The Staff at the Lewisburg Pound WANTS to Kill Dogs

Dean, one of 9 dogs slated for rescue but killed instead at the Lewisburg pound. (photo via Facebook)

The Lewisburg Animal Shelter in TN has room for 20 dogs.  Yesterday, they reportedly had 28.  But that shouldn’t have been a problem because an area rescuer was coming to pull 9 dogs.  She had pulled dogs previously, had an established relationship with the ACOs at the pound and was in communication with them about her intention to pick up the 9 dogs yesterday.  A couple of hours before she was slated to arrive at the pound though, an ACO called her and said, “Don’t bother.”  The pound had killed 13 dogs, knowing rescue was on the way for 9 of them.

The area ABC affiliate reached out to Lewisburg City Manager Tommy Engram for an explanation.  This guy is an asshelmet.  Not only does he defend the killings with a holier than thou “We are following the law” line of baloney, he has the gall to add that if rescuers really cared about these dogs, they would have gotten to the pound before the dogs were killed.

At the end of the article on the news station’s website, it says:

City officials said the shelter is not an adoption center[.]

The pound is described on Petfinder as follows:

We always have plenty of dogs in need of good homes. Please come by to see what we have to offer! We have extended our hours so we are open later most weekdays…see details below! We can also meet off hours or even on weekends if someone is interested in adopting one of our dogs and cannot get here during our normal open hours. We are also rescue friendly and more than willing to work with any legitimate rescue organization.

And on its own website, the home page reads:

We are a City run shelter working hard to serve the community and help the unwanted dogs of Marshall County!

We have recently expanded our hours to accommodate potential adopters!

Screengrab from WKRN website pretty much says it.

So, fine.  Despite the pound’s internet presence which would lead one to believe it’s a facility that works hard to adopt dogs, maybe it isn’t an adoption center.  But the sign says “shelter”, right?  So at the very least, the facility should be a place where dogs are protected from harm.  And hey, even if it’s not an adoption center, it’s not a pet slaughterhouse either.  So killing 9 dogs who had rescue on the way – plus another 4 – when the place was only 8 dogs over capacity is in no way consistent with being a Not Adoption Center.  You can rename it a “holding facility” or “animal control” or SatanMart for all I care, there is no name in the English language that justifies killing dogs when rescue was on the way to pull them and had communicated directly with the staff.

I am sometimes attacked by those who kill shelter pets because they are angry that I blame them for the killing.  They often say, “Nobody wants to kill animals.”  Here’s how I see what happened in Lewisburg yesterday:  The city wanted the pound to reduce the population.  Rescue was coming to pull enough dogs to get the population back under capacity.  But the staff chose to kill the dogs slated for rescue, plus some extra, anyway.  They wanted to kill these animals.  I see no other possible explanation.

There will be a protest on Saturday, July 28 at noon if you are in the area.

41 thoughts on “The Staff at the Lewisburg Pound WANTS to Kill Dogs

  1. Rotten bastards. Do they get jobs at the shelter so they can kill? Do they enjoy killing?

  2. What is it with TN “shelters???? First MAS….now this! The only thing I can think of is the picture of the sign – “Dead End” & directly underneath – “Animal Shelter”……I guess they got it right – their animal shelter IS a dead end….for the animals that is!

    1. Not just TN shelters. This sort of thing goes on at NC shelters all the time. Yesterday the director of my rescue saw a dog with a tumor or hernia in Person County, NC, pound (no cage card, so it was apparently anew intake, we think owner surrender. After she left we discussed whether we had a foster home to put her in so we could pull her but … too late! She was gassed before the pound opened this morning.

      1. I know it happens at a lot of shelters….but I am seeing more and more TN shelters coming out of the woodwork recently for doing nothing but killing, killing, killing. It’s everywhere across the US and sadly the end is no where in sight.

  3. I really admire not only the rescuer who was the main interview subject, but also the volunteer who clearly stated that the killing is retaliatory.

    1. That is just plain evil. Anyone who could do that should not be working with any living being, much less innocents who depend on us for everything.

  4. Thank you for speaking the truth!

    I’m the volunteer who said the killings were retaliatory – it’s the truth. They did the same thing last November when volunteers began questioning their tactics. They killed 13 innocent lives then, knowing that a truck with crates and a volunteer with MONEY IN HAND were literally waiting around the corner for the ACOs to return her call and come pick the dogs up. They killed them while she sat waiting on their call.

    Not only is it retaliatory, the way they jerk the volunteers around just before they kill the dogs is brutal, as well.

    Then, the audacity of the City Manager, who has been in this position for less than one month, to start arbitrarily changing the rules is outrageous. And he tops it off by blaming the volunteers for the killings.

    Plus, how’s that for good fiscal management? Rather than bring money into the budget, they choose to pay $10 per dog to have it killed.


    1. Good for you for speaking out! Don’t let their evil ways discourage you from doing the right thing. I don’t understand how anyone, any human being, could be so evil and sick as to kill living things for revenge. There is something terribly wrong with the soul of such individuals.

    2. It costs alot more than $10.00 to euthanize an animal. Of course it depends on the method used. If you do two step – tranquilze then etuhanize – it’s about $25.00 for a large dog. Then add on the employee labor cost and then disposing of the carcas. It’s MUCH more expensive to euthanize than it is to adopt or send to rescue.

    3. Jackie it was a great interview and the animals are so incredibly lucky to have you all in their corner! The numbers that y’all save every week is nothing short of amazing. Don’t let these idiots deter your efforts by trying to silence you and the other volunteers. Speaking out may cost lives in the short run, but it’s the best chance they have in the long run of something actually changing.

  5. Tennessee has many wonderful ARA’s that will not tolerate abuse. That’s one reason these arrogant murderers get exposed.
    Thank you, YES BISQUIT!!!!

  6. This shelter is disgusting! I am sick and tired of hearing about shelters in the southern area killing innocent animals! I hope they rot in hell forever!!!

  7. Tennessee has been the number onein the country – in animal cruelty and abuse situations for over 3 years. Animal Rescue Corps and HSUS have responded to issues in Tennessee more than any other state.

  8. Did the Protest scheduled for yesterday take place, and does anyone have any follow-up info on that?

  9. Many years ago a local shelter worker in Hammond, LA calls a local rescuer tells her that there are 7 little dogs out of time and to hurry if you want to save them. The rescuer drops everything to make phone calls for foster homes and runs to the shelter. Once at the shelter the shelter director tells the rescuer that the shelter wants to give the people in the community a little more time to adopt these dogs. So the rescuer leaves. The next day the shelter calls the rescuer and tells her again that these same dogs are out of time and will be killed if she doesn’t pick them up within the hour. The rescuer can not take off work again and the dogs are killed.

    Things like this happened over and over again until the rescuer would not work with the shelter at all for a long while. :(

    Seems many animal shelters are run and staffed by people that enjoy trying to control other people and enjoy the power they have over life and death of the animals.

  10. I was unable to find e-mail addresses for the city council members, so i posted this letter on the city’s Facebook page, and I’m re-posting it here:

    Dear Mr. Engram,

    I was sorry to hear of the difficult public relations situation that you and the City of Lewisburg are experiencing so early in your tenure. From the City’s website, it seems as though Lewisburg is interested in economic development, and you probably know that a city that appears to be actively working against the interests of its own stakeholders isn’t attractive to business owners or consumers.

    As a former council member, I know that it is never a good idea for public officials to blame the public for their own failures. You are the one who is being paid to provide city services, and the taxpayers are the ones who are paying you. Volunteers are an extremely important resource to city managers, especially in these trying economic times, and denigrating them in the media is always a bad idea.

    Further, threatening that you will kill dogs in retaliation for your own constituents holding you accountable for your actions is reprehensible, and that is exactly what it sounds like when you say, “Their media circus is going to result in dogs dying.”

    Finally, you said, “All animal shelters everywhere have to euthanize dogs.” Euthanasia literally means “good death.” When you take an animal’s life because you don’t want to work with volunteers, that is called killing. As the former director of a large no-kill rescue, I know that while most shelters do have to euthanize some animals because they are irremediably suffering or because they are vicious, that number is usually less than 10% of any given shelter population.

    Please take the time to read *NO KILL 101: A Primer on No Kill Animal Control Sheltering for Public Officials: *

    Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

      1. I got a response from Mayor Barb Woods:

        “The city manager had barely been on the job 2 weeks when the “volunteers” called in the tv cameras and held an unannounced camera event. Oddly There had been no crisis worth tv coverage for the 4 months prior when there was no city manager.
        You may want to find out why when volunteers knew the vet would be there to euthanize at 10:00a.m. on Wednesday no one came before that time to get the dogs??? Maybe have been an oversight or could it have been planned?”

        Uh, yeah, I think that the vet being there at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday was planned. By the city.

      2. Here’s the response from the city manager:

        Dear Ms. Andrews,

        I agree that I am a servant of the people. I do not agree with your other statements.

        As a former member of a governing body, you should know how to read a city code. Lewisburg does not now nor has it ever provided a zero kill shelter. That is not in the city ordinances and it is not in the city budget.

        I am not a former council member. I have been on this job for three weeks. I have no authority to change either the laws or the budget. In fact, I have changed absolutely nothing relating to animal control and we did not grow this problem during the past three weeks.

        Also, you surely realize that volunteers who are spending their time organizing a protest are not spending their volunteer hours finding homes for dogs. That is what will cause more dogs to die. I do not appreciate your effort to twist my words to suit your purpose. You present yourself as a professional. As a professional, you should hold yourself to a higher standard.

        Thank you for sharing your opinions.

        Tommy Engram, Ph.D.
        City Manager
        Lewisburg, Tennessee

      3. My response to the city manager:

        Dear Dr. Engram,

        I did, in fact read your city code pertaining to animal control prior to writing to you. I read it despite my horror that it allowed for selling impounded animals to the highest bidder, a practice that leads to animals being purchased for research, breeding, fighting, and other forms of cruelty; a practice that is discouraged by both the National Animal Control Association and the Humane Society of the United States; and a practice that is outlawed in every progressive animal control organization in the country. I read it despite my shock that there is no requirement that the animals you sell be neutered–again, a requirement supported by both NACA, HSUS, and every progressive shelter in the world. I read it despite my disgust that Lewisburg has breed-discriminatory legislation that will prevent many good people from ever investing in your community. I’m really not sure what statement in my e-mail confused you into thinking that I believed that your codes “provided a zero kill shelter.”

        You had the authority to “sell” those dogs to a willing volunteer or to kill them and you chose to kill them.

        Surely you realize that the volunteers who are exercising their constitutional rights to free speech, free assembly, and to petition their government for redress of grievances are not being paid by your constituents to find homes for dogs, and are free to use their time as they see fit to improve their community.

        I do not appreciate your condescending response to my concerns. As a professional, you should hold yourself to a higher standard.

        Salette Andrews

      4. Sallette –
        Tenn. Code Ann. § 44-17-502
        Part 5 Spay/Neuter Law
        Title 44 Animals And Animal Husbandry
        Chapter 17 Dogs and Cats

        This code – though very loose and full of holes – requires that every animal “adopted” (change of ownership in Tennessee) from any Animal Control Facility must either already be altered, be altered within 30 days if sexually mature, or within 30 days after 6 months of age, AND a spay/neuter deposit must be paid to the facility that is either refunded to the new owner when proof of altering is given, OR this money can ONLY be used in spay/neuter prorams at the facility.

        The unacceptable act of “selling” an animal to the highest bidder does not exempt Lewisburg from this State Law.

        It’s a poor excuse for legislation – but in Tennessee it all we have.

      5. Karen, thank you for this. Mandatory sterilization of pets adopted from shelters is also the law in Arizona, and the requirement was repeated in the code of Pima County, which ran the shelter from which I pulled.

  11. Seriously??? How dare the mayor and city manager blame volunteers on the deaths of these animals. Volunteers are not allowed inside the shelter to photograph the animals or the conditions in which they are being held. I am appalled that the mayor would say that this was planned. None of these volunteers would ever plan anything that would harm the animals. The community leaders make me SICK.

    1. Too bad they don’t realize that this makes them look really bad . . . incompetent, uncaring, and stupid.

Leave a Reply