Shelter Pet of the Day

Submitted by reader Jody who met this dog at MAS and was moved by her loving demeanor.  Jody named her Sweet Pea.

Sweet Pea, ID# 242974 at the Memphis pound. (photo by Jody Fisher)
Cage card for Sweet Pea (photo by Jody Fisher)

Short vid of Sweet Pea by Ona Cooper:

Memphis Animal Services
2350 Appling City Cove
Memphis, TN 38133
Phone: (901) 636-1416
TTY: (901) 636-1416

This shelter’s kill rate for January – May 2012 was 65%.

66 thoughts on “Shelter Pet of the Day

  1. I’ll throw down for a bag of food if anyone can get her. I’m full now, or I’d take her myself! Shirley, if you find out that a reader here took Sweet Pea, I will meet them this weekend with a bag of food of their choice.

    1. Thank you for a generous offer Claire. Make that a bag of food and a case of canned food to go with it. If a reader adopts Sweet Pea, I will ask Claire (or another caring Memphian) to purchase and deliver a case of canned food to the adopter at MAS at the same time. I will reimburse Claire (or whomever) for that purchase.

      1. What is her health condition? The print is so small on the label that I couldn’t see anything.

      2. Great News! Her head reminded me of an Akita and I thought perhaps she was shaved at some point. You would be amazed how many people who live in hot weather climates have their dogs shaved.

  2. Shirley, thank you for sharing Sweet Pea. I have a hold on her for anyone that can adopt her. Unfortunately, the hold expires tonight. I am going to ask Rogers to extend that until at least tomorrow night….She has been there for almost a month – and the Fiends of MAS have posted that “the shelter is no longer holding pets an indefinite period of time for adoption”………PLEASE share her (by the way, she was posted yesterday on FMAS, and they call her Dixie) information – if I was a betting woman, I would bet that if she isn’t adopted immediately, she will join the other carcasses piled in the kill room. She (as they all do) deserve a chance to live a full life, sleeping in a warm bed and playing fetch for hours at end and knowing the loving touch of a woman. Thank you all! And I will be happy to furnish the food!!!

  3. Wow – Brilliant minds – I was typing as you were typing, Ruth. I am sorry to say, I can’t remember – or nothing that sticks in my mind. The thing that struck me about her was how she stood on her hind legs to make eye contact with me and couldn’t get close enough as I stood outside of the kennel. She wouldn’t get on all fours until I bent down then she nuzzled into my hand and fingers to be petted- always keeping eye contact with me….oh dear, that makes me tear up thinking about her…
    Ona took video and also met her – let me ask her. Thank you.

    1. Jody, the pictures and video remind me of a rather unusual breed of dog. She’d have to be a cross, they don’t reach 45lbs, but oh gosh does that face look right….the group that handles them has limited resources, I don’t even know if they’ve got someone close enough to TN to help, but if there’s reasonable suspicion they’ll try REALLY hard…..

      1. We had been guessing on her mix of breeds before posting. I tossed out Belgian Malinois or Akita as possible mixes. Jody favored the former. What are you thinking she might be a mix of?

      2. That face, especially in that first picture, looks just like a slightly off color version of my Arty, who’s a New Guinea Singing Dog. Singers almost never get over 35lbs, and her coat and tail aren’t quite right for pure Singer anyway, but that face….Singers produce some very unusual vocalizations, and not just “howls” either, hence my question.

      3. Don’t let this stop anyone else from rescuing her please! I’ve got a couple messages out to Singer folks, but the chances of anyone being close enough to help are REALLY small!

  4. The hold on Sweet Pea (Dixie) expires at 4:45 tomorrow, Saturday July 28th. Thank you for sharing. Also, PLEASE do not ask volunteers for status of any dog at MAS. Apparently, Rogers insinuated to the lady that wanted to adopt Moonbeam, but was told by the volunteers that she was already adopted (which wasn;’t the case), that it was HER fault for not asking an employee for the information on the dog….wow, when will MAS ever take responsibility?! Anyway, please let’s try to get Sweet Pea/Dixie into a home instead of the city dump!

  5. Sweet Pea (Dixie) looks to me like a Malinois – Akita mix. And the description of the eye contact and following of the human fits both breeds instinctively. She’s been there a month. That’s a HUGE long time for ANY animal in an Animal Control in Tennessee! Did she come in with the pink collar or is that a MAS add on?

  6. Having worked in, and volunteered in many Tennessee Animal Control facliities I am consistently struck by the kennels and facilities at MAS (in photos and video). The best and most expensive in the sheltering world…Mason Kennels – stainless affixed self – watering receptacles – stainless steel guilotine doors, stainless steel walls – no porous cinderblock in sight. An amazing investment for a top quality, cleanable, environment. I think about how hard so many of us work to keep clean the substandard faciliites most of us have and it’s such a juxtaposition.

    1. It’s a shame the cleaning and care standards aren’t up to the quality of the facility. And goes without saying the pets deserve better. MAS had everything handed to them but so far they’ve blown it. They don’t even keep those expensive kennels clean.

      1. Don’t tell Roger’s that. He will vehemently deny that his cages are dirty. When I met with him at the shelter to discuss successful tactics, he made it clear that he had delegated such tasks to key members of his staff and that he apparently just ‘trusted’ that it was done. Clearly, this lassiez-faire style of management is not effective. Isn’t that why the city hired him? Because he was an effective manager at the post office?

      2. Jeanne – that is something that strikes me everytime I see photos and footage from MAS. That they have a pristine and easy to clean and top of the line facility…and yet…the results are so far from positive. It comes down to caring. Caring about the animals and pride about your work.

    2. You forgot to mention the hard surfaced metal “holed” bed. Not a soft surface in sight.

      Now, if only the City Administration were intelligent enough to hire some “state of the art” employees, vets, volunteers and management to go with their “state of the art” facility!!

      1. I DID forget to mention the rubber coated/grated beds. These are considered to be the easiest to clean…the rubber keeps the covered steel grate from being cold. There are grants for Kuranda beds which many dogs love – but sadly they are hard to clean.

  7. She actually has a red collar on – came into the shelter with it on…there is a pink paper collar on,also, that MAS is responsible for. All dogs are supposed to be “tagged” with either pink or blue (girl/boy) and then their ID # should be on there, too….

  8. I emailed an Akita rescue in the north (she looks more like an Akita than a GS mix to me) about this girl last week when I saw her on the Friends page. That particular rescue picked up one from our shelter a couple of months ago and I was hoping they would do the same for this girl. I haven’t heard anything back from them but I will send them another email, letting them know that her time is short.

    1. This is a good rescue–have worked with them before (over period of years). They pull death row dogs from GA as well as FL because there aren’t any Akita rescues in GA. They use fosters and need to have one available before pulling a dog. If they show any interest in this dog, it would be great if there were a foster in the area for her to go to–or even one in FL.
      The foster would have to be approved but this rescue is very well-organized and would get that taken care of. Good contact there is founder Dorie Sparkman. Good luck!

  9. She seems so Mal-ish to me. The only thing that doesn’t fit is the fluff around her face. I am contacting some of my Mal rescue friends now to see if they can pull. Most of them adopt out to SAR programs which would be fantastic if she’s suitable. She is quite beautiful and I will work, work, work to make this connection for her. Continue to be sickened by the attitude of the MAS on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. I will continue to make it my absolute mission to remove every animal I can from this situation. I find it hard to understand how they can take such a defensive stance at this point. It is almost as if we are fighting to save animals while they argue the point that they should be killed. I’m sorry, we are having to make an argument as to why we should care for things that are dependent on our care?

  10. Katie – You said it perfectly!
    Angela – the card shows she has had her distemper/parvo shot – that is all it says.

  11. An update – I noticed that Sweet Pea (Dixie -FMAS name for her) is NO longer listed on PetHarbor. I checked under adopt and lost dogs – she is NOWHERE!! I sent an e-mail to Tracy Dunlap, Jose Cruz, and James Rogers asking why she has been deleted from the listings. I still have not received any replies. We can only hope she has been adopted but I am having trouble being optimistic…..I will keep you posted.

    1. Just saying–but when a rescue put a hold on Amber, MAS took her off Pet Harbor right away, too. Maybe that’s just what they do? Hope they will confirm that. But don’t think it means she got adopted–not yet anyway.

      1. I am not an expert on Chameleon so maybe someone can chime in with the definitive answer but the way I *think* it works is that the pet stays on PetHarbor until she is “outcomed” – that is, adopted, transferred or killed. Otherwise, someone would have to go into Chameleon and specifically to take the animal off PetHarbor and I don’t know any reason why that would be done save for the previously mentioned outcomes. After all, invisible pets don’t get saved.

  12. I understand that a rescue has been lined up if we can find out the current status on her from MAS. Jody has been in contact with the local person who will be pulling her ASAP.

  13. Please post if she’s been adopted. A coworker just sent me this link and I happed to be at a meeting near Gtwn and Appling.

    1. Chris – All we know is that her listing was removed from the PetHarbor website by MAS. Multiple inquiries to the pound regarding her status have gone unanswered. I will post if we get any definitive info.

  14. I am Blue Moon Akita Rescue ( in the Denver metro area of Colorado. We have committed to take this girl Sweet Pea/Dixie from the Memphis shelter. Debi in Memphis is doing the leg work to make it all come together. Then we have to work transport to Colorado. We took 3 dogs from Memphis this spring and all are now placed — Colorado Springs, CO — Littleton, CO — Albuquerque, NM. Please visit our website.

    1. Yay!!!

      You might be contacted by a Tom from New Guinea Singing Dogs International at some point, just FYI, he wanted to take a closer look at her after I sent him her info, but there was no way for him to get to TN this weekend, CO is actually closer to him…

  15. Thank you, Karena!!!! I am STILL waiting for confirmation from MAS that she is still there – ALIVE! I will keep you posted.

  16. Just heard from Tracy Dunlap/MAS – Sweet Pea/ Dixie is alive and ready to go, once she is spayed. AND, she is heart worm negative!!! This is a stellar day! Thank you all!!!

  17. Great News! Her head reminded me of an Akita and I thought perhaps she was shaved at some point. You would be amazed how many people who live in hot weather climates have their dogs shaved.

  18. Made my day! I’ll be glad to hear that she’s on her way out the door! Thanks to all who are saving this girl.

  19. Now I have the song Blue Moon stuck in my head. Thank you for helping her Karena and everyone else who lent a hand. I dropped a little something in the kitty for Blue Moon.

    1. Thank you for the donation to help Sweet Pea! She sounds like a wonderful girl and I’m glad we are able to help her. SPECIAL THANKS TO DEBI BERRY who has been jumping through hoops and running a marathon to take care of Sweet Pea for us. We do have a lady near Memphis interested in adopting her and I e-mailed her an application this morning, so she may actually have a home right in the Memphis area!! Again … thanks to all of you for helping this little girl .. and especially you Debi for contacting me and stepping up to run her rescue for us. You folks are all wonderful — if you come to Colorado, please come see us!

      1. Going home would be wonderful for this sweet dog. How many more could have such a happy beginning if only those at MAS would just take care of them properly and try to find them homes (or at least stop hiding them from the irresponsible public).
        Thanks to everyone involved.

  20. Aww! She is too precious!! Look at that poor, sad face. Im so glad she is getting out of there! Thanks to everyone involved in her rescue!

  21. I’ve received confirmation that the paperwork has been completed on Sweet Pea – Debi has pulled her on behalf of Blue Moon Akita Rescue. She is supposed to be scheduled for spay surgery either tomorrow or Monday. Keep Sweet Pea in your prayers until she’s completely out of the shelter!!

  22. Thank you- each and every one who posted or tried to help! And Shirley, I feel like a broken record when I say that you are an angel and such a huge help to our four legged friends, far and wide!!! You are appreciated more than you know!

    1. Ditto what Jody said about Shirley!! Thank you, Jody for all your hard work in saving this baby!!

      1. I will chime in on that broken record to say well done YB and to all that got this baby out of MAS! Well done!!

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