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Cat Suffers for 5 Days Before Being Killed at Memphis Pound

Image of cat #241683 at the Memphis pound (via PetHarbor)

Cat #241683 was impounded by MAS on June 5, 2012 at 11:43 am. He was badly injured, possibly degloved by a fan belt.  He was left to sit without treatment (presumably in a cage and not in the trap where MAS photographed him) until the next day.  On June 6, the MAS veterinarian examined the cat and although she described him as “very stressed” due to lack of socialization, she was apparently able to scrub the multiple large wounds all over his body without sedation or anesthesia of any kind.  Perhaps the cat was in such a weakened condition that he was unable to put up a fight, as any house cat would, and especially any feral cat.  The vet scrubbed the wounds, gave the cat a shot of penicillin and a shot of depo medrol.  I am not a vet but as far as I know, penicillin is an antibiotic and depo medrol is a steroid which can suppress the immune system.  Neither is a pain medication.

Portion of cat # 241683’s MAS records, obtained via FOIA request. (click to enlarge)

In the memo of this cat’s records, the vet notes that the cat is suffering and should be euthanized “but should be okay for holding period”.  No mention is made of any pain medication or further monitoring.  The records seem to indicate that no one ever checked on this cat again to see if his suffering had worsened.  And after viewing so many MAS security camera videos, I don’t feel confident that cat #241683’s cage was cleaned daily or that he was even fed or watered daily while at MAS.

Portion of cat # 241683’s MAS records, obtained via FOIA request. (click to enlarge)

Cat #241683 was killed on June 10, 2012 by MAS, after suffering for 5 days with no pain medicine and only one vet treatment (which was at least questionable to my mind).  He was likely very frightened during those 5 days but apparently too weak to resist.  Every minute of every hour of every day at MAS must have been agonizing for this poor cat.  I don’t know if his injuries were treatable but if they were, I believe any animal shelter would have an obligation to do so in order to restore the cat to health so he could be neutered, vaccinated and offered for adoption if appropriate or returned to his home in the community if feral.  If his injuries were too extensive for treatment and the prognosis was poor or grave, I believe any animal shelter would be obligated to humanely euthanize this cat as soon as the vet determined he was medically hopeless and suffering.  He should have been rushed to the front of the line at the vet clinic immediately upon intake, not left to sit for a full day before receiving his initial exam and then left to suffer an additional 4 days after that.

I’m sorry this cat was hurt.  But once he made it to an animal shelter, the staff there should have done their jobs and taken immediate steps to help this animal.  Instead, the actions, and inactions, of the staff at the Memphis pound brought 5 more days of additional suffering to this cat.  This is not why taxpayers pay for a municipal animal shelter.

What now MAS – another compassion class to tell the media about or perhaps a new logo contest?  It is long past time to stop focusing on how things appear and address the way things are for the animals at the pound.  Shame on anyone who ever saw cat #241683 suffering at MAS and did nothing to help him.  If no one there was going to take action to help the cat, at least someone could have blown the whistle on the cruelty.  Alas, there was nothing.  And if not for the persistence of the irresponsible public in demanding access to public records, cat #241683 would have simply been another anonymous dead animal at MAS.  Fire.  Them.  All.

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