On Tuesday, Memphis advocate Jody Fisher contacted MAS regarding some German Shepherds she had seen at the pound. She was seeking more information in order to share with breed rescue groups. After receiving a response from Tracy Dunlap at the pound, Jody shared the info with fellow advocate Jan Courtney.
Among the several GSDs referenced, one (who was listed on PetHarbor with no photo or name) was described by Mr. Dunlap as “239138 – Due out today, alopecia, not an adoption candidate”. Naturally, those of us who care about the lives of shelter pets became concerned. Jan wrote back to MAS with questions about the dog and I put out word with the rescue groups that I would use funds from our reader donations to pay expenses if anyone was able to save this dog.
Unfortunately, pet advocates weren’t quicker than the high volume kill room assembly line at MAS. They killed the dog. Jan wrote to the vet (Rebecca Coleman) and the director (James Rogers) to express her outrage and question why this dog was killed for thinning hair/bald spots. The director replied that the dog had been killed for mange. The vet wrote back saying that the dog wasn’t on the kill list, that the vets “only authorize euthanasia for animals that are suffering and in great pain” and Jan had jumped to wrong conclusions. Obviously Jan challenged this assertion. She never heard another word from anyone at MAS about the dog.
Read the e-mail string below and weep. This is not change. This is more of the same excuses, needless killing and lies from MAS. Another chokepole class for the staff perhaps?
On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 10:03 AM, Tracy Dunlap wrote:
Here are the stats on the dogs you were inquiring about.
237266 – ADOPTED
239138 – Due out today, alopecia, not an adoption candidate 238952 – on adoption floor
238170 – on adoption floor
238460 – due out 3/30/12 pending evaluation will be moved to adoption.
On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 12:17 PM, Jan Courtney wrote:
Tracy, Jody Fisher forwarded a copy of your email regarding the German Shepherds at Memphis Animal Services as she is trying to rescue another dog today. I am really surprised that Memphis Animal Services has elected not to put #239138 as an adoption candidate because of alopecia because this is the partial or complete absence of hair from areas of the body where it normally grows or baldness. This could easily be caused by stress or dietary conditions. This really concerns me and if this dog is euthanized simply because he or she has bald spots, this REALLY REALLY concerns me.
On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 12:54 PM, Tracy Dunlap wrote:
I do not have a degree in veterinary medicine. I rely on the professional opinions of our medical personnel. As this is a policy/procedural issue, I have included Mr. Rogers and Dr. Coleman in this response. In the future, if you have issues with our medical decisions, please direct them to Mr. Rogers. I have no authority to override our medical staffs findings. I am trying to take a picture of this dog to send to Jody and I have placed a hold on the dog as this is all I can do at this time. Thank you for asking about this dog and if I can assist further, please let me know.
On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 12:56 PM, Shirley Thistlethwaite wrote:
If anyone can rescue #239138, I will help with expenses from the blog’s donation fund. Readers have donated for the specific purpose of helping pets at MAS that MAS refuses to help themselves. This dog qualifies. Let me know if anyone can help this dog.
On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 1:10 PM, Tracy Dunlap wrote:
Thank you for asking about this dog. Unfortunately this dog has already been euthanized. If you have further questions, please let us know.
On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 1:34 PM, Jan Courtney wrote:
Tracy, I do indeed have further questions. When did hair loss become a reason to kill a dog. We could have spared this dog’s life and Jody said that there were rescue groups that were interested in transporting several German Shepherds. Why was this dog killed? I am absolutely sickened by this, especially when we could have found this dog a home. I rescued a dog named Dora that was in quarantine because she had a “bald spot” and I am sure that she also would have been killed. Dora is now a healthy and happy dog living in a loving home and she is the light in this family’s life.
Mr. Rogers, what do you have to say about this? I was looking for you to bring about change at Memphis Animal Services. This is not good.
On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 1:46 PM, Jan Courtney wrote:
Dr. Coleman, why would you authorize that a German Shepherd with hair loss be euthanized today. Jody Fisher had been emailing Tracy Dunlap that there were rescue groups interested in the German Shepherds at MAS and we received an email from Tracy that this dog was not an adoption candidate and was due out today because of alopecia. WHICH IS HAIR LOSS OR BALDING.
Which is probably caused by the stress this dog was under or the diet you had him on. Or maybe it was an allergic reaction. NONE OF WHICH ARE REASONS TO EUTHANIZE A DOG.
Why did you authorize the killing of this dog, 239138. Was it retaliation? Tell me so I can understand why you made this heartless decision.
On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 2:36 PM, Rebecca Coleman wrote:
There are notes in this animal’s file that it has hairloss. We routinely make notes about animals if we find medical issues that are noteworthy. The veterinarians only authorize euthanasia for animals that are suffering and in great pain. This animal would not meet that criteria. I just checked the records, and the animal is not listed for euthanasia, nor are there any notations of any type that indicate or suggest euthanasia. I think you may have jumped to some incorrect conclusions.
R. Coleman, DVM
Veterinary Medical Director
Memphis Animal Services
On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 3:05 PM, James Rogers wrote:
You are right. This is not good. The animal was euthanized today at 11:00 am because of mange.
It should not have happened and we are painstakingly making sure this does not happen again.
Your help in rescuing is truly appreciated. Please continue to help us place animals for positive outcomes.
James M. Rogers
On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 4:52 PM, Jan Courtney wrote:
Dr. Coleman, Tracy Dunlap sent an email at 1:10 PM today that this dog was euthanized. Your email shows 2:36 PM. Then Mr. Rogers sent an email at 3:05 PM today that this dog was euthanized because of mange. You are telling me something totally different in that this dog did not meet the criteria for euthanization.
What really happened to this dog and if you, as the vet at Memphis Animal Services, are the one who authorizes the euthanizations of the animals at MAS, why is it that you did not know that the dog had been euthanized. And how did this dog’s condition suddenly change from alopecia to mange. Demodetic mange is also treatable too and is no cause for euthanization.