Did these puppies suffer on the Memphis ACO trucks?

Many of the photos posted on PetHarbor by MAS show the animals still on the ACO trucks. Despite the obvious facts that this is hardly the setting or the time to get a quality photo of a pet, there appear to be more serious issues involved.

This puppy, listed as 2 months old by MAS, appears to have been transported on a no-traction floor surface with a length of heavy chain. If this photo is accurate (and I have no reason to believe it isn’t), that would mean the puppy slid around on the floor of this cage for whatever period of time he was on the ACO truck, possibly hours, with a heavy chain battering him.  If that is what happened, I think the best possible scenario is criminal neglect, assuming the ACO responsible placed the puppy and the chain in the stainless steel cage together out of ignorance that cage contents shift during transport.  At worst, the puppy was harmed intentionally by the ACO, who knew that cage contents shift during transport and that the floor provided no traction.  Whatever the case, I expect no action of any kind from interim director James Rogers or anyone else affiliated with MAS.  They don’t care.

Puppy #A239694 at Memphis Animal Services as pictured on PetHarbor.com

The puppy below is no longer listed on PetHarbor but at the time I saw him he was listed as 11 days old.  He is pictured in a cage on the ACO truck with a grate flooring.  An 11 day old puppy would have no ability to avoid being rolled around like a soda can during transport for whatever length of time he was on the truck, possibly hours.  The only thing that would stop him would be if a limb were to get caught in the grate, in which case his suffering would be different, but still present.  There is simply no excuse for transporting an 11 day old puppy in a regular box on the ACO truck, even if he was impounded with a littermate and/or a mama dog.  There have been numerous FOIA requests filed with the city for the impounding ACO’s notes on this puppy but they have all been ignored.

My first thought upon seeing his photo was that the pup was either dead or in the final stages of life.  As a breeder, I have suffered the heartbreak of finding a newborn pup whom mama has accidentally fallen asleep on and suffocated.  This is what dead/dying pups look like.  This is not a photo of a normal resting position for an 11 day old puppy.  Regardless of whether the ACO was simply criminally negligent or intentionally brought harm to this pup, I expect interim director James Rogers and other city leaders to do nothing.  No one affiliated with MAS cares.

MAS records indicate this puppy was to go to foster care.  I question whether this pup is still alive.  Numerous FOIA requests have been filed with the city for foster care info on this pup but they have all been ignored.

11 day old pup, ID#A238808, on grate inside Memphis ACO truck, as formerly pictured on PetHarbor.com

50 thoughts on “Did these puppies suffer on the Memphis ACO trucks?

  1. Heartbreaking. Why would someone treat puppies that way? Who are these sadists? The second one looks dead to me as well, YB. Probably lucky.

  2. I just don’t get it. I don’t. Those puppies would be in the cab with me in my lap. How hard is that? If that is against policy then why can’t each truck have a cat carrier with some bedding or a cardboard box with newspapers so they can transport puppies and kittens?

    Called my local AC the other day because there was a golden in the neighborhood with tags/electric fence that I couldn’t catch – our shelter is NO KILL and awesome at getting dogs back home. The officer couldn’t catch the dog and finally opened the door to his truck and the dog jumped in the cab and he simply took him HOME.

    The bottom line was that the AC LIKED dogs; said he had eight of his own at home (only one when he started with AC). Where are these people in Memphis??

    Why are they working at MAS if they don’t even LIKE animals??? I’m asking this question honestly…

    1. i agree, our city officals pick up the strays here and dumped them at the reservior. why cant people just use thrie heads.

  3. Can this not go national somehow and bring the wrath of animal advocates even worldwide down on MAS? I know this place is a drop in the bucket when it comes to the abuse and neglect of these sweet, precious creatures. But there HAS to be something…somebody, somewhere…that can make a difference for the animals at MAS. ANYTHING?

    1. There seems to be no political will to reform MAS in any meaningful way. By and large, good people remain silent, for fear of retaliation I presume. To paraphrase Jefferson, this is all that is needed for tyranny to prosper.

  4. What truly concerns me is that the people taking these photos – “professional animal care technicians” according the Mayor Wharton – do not see what we see.

    They seem to be completely oblivious to the fact that dogs will slide around in transport without the rubber matting. They seem completely oblivious to the fact that puppies and kittens need to stay together for warmth and security and should not be put in a large cage like that for who knows how long. They also seem completely unable to read dog and cat body language in any way, shape, or form.

    They take these photos because they see nothing wrong with them. They take photos of animals in distress because they see nothing wrong with them. The level of apathy and ignorance is staggering.

    1. I agree and would add that apathy and ignorance flow downhill. No one in a position of leadership has done anything in response to any evidence of cruelty outside of the mayor’s Here You Go Media undercover police op.

  5. Shirley ,not to get off the important subject if the puppies suffered on Memphis ACO truck but I thought this was important and thought this girl who went to MAS to save a burned dog took pics of the dogs on adoption floor and shared them on Facebook. We all shared her pics but she was scolded because she didn’t get ID’s numbers on them. Her name is Rebekah McCallie. Her Mom wrote this on one of the threads: Beth Kittrell McCallie The original poster is my daughter. She went to MAS to rescue a burned dog. She had never been in the shelter before yesterday. While she was there she took these dogs pics.
    She did not know she would need their tag #. She is being blasted by some people for not getting their ID#s. She thought MAS would be able to help with identifying the dogs. She now knows they will not. Maybe someone else in the Memphis area could step up and visit this hell and get their ID#s. The thread posted is https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151545430735564&set=a.10151545418745564.846228.749035563&type=1&theater If anyone can get the id’s of the dogs she posted it would be such a help for this young girl who tied to help and save a MAS dog.

    1. Well, the tripod shepherd is in her photos, so we know his ID is ID#A239329. I wonder if we can match others through petharbor?

  6. Imagine that! Getting scolded for trying to help those dogs by taking pictures….. Please tell me the names of those scolding her. Rebekah should be commended for trying to help.

  7. If they only keep dogs for a few days, why do they wait so long to post the pictures on PetHarbor. That really a rhetorical question, considering that it’s MAS. But the time is up on many of these animals and some have been at the shelter since April 10!

  8. Appalling, as usual. My standard is generally this – would I be comfortable if someone treated an animal in this way – if this animal was my own.

    I understand that occasionally, handling an unruly and unknown animal can get a bit… hairy, for lack of a better word. But what excuse could anyone have for not simply securing these babies in a restrained carrier with clean bedding?

    Seriously, MAS – what you do is not rocket science. Stop, think, and clean this crap up. We are not stopping.

  9. Mikken, Super Sleuth! Here is a mystery for you: If a reader here can look on PetHarbor and figure out the ID numbers, why can’t MAS staff/vols do that when people are interested in adopting but don’t know the ID numbers?

    1. Ah, but I have the secret ingredient – the giveacrap gene. Something apparently missing (or forcibly removed) from everyone at MAS.

      Interestingly, some of those dogs definitely were not on PH. But there are a number of “no photo” entries that could have been them.

      Of course, if I were actually physically there and someone sent me a photo, I could print it out and walk around with it to identify the animal. That doesn’t seem very hard…

      1. I’m Rebekah McCallie. I want to say thank you so much for looking up a few of the dogs. I had already looked up many of them by the time I saw your comment, but you had found a few that I could not. What is most upsetting to me is the way people have treated me for not getting the IDs. I had never been in MAS before, because I have heard the stories. I volunteer all my time at Sunny Meadows no-kill shelter, and we actually know our dogs. I went in to save a burned dog who had absolutely zero vet care, and was going to be killed that day. When I got there… I just couldn’t help but take pictures. I asked the worker if it was ok for me to put them on facebook, and he said yes. He said nothing about needed the IDs… it really was an honest mistake. All of these people being mean to me could have spent the time that they used sending me hatemail to look up these dogs on petharbor like I eventually had to do. Or they could have run up there on Saturday. I was at Earth Day from 6am-6pm promoting our shelter or I would have done it myself. Thank you all so much for your help. 10 or more dogs have been saved so far! Looks like many more will be saved once they open up Tuesday.

      2. Rebekah, please don’t give another thought to the negative comments! I am just one of many who shared all the MAS dogs off of your site, especially the burned dog that you rescued. And I was highly impressed that you had taken the time to photograph each one and post them! You won’t be able to do enough for some people, no matter what you do. But I hope you will realize that they are the ones doing nothing at all, most of the time, so they have plenty of time to criticize those who are trying. Thank for you saving that one sweet dog, especially! But thank you equally as much for the extra effort you took to help all the dogs at MAS have a chance. You ARE making a difference…please know that!

      3. Why walk around and look for a dog someone wants to save when you can drag it to the kill room in less time? Plus there are no bonuses for walking around, looking for a pet someone wants to save – only for working in the kill room.

      4. Rebekah, yes I saw that you had gotten some ID numbers, so I started checking to see if you were missing any that I could find (rather than duplicate the work). Too many were not identifiable either because they’re not up on Pet Harbor at all or there are no photos of them or because the photos that are there are so crappy.

        The fact that people railed against you for not having IDs/cage card photos was unkind, certainly. But their frustration comes from the fact that MAS will do NOTHING to help you locate a dog or cat without the ID number – yes, even the three legged GSD, who is clearly and easily identified, they’ll say, “I can’t help you without a number”. As if they have a roomful of three legged dogs back there to sort through!

        MAS puts up barriers to saving lives when they should be breaking them down. It’s as if life saving is just too damn much work for them.

  10. @Rebekah
    Thank you for doing what you have done. Many of us are very frustrated after a very long time of the crap you described. Many of us don’t even live in the Memphis area, but are trying to do something to help the animals who are unfortunate enough to end up at MAS.
    Just a quick question about the dog who was burned. Were you able to get there in time?
    Thanks, too, to mikken for all of her detective work. Yeah, that giveacrap gene will do it every time!

    1. Yes! I did get her out in time, THANK GOD. I didn’t find out about her until the night before, and I was so, so worried she would be killed before they opened at 11. I sat outside that parking lot at 7am, waiting for a worker to go through the fenced in gate… immediately sped in behind them, and told them if they killed that dog all hell would break loose lol. Here is her picture while she was at MAS. :(


      Here are some pictures of her once I got her sweet self to the vet.


      1. I’ve been following her progress via the pictures you’ve posted, I guess on Sunny Meadows page and you did a really great thing! Noelle is smiling and that says it all!

      2. Thank goodness you got her out! Is your vet able to help her? That’s a nasty burn – looks chemical. To not give such a dog pain meds and antibiotics in the very least is criminally negligent.

      3. Yeah… the vet said she would most likely be fine. The burns were already starting to heal on their own. He seemed more worried about the fact that she looked like she hadn’t eaten in 2 months.

      4. Yeah, MAS is real good about proper feeding protocols, especially for unwell animals. NOT.

      5. Haven’t been able to access her “after” photos, but so glad that you got her outta there and got some treatment for her burns and her . . . um . . . malnutrition.

        Someday those those at MAS will have to answer for what they do and/or fail to do.

  11. At the AC in my county the food they feed the animals is so loudly as to create a hormonal response in males that make them look like they have breast milk and are pregnant.

    Maybe we could start a national competition for exposing the worst of the worst in taxpayer waste and fraud at the public ally funded animal controls/shelters.

    This should IMHO hold as much if not more weight as the puppymill exposes.

  12. You bitch about the the treatment …… yetttt youre breeding dogs and contributing to it…..

    1. By breeding dogs, I am contributing to what exactly – the abuse of shelter pets by staff? My goodness “truerescue”, where did you go to Bravery School? I’d like to contact them regarding their graduation criteria.

  13. Is there a volunteer group that works with Memphis Animal Control? I know sometimes there are groups who help pull some dogs and try to post pictures of other adoptable dogs.

  14. Fuck those pieces of shit that mishandle those poor animals. I am ashamed to be a human being after seeing these poor puppies last hours of life. Memphis you need to be taken off the map. Period.

    1. The information received was limited. We tried and tried and tried. Ultimately, I think a reasonable conclusion to draw is that the records do not exist – which is a serious concern. Keeping limited records on animals is better than keeping none at all but it’s hardly acceptable. Of course, some people might think the records DO exist and are being hidden in violation of the law. But I hope that’s not the case.

      1. Agreed! And that leads to the bigger issue of the general lack of accountability, care, and concern that MAS exhibits in the handling of most, if not all of the animals there. Was the information complete enough to even give a hint of whether or not these two puppies survived?

      2. I should clarify that the records were only requested on the second puppy. The puppy in the first photo – I have no idea what became of him, only that he is no longer listed on PetHarbor. It’s the second puppy we went back and forth ad nauseum, trying to get a definitive answer but were provided nothing. The last note in the record (linked in post) says a litter was supposed to go to foster, of which he was apparently part. No confirmation that he *did* go to foster. No records of any kind on the foster care. Just nothing. We really tried on this one but got nowhere.

  15. Reblogged this on dips in the road and commented:
    I am thankful there are people reporting these travesties….the truth about some of the shelters and rescues out there. It also makes me physically ill that people continue to treat animals like this.

  16. These poor little babies! I hope that they went on to become someone’s pet, but Im not going to hold my breath, esp. the 2nd one.

    To Rebekeha- You are awesome! Thanks for getting that poor baby out of there. She seems really sweet and happy that she is now in your care.

Leave a Reply