Dog #243148 was impounded by a Memphis ACO as a stray on the morning of June 30, 2012. She was listed as a 2 year old female Pitbull wearing a choke chain. At the time of impound, she weighed 96.3 pounds which is at least twice the weight of a typical female Pitbull. The reason she was so heavy was that her belly was full of fluid due to end stage heart failure. Visitors who saw her at the pound that day described her as looking like a beached whale with half of her total body weight appearing to be in her belly, unable to get up, even when treats were tossed through the cage bars to her.
The impounding ACO recognized that something was wrong and put in a request for the vet to examine the dog on June 30. That didn’t happen. The dog sat without treatment all day and all night. The following day, the records indicate the vet “examined” the dog long enough to note only that she had a “very enlarged abdomen”. No treatment. The day after that, July 2, the dog received what appears to be a real exam and the notes include “severe ascites, belly tap positive”. The vet recommended euthanasia due to “severe cardiac failure”. That didn’t happen. The dog received no treatment and was left to sit for another day and night. She was finally euthanized on July 3.
It’s heart wrenching to think of any dog suffering needlessly like this but it’s even worse when it happens to a dog that made it to a shelter. Being taken in by the municipal facility taxpayers rely upon to protect pets from harm should mean an immediate end to suffering for any animal – either by way of treatment or, if medically hopeless, euthanasia. It is unacceptable to allow shelter pets to suffer in a cage for days.
How many more, Memphis?