflect the following:

  • Lack of concern for whether these animals are recognizable to owners searching for them
  • Lack of concern for whether anyone would consider adopting a pet whose face can’t be seen
  • Lack of compassion for an old dog who likely suffers from joint pain even on a good day
  • Lack of common sense animal husbandry for a newborn pup left on a grate


Discussion: Family Friendly Museum Featuring Paintings of Dogs Killed by Shelters

I saw this post on No Kill Nation’s Facebook page and thought it would make for a good discussion item here.  In summary, the city of Bradenton, FL is considering the idea of a museum which would house several thousand paintings of dogs who were killed by animal shelters.  The paintings depict the dogs as they were in life.

How would you feel about visiting this museum and bringing your kids/grandkids to see the paintings?  Is it a good opportunity for education and action?  Too overwhelming?  Too negative?