July 28, 2012: Just Another Day at the Memphis Pound

Dog # 244158 was an 8 week old puppy impounded by Memphis Animal Services (MAS) as a stray on July 24, 2012. Her photo was never posted on PetHarbor or anywhere else. She was never housed in an area where anyone but staff could see her. Her review date was July 28. On that day, with no one but MAS staff ever knowing she was at the pound, they killed her and threw her little 9 pound body in the trash.

Repeat the same tragic story for this puppy, called Casey:

And for this 8 pound German Shepherd puppy:

Same for this adult Lab mix:

These dogs never had a chance. There was little hope of any owners finding them, they were never offered for adoption and no volunteer or staff member at the pound ever advocated for their right to live. They were plucked from life by the cruel talons of MAS, locked in the equivalent of a dog dungeon where they languished for days before ultimately being dropped on to the kill table.  They didn’t get walked or played with and based on available evidence, it is questionable whether they were even fed.

These apparently healthy, friendly dogs were all killed for “space” in a $7.2 million facility full of empty cages. If not for FOIA requests, no one would have even known these dogs existed, except for those responsible for their deaths.

How many more, Memphis?

37 thoughts on “July 28, 2012: Just Another Day at the Memphis Pound

  1. This is bullshit, absolute bullshit. MAS does not deserve to be called animal shelter. It is a friggin slaughterhouse. If you are not even able to adopt out a GSD puppy, you might as well move on and close that place down. There is no effort what so ever, they don’t even try. This is beyond disgusting.

      1. who will not take a PUPPY?? this is so so full of crap..”space limitation”??

    1. Couldnt agree more. At least with them killing the (really) older dogs and the pitbulls, not that I was condoning killing them, but I wasnt completely baffled as to how they could (in the general sense, Im sure you know what I mean). But an 8 lb puppy?! Who wouldnt want that?! This just proves that they arent even trying. Even if people arent coming to the shelter, if they did the off-site adoptions, all of these puppies wouldve been adopted right out of the gate!

  2. On that date, July 24th, there were more than the 4 dogs, you highlighted, that never had a picture posted and had their last days on earth, languishing in a kennel, probably filled with feces and a broken bed. I look at PH every day and take notes and FOIA and unfortunately, what Shirley exposed, happens every dang day at that h*llhole! I would send Rogers e-mails every day of pets that were missing pictures – he would reply back that they are “working on it,” of course, now, he just ignores anything I send him. I guess he is too busy making sure he has as many empty kennels as possible so he can tout what a clean facility he has (NOT). I was in there last Saturday – BUSIEST DAY (well, should be)and out of 38 kennels in Healthy Hold – 13 of those kennels were EMPTY. And Rogers was no where to be found……I wonder if Rogers or any of his staff will be at the No Kill Conference this weekend?! Oh wait, that would be attended by people that actually WANT to have positive outcomes!

    1. I will be posting more from that day Jody.

      James Rogers turned down an offer to pay for him to attend the conference. Said something about how he can do more by staying in Memphis. I see what he’s doing in Memphis and I want LESS of it, not more.

      1. would that “more” be playing golf? Tennis? standing at the barbeque?

    2. Maybe some advertising in Memphis would help bring some of this to light. I don’t understand there not being an outcry from the residents. SURELY there are some true animal lovers and advocates down there.

  3. I still do not understand why the dog lovers in Memphis are not rioting outside the MAS facility and the Mayor’s office and any place else they can protest this hell-hole of a place. Those poor puppies are just the tip of the iceberg as far as the slaughter that goes on there every day. It makes me literally sick to my stomach to even think of it. Innocent dogs who deserved a chance at a life were never given a chance at this place. WHY?? Everyone at MAS from the top down should be fired and new staff who actually like (and maybe even love) dogs should be hired to care for them and help them find a new home.

  4. It costs MAS nothing but the effort to maintain the Pet Harbor listings. There is absolutely no reason for those listings to be incomplete, out of date, and just plain wrong (like the puppy listed as a cat).

    Why is the staff not up in arms about their hard work going into the dumpsters? Why are the volunteers not petitioning for full and complete listings so they can market animals for adoption, cross check Craigslist and classifieds for lost pets and possibly match up animals with owners looking for them?

    Why is it standard operating procedure to abandon hope for any animal that comes into the shelter? The culture of MAS needs to change. Life saving needs to be made the priority. THAT’S how a shelter is supposed to work.

    1. I would add that in fact, it doesn’t even cost them any effort to maintain the PetHarbor listings since they are doing it anyway – that is, using Chameleon (automatically linked to PetHarbor) to satisfy record keeping requirements. It’s basically free advertising that requires them to do nothing but the very minimum they are already doing to get their paychecks.

      1. It also wouldn’t cost them any more time or effort to fill in basic information correctly. Like, say, keeping it species-appropriate.

        Based on these and many other intake photos you’ve posted here and elsewhere, either they employ pigeons to do their data entry, or they just couldn’t be arsed. I know which one I’d wager on.

        I used to keep body and soul together with data entry. I’ve taught data entry. Folks, it is not rocket surgery. Heck, I’d be willing to bet that with some basic training the pigeons could do a better job.

  5. Nobody at MAS could have taken the time to e-mail rescues, attach the pictures and state we have some puppies available and we are full and if the owner does not reclaim them, we will have to euthanize them on this date because we are overcrowded so please contact us if you are able to take them! What was the Friends of MAS doing to help rescue these pups and dogs? MAS needs a rescue coordinator! The adult female Lab looks like she has a collar on. I feel sad for the owner. No one in the Memphis area wanted to adopt a young Lab-I don’t believe it!

      1. I know but it seems that most shelters use overcrowding as an excuse to kill along with the dreaded cough. I receive lots of e-mails from shelters and rescues and look at Facebook pages with dogs needing rescue with this excuse and I am skeptical since I have no knowledge about these shelters.

    1. MAS DOES, in fact, have a rescue coordinator. He also coordinates the volunteer and foster programs. And he threw a temper tantrum one of my last days volunteering when a fellow long-time volunteer took it upon herself to take pictures of a dog in healthy hold to send to a rescue group. A full-blown tantrum. It was embarrassing. He was angry that she was contacting rescues behind his back, since that’s part of his job title. I can’t even make this up. He’s a long-time employee and best friends with the lady who runs FMAS.

      1. “MAS DOES, in fact, have a rescue coordinator. He also coordinates the volunteer and foster programs.”

        How’s that working, then? Yeah. Thought so.

      2. If this rescue coordinator cannot even get puppies and popular breeds like a Lab and young dogs rescued then he needs to be investigated and find out what he is doing all day! This person also needs to have someone correct the breed IDs when they are wrong. Why is he not verifying that all the dogs are being put on Petharbor when they are obviously not? How can one reclaim/adopt/rescue dogs when one cannot see all the animals? He must also be in charge of the Friends of MAS Facebook page which I do not like because I cannot tell easily which animals have been adopted/rescued and which ones have not.

  6. I want to say..” I give up”…”I won’t read another post” but I can’t help myself.. I keep hoping there will be some good news.. Like.. “The shelter is working hard to get pets out alive” no such luck

    1. Let’s see: Not a shelter, not working hard, pets not getting out alive. Nope, sorry Dot. Today is not your day for good news on the MAS front.

  7. For anyone who lives or works in Memphis: I have researched four investigative reporters, one of whom has a dog named Barkley and used to live in San Fran. If anyone will step up and agree to connect with these folks, I will post the info here. I think it’s best coming from someone who lives or works there and you likely would have to give your name at least to get the ball rolling. I know advocacy is a double-edged sword and you likely don’t want to get “cut off.” But this has gotta stop somehow through someone. Any takers?

  8. Just received a Facebook comment from Urgent Dogs of Miami that the Miami-Dade Animal Services killed two 13 week old male littermate Terriers and only weighed 8-10 lbs! They were owner surrenders and came in on 7/25, went to an adoption event and since they did not get adopted there were killed. They were cuties too. These shelters are disgusting.

  9. I just don’t understand the apathy at MAS. Where are all of the animal lovers in Memphis? Please Memphis do something to change this hell-hole!! I am in disbelief that they could not even bother to market those puppies. I feel sick.

    1. Just from a $$$ standpoint, surely it makes more sense to try and get pets adopted out, rather than kill them, yes?

      1. Actually, puppies (younger dogs) are often messier than adults. They require training and both mental and physical exercise to maintain health and social skills. They don’t *languish* in a cage very well. We’ve seen chihuahuas on a choke pole at MAS, and we’ve seen entire rooms of animals unfed and unattended for seven hours during a *normal* work day. So I venture puppies at MAS get sick pretty quick.
        Cheaper to kill. Fewer cages to clean, less work to do. And, you don’t have to network with those dang pesky volunteers who get all up in your face about, you know, stupid stuff like expecting animals to LIVE!
        Oh, and adopters may pay money, but MAS employees get a pay check no matter what, and they don’t have to deal with the public or follow-up on credit checks or off-site events or any of that crap if they just murder the animals quietly.

      2. It takes time and effort to get animals adopted and rescued but it is easy to kill them.

  10. “Oh, and adopters may pay money, but MAS employees get a pay check no matter what, and they don’t have to deal with the public or follow-up on credit checks or off-site events or any of that crap if they just murder the animals quietly.”

    You made me think of something. Maybe the employees should still get paid, that way they aren’t working for free essentially, but that they also get some sort of bonus or something for every dog/cat they adopt out, somehow, through some sort of government reward system. Like if the adoption fee is $100, they may get 10% of that, so they each get so much for that 10%. It doesn’t sound like a lot at first, but the more animals they adopt out, the more they get. It’s really sad that in this day and age that animal shelters have to get a reward for, ya know, doing their job, but hey if lives are at stake, I say go for it.

      1. Wow. That may be the saddest thing Ive heard in quite a while. That needs to be reversed ASAP, otherwise it will keep on going forever.

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