Kittens Illegally and Needlessly Killed at Memphis Pound

Screengrab from PetHarbor.com showing two kittens listed by the Memphis pound.

These two adorable kittens were brought to the Memphis pound as strays on July 25, 2012.  Under both city and state law, they were supposed to be held until at least July 31.  (Applicable laws are pasted below.)  Instead MAS only held them overnight before killing them.

The only exceptions allowed under the mandatory holding law are for pets in “emergency situations” who are “injured, dangerous or severely diseased”.  Pets who fall under these exceptions may be euthanized immediately.  The veterinary notes were requested on both these kittens but none were provided and the records officer confirmed no such records exist.  As such, it is logical to conclude that the vet never saw these kittens and they were not injured or severely diseased.  And I don’t think they look too dangerous in their photos.

The records state these kittens were killed for “space”.  How much space could these two tiny baby cats possibly take up?  And since we know that MAS has row upon row of empty cages, I don’t believe space was the real issue here.  The workers at MAS killed these kittens because they can.  Because there is no accountability on the part of government and there is no citizen willing to engage in a political campaign for reform.

The kill rate at MAS for January – June 2012 was 69%.  How many more, Memphis?

If there is any attorney willing to assist us in forcing the Memphis pound to follow the law, please  e-mail me.

***

Laws regarding mandatory holding periods for stray pets:

Memphis:

Sec. 8-16-7. – Impoundment and redemption of dogs.
A.
Impoundment.
1.
First impoundment.
a.
Any dog not wearing a current license tag required by this title or running at large in violation of this title shall be apprehended and incarcerated in the city animal shelter, and the owner notified, if known. Such dog shall be held for at least three business days during which time the owner may redeem or repossess the same upon payment for, or presentation of, a current license therefor, and payment of $80.00, plus $7.00 for each day of confinement to defray the cost of the capture of such animal and the protection of the public. If not reclaimed or redeemed by the owner within such time, the animal will become the property of the shelter and the animal may be designated for adoption, as provided for in section 8-16-8, or humanely put to death as soon as practicable thereafter.

Sec. 8-16-11 – Impoundment and redemption of cats

A. First Impoundment.
1. Any cat found in violation of this chapter shall be apprehended and incarcerated in the city animal shelter, and the owner notified, if known. Such cat shall be held for at least three business days during which time the owner may redeem or repossess the same upon payment of eighty dollars ($80.00), plus seven dollars ($7.00) for each day of confinement to defray the cost of the capture of such animal and the protection of the public. If not reclaimed or redeemed by the owner within such time, the animal will become the property of the shelter and the animal may be designated for adoption, as provided for in Section 8-16-8, or humanely put to death as soon as practicable thereafter.

State:

§ 44-17-304. Three day holding period for stray animals
(a) Before any public or private agency, animal shelter or other facility operated for the collection, care or euthanasia of stray, neglected, abandoned or unwanted non-livestock animals euthanizes a non-livestock animal that the facility knows or should know, by identification or vaccination tags, personal knowledge or otherwise, has an owner, the facility shall be required to hold the animal for at least three (3) full business days from the time it is brought to the facility before the animal may be euthanized.

(b) Subsection (a) shall not apply where an emergency situation exists that requires the immediate euthanasia of an injured, dangerous or severely diseased non-livestock animal.

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16 Comments

  1. mikken

     /  September 9, 2012

    And yet it takes days to euthanize a truly suffering animal there. Sadism, or disorganization? Malice or incompetence?

    Reply
  2. so sorry babies..

    Reply
  3. Andrea

     /  September 9, 2012

    I understand this sounds ridiculous, but what about contacting a lawyer like Corey B. Trotz? Lawyers like him love publicity and may agree to do a pro bono case like taking the MAS to court over their habitual law breaking. Just a thought.

    Reply
  4. Katherine

     /  September 9, 2012

    OH this just burns me as red as these letters!! I wish that I were an attorney in TN… you would have NO problem getting ME to handle the case. There has to be one that practices in the area that will take it. I suggest you write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper .. (they have to publish it) so it can be seen by the whole city. That way, at least it will be out there for every animal lover to see and react to. Hopefully an attorney will step up and take the case. If it’s illegal, something should be done about it.. I might also suggest to speak to the city attorney. they have to get involved in things like this as well. Get up a petition if necessary and take it to the district attorney and demand something be done. Just my 2 cents worth.. I wish you luck my dear..if I could come do something about it I certainly would.

    Sincerely yours and good luck to you and the people of Memphis..

    Katherine “Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened” Kathie

    ________________________________

    Reply
  5. RIP Babies
    I’m sorry you ended up at that killing place. You would have made someone wonderful pets. I’m sorry no one gave you that chance.
    Someday, somehow, these monsters will have to be accountable for what they are doing.

    Reply
  6. These two kittens look very young; maybe they need to be bottle fed? I guess they don’t have a foster pet program for bottle babies? :(

    Reply
  7. Michelle Walker

     /  September 9, 2012

    An absolute disgrace. Name the filth who work there pictures if possible. Let the world know and see these scum

    Reply
  8. Aine O'Neill

     /  September 9, 2012

    Pure scum to murder such babies, no animal should be murdered, no space is no excuse to slaughter the innocents. build more shelters, the murdering scum need to have the same treatment meted out to them.

    Reply
  9. I sent an email to Ms. York asking why it would take a year to transition from gassing animals. this is her reply:

    On Sep 9, 2012, at 4:11 PM, “Judith Pannebaker” wrote:
    Ms. York,
    Why will it take you a year to stop killing stray, abused and abandoned animals in Person County using a gas chamber? Thank you in advance for your timely reply to this question.

    Judith Pannebaker
    Editor
    Bandera County Courier

    It will not take a year. I set of goal of phasing out the gas chamber by the end of the current fiscal year. Because we are currently under staffed, I knew we would need to fill the position, secure funding for the drugs, ramp up our supply of the drugs, and then schedule staff appropriately. In reality, we will have made this transition much sooner and we hope to have announcement of our early success in the near future. I set a conservative goal for fear of the retaliation of not meeting it. We are making good progress. Thank you for your interest in the person county shelter.
    Heidi York

    Reply
  10. Anne

     /  September 9, 2012

    I recently read about a wonderful group in NY — it’s actually a husband and wife team — called The Lexus Project (http://thelexusproject.org/luna.php). They are advocates for animals, perhaps they can help or offer some suggestions. I’d be happy to do any work that they suggest as long as it is something I can do online or via the telephone since I’m inbetween jobs at the moment (meaning I’m broke) and have some legal experience (just not anything animal-related and I’m not an attorney).

    Reply
  11. mikken

     /  September 9, 2012

    I notice that their RTO for those months is about 4%. That number is ridiculously low. You don’t suppose it has anything to do with the fact that the Pet Harbor site is not kept current or complete or is advertised at all? Or the fact that they don’t always show people “all” of the pets in the building? Or the fact that they just don’t give a crap?

    All of the above.

    Think they even tried to find fosters to take care of those kittens? I’ll bet money that they don’t even have KMR in the building…

    Reply
  12. Jessica C

     /  September 14, 2012

    So sad. But, I understand the issue is the turnaround rate, but isn’t this kitten too old to be killed, legally? I thought that you can’t do anything with a puppy/kitty until they are at least 6-8 weeks old, yet the chart says the kitten was a month old. Am I missing something here? So if that is true, they not only didn’t bother to get the kitten adopted, but killed the kitten way before their legal time was acceptable. But I could be wrong?

    Reply
  13. Although I do not live in Memphis – where is this shelter located and how can I be of assistance – who can I write to or call to start a campaign against this “shop of horrors”?

    Reply

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