Healthy Pup Was Wanted by Adopter But MAS Killed Him

Dog # A239241, as pictured on the PetHarbor website.

On Wednesday April 11, a potential adopter named Rob says he contacted the Memphis pound about a precious little mite he had seen online and wanted to save.  He was told the pup had been exposed to parvo and to call back in 2 days. He called back on April 13 and found out MAS had already killed the dog. This is the story he told me via e-mail:

I saw his pic on FB, fell in love & wanted to adopt him, called the shelter & talked to a man named Leslie, who was nice and he told me about the pup being exposed to parvo, that the VET recommended euthanizing, and that the pup would be available in two days. Leslie reemphasized that the pup would need to be cleared by the vet in order to be adopted due to the parvo exposure, and I said that I understood. The pup at that point had no symptoms of having contracted parvo. He said to call back in 2 days. I called back 2 days later, talked to a female and asked if this pup was still available for adoption, she put me on hold for a minute or two, then she came back on the phone & told me the pup was no longer available because he was put down the previous afternoon. I told her that I previously talked to Leslie two days earlier about wanting to adopt the pup, she just said that the pup was exposed to parvo and was put down the previous day, which means they killed the pup the day after I called, before it was available for rescue or adoption. I was livid but kept my cool, asked her if she could confirm if the pup had contracted parvo, and she said she didn’t know.

I wanted to pull this pup’s records to see if any questions could be answered.  Was there any notation made that an adopter was interested in this pup?  Was the pup tested for parvo?  Was any dog in the supposed exposure area tested for parvo?  Was the pup symptomatic at the time he was killed?  It would appear from the information contained in the records that the answer to all these questions is NO.

On April 7, there is a note from Dr. Coleman that some dogs in the intake room had “clinical signs consistent with parvo”.  I interpret that note to mean no dogs were tested.  Further, there are no notes that indicate at the time this puppy was killed on April 12, he was exhibiting any symptoms of illness.  There are no notes indicating this pup was wanted by someone.

What a tragic waste of life.

40 thoughts on “Healthy Pup Was Wanted by Adopter But MAS Killed Him

    1. That is incorrect, the parvo virus can be tested for and treated. And if you want to get technical – parvo is a virus, you don’t treat parvo, it runs its course like any other virus – what kills dogs are the symptoms, dehydration due to vomiting and diarreah – in short your vet sustains and carries your dog thru the symptoms. Very sad story, so senseless. Doesn’t sound like they confirmed ANY of the dogs had the virus, could have all been as simple as stress induced… Wonder how many lives were lost to a lazy vet.

    2. That’s actually not true. I have seen many dogs at the shelter I volunteer at show signs of parvo, get tested for it & have it and survive it.

  1. *omg* I’m SHAKING I’m so mad! In just reading this, my first reaction is that the VET that “diagnosed” this pup and the other dogs, is just f’ing LAZY and the line of CORRUPTION that runs rampant at MAS, runs DEEP to their soul-less, compassionate-lee hearts! UGH!

  2. Austin, Texas has a group of folks who foster pups and nurse them through parvo and/or distemper.

    If the folks at MAS think this pup was exposed to parvo and killed him, they now must think that about every pup there. So now that they think they had parvo at their facility, they will kill anything and say it was parvo.

  3. This is one of the reasons that many shelters don’t have many puppies up for adoption. They get sick quickly or the shelter fears that they will get sick and kills them. This is also one of the reasons that many people end up buying a puppy instead of adopting one — the shelter doesn’t have any or many puppies, or the people are afraid that the puppy will be sick or get sick. It also keeps some rescuers away from rescuing shelter puppies — they cost so much in vet bills if they get sick and it hurts so much to lose them.

    Sad story all around.

  4. Will this never end?
    RIP puppy, you were loved and wanted but there are evil people who wanted you dead.

  5. My heart hurts for you! To see a puppy and want to save him and then get the runaround from various staff is not only disheartening it is dishonest.

    The fact that Dr. Coleman didn’t even test to see if he had parvo is an indicator that she just is more interested in killing dogs than in saving them. She rushes past the kennels and barely looks at the dogs, never mind examining them. Perfect job for her. She does very little from all appearances. If she actually cared the dogs would be better fed than they are. Puppies especially need to eat more than the once a day they get at MAS. They would be examined properly. They would be given the medication they need. Especially those in pain. Refer back to the pittie that came in burned. She got nothing at all!

    It is expected that dogs and cats be given the healing treatment they need, not to kill them and give excuses as flimsy as the one you got.
    I’m very sorry for your loss.

  6. Is Dr. Coleman testing ANY animals or just diagnosing on sight? How far does she decide the perimeter of “exposure” is? All animals who walked through the same hallway? All animals in the same room? All animals exposed to certain workers over the course of the day? Do we get to just kill every single dog in a whole section of the building because it’s more convenient than actually testing, isolating, and treating?

    Who is this Leslie person and why did he not put a notation on the pup’s cage card and records? Does MAS have a procedure for people calling and expressing an interest in the pets? Do they take your name and phone number? Do they require that you be called before an animal is killed?

    Why is the new leadership STILL allowing MAS to be run like a pet disposal facility? Why is the attitude STILL “the lucky few who get out, the rest in the dumpster”?

    1. She “diagnosed” my last foster with mange and wanted to euthanize him. She didn’t even do a scrape. She called me at work to tell me she could take care of him if I didn’t want to continue fostering him, and that by having mange, he was no longer an adoption candidate.

  7. Just so folks know, my mother and I have SUCCESSFULLY treated a whole litter of 6 pups for parvo and only lost ONE! We did this in our own home with nothing but Peptobismol, very small amounts of chicken (finely shreaded) and soft cooked white rice, 2 TBS of water given every 30 minutes, LOTS of time, love and cleaning up. There is NO excuse for ANY institution with an available vet to not at least TRY!! P.S. This remedy was given to us by my uncle who is a wonderful vet.

  8. According to the records, there were parvo-like symptoms in the intake room (does not say confirmed by testing – other things can cause bloody diarrhea, but you think a vet would know that).

    Does that mean that if my fully vaccinated dog escaped from my home during a break in while I was at work and he was picked up by a neighbor and taken to MAS, he would be killed along with the rest of the dogs?

    1. Well, I wouldn’t like his chances. And heaven forbid if he was as stressed out as the average pet would be at a pound and had an episode of diarrhea or vomiting.

  9. Memphis shelter is no more than a death camp. I wish PETA and some of the big groups could step in.

    1. PETA knows all about death camps – they are one! Don’t look for help from any of the “big groups”…they are far more interested in fund-raising than shelter reform.

      And PETA’s solution would just be to kill every animal in the place…that’s always their answer.

  10. It sounds like even a second grader could do the job that this vet, Dr. Coleman, is doing at MAS. RIP sweet puppy.

  11. Sounds like this Memphis Animal Control needs to be permanently SHUT DOWN. Tell Rob the dog being exposed to PARVO, did not mean the dog had PARVO at all. And if it had, with immediate hydrating the animal with proper IVs & antibiotics the dog would be fine; PARVO is curable if caught in time, it is treatable. HOWEVER, AS I SEE IT, THE PUP WAS A PITBULL VARIETY, SO THE UNEDUCATED OF THE WORLD (ALL WORK IN OR WITH ANIMAL CONTROLS) KILLED IT, PERIOD. In other words, this poor little mite that someone wanted, this man named simply Rob, was killed not because of exposure to PARVO at all, but because the pup was a pitbull breed. This war on Pitbulls need to be stopped, period!!!! They are a wonderful, loving breed & NOT KILLERS; the humans are the KILLERS, including the ones who abuse these dogs to the point the dog must defend itself… Even these pitbulls can be rehabbed by love and proper training so they can trust again…

  12. Wow. I just went and looked through all their dogs and there are a lot of puppies. Just makes me wonder how many were “exposed” per MAS standards. Looking through though I noticed this dog and a puppy with what looks like severe mange. But trying to gage by the pic, is this puppy blind? Horrible place to be for the little one.

    1. Don’t let MAS know if this pup may be blind as I am sure this will warrant an immediate death sentence!

  13. So sorry Rob. Will lessons ever be learned at these animal concentration camps. I don’t know how people sleep at night who work there. Disgusted

  14. Dr. (and I use the term loosely) Coleman – you suck. If I lived in Memphis and my dog was hit by a car right in front of your clinic (I’m assuming from the lack of real time you spend and work you do at MAS, that you have a for-profit clinic of your own, or do you work for that other pip of a crappy vet, Dr. [cough, cough] Tower?), I wouldn’t go in to ask you for a BandAid.

  15. When I volunteered, if pups in a kennel in the puppy room tested postive, they cleared the room. I hated going in there on a Saturday morning to all empty cages. Back then they never really cleaned the puppy cages very well, if at all. I truly hope that’s improved with the new director.

  16. What kind of dr is coleman not one with a heart but god sees all unjust and will make things fare an just maybe she will need pitty an find none.

  17. Dr Coleman should retire now…whoops it seems she is absent already. The only tools wielded at this shelter are needles. This is not meant to be funny. It is outrageous what goes on there.

  18. What a joke! Only thing no one is laughing! That pup looks fat and healthy to me! What is the point in having a job Thats made for trying to help save animals if you just glance at them and say kill them! That’s no vet!

  19. This is unacceptable. Here is someone who wants the pup and they kill him. What rotten human beings. This is horrible.

  20. Has Dr Coleman been reported to whatever board licenses veterinarians in Tennessee? Wonder where she went to vet school . . .

    1. Perhaps Rob would be willing to do that since it was his puppy who was killed. Lots of instances where animals were killed for no good medical/behavioral reason.

  21. Makes me sick. I’m so embarrased that I live here in Memphis.. but I do NOT call it my home. Pieces of crap. This is WORSE than a concentration camp. Concentration camps only killed after the victims are so sick that they could no longer work or do good for their ‘master’. This is way worse.

    MAS, you like killing for pleasure? Sure… What a good, good civic service you are doing. You monsters! Mr. Rogers, you are a JOKE. What a waste. I’m sure growing up your mother told you that you could achieve anything. You had potential to change the world… to change memphis at least… and yet, you choose to merely conform.

  22. Might I add that I was also told my own precious dog had parvo when I first got her. I DEMANDED a test to know for sure … AND… sure enough she did NOT have parvo but was just lethargic from a small bug that passed within 2 days. I’m so sad that this puppy was murdered possibly from no illness at all.

  23. A few years back, I had already had out of the cage, played with and was about to adopt a beautiful G. Shepherd that was up for adoption. After bringing him up to the front to pay for him, an ACO came up & said he was no longer available because he had bit someone.

    They killed that dog and wouldn’t listen to any amount of pleeding for his life, even as experienced as I have been with Shepherds.

    THAT is MAS.

  24. Poor little baby. It is just awful to hear this. And I feel bad for Rob as well. This “doctor” needs her license revoked, stat!

    I hear something similar to this story this past weekend. It wasn’t related to parvo, but people who wanted to adopt a dog to find out it was killed very quickly before they could get to it. My friend in VA told me about it. Just maddening. Link:
    Sorry if this has been mentioned before, I haven’t had a chance to catch up w/ this website in a while.

Leave a Reply