Newborn Kittens Killed at MAS

Newborn kittens can not regulate their own body temperatures and require a source of warmth.  If they are not stimulated to void their body waste, they suffer from both great pain and toxic build-up.  And orphans can not eat on their own so must be bottle (or tube) fed every 4 hours.  If they are not fed, they become dehydrated and starve.

When a shelter takes in orphaned neonatal kittens, there is an immediate need for care. The kittens must be either placed with a nursing mama cat willing to accept them or cared for by a person.  If the latter, the kittens must be stimulated in order to void their bladders and they must be warmed. After that, a clean and warm area must be created for them, feedings with kitten milk replacer must be offered every 4 hours and the amounts consumed by each kitten should be recorded after each feeding.  Body weights must be recorded daily.

If the shelter maintains a foster list for bottle babies and/or a list of local rescue groups, everyone on these lists should be contacted immediately.  If no such lists are maintained or if they don’t yield quick results, a plea should be issued to the general public via social media sites, local media outlets and the shelter’s website.  It is important to get the kittens into a foster home as soon as possible.  If a foster home is not secured before the close of business and no employee is able to take the kittens home overnight, the staff on night duty should be instructed to provide necessary care every 4 hours and document same until the day crew returns.

On the night of September 14, 2012, a Memphis ACO impounded 3 stray kittens, 2 of whom are pictured below:

Screengrab from PetHarbor (click to enlarge)

Screengrab from PetHarbor (click to enlarge)

The records mention only 3 kittens being impounded – no mama cat.  So presumably these were orphaned kittens.  There are no notes in the records to indicate that any care was provided the night of impound to the two kittens pictured nor that they were placed with a nursing mama cat. No weights were recorded in their records and they did not see a vet. There are no notes indicating any pleas were issued to the public for fosters or any rescue groups contacted.

The following day was a Saturday. MAS was open. There are no notes in the records to indicate that any care was provided that day. No weights were recorded in their records and they did not see a vet. There are no notes indicating any pleas were issued to the public for fosters or any rescue groups contacted.

On Sunday the 16th, MAS was closed. There are no notes in the records to indicate that any care was provided that day. No weights were recorded in their records and they did not see a vet. There are no notes indicating any pleas were issued to the public for fosters or any rescue groups contacted.  Given that the kittens were apparently still alive on Sunday, I am assuming they had received some care, whether from a mama cat or a person, but that is not something confirmed by the records.

On Monday the 17th, MAS was again closed. There are no notes in the records to indicate that any care was provided that day although again, I am operating on the assumption that they were in fact receiving some form of care given that they were still alive. No weights were recorded in their records and they did not see a vet. There are no notes indicating any pleas were issued to the public for fosters or any rescue groups contacted. A supervisor noted in the kittens’ records that they were taking up space needed for other animals (in a facility with plenty of empty cages) and their time had expired.  In fact, their time had not expired and the review date listed on both kittens was September 20.  Both kittens, and presumably the sibling, were killed on the 17th, violating the legally mandated holding period for strays.

Since I can not verify via the records that these kittens did receive some form of care while at MAS, I want to make clear one specific point, regardless of whether it applies to these particular pets.  I do not condone the killing of kittens who are not determined by a vet to be medically hopeless and suffering.  But if a situation occurs where a shelter outright refuses to do its job, makes no effort to find anyone willing to provide care for newborn orphaned kittens, and does not place them with a nursing mama cat willing to accept them, I see no justification for forcing the kittens to suffer in a cage for any length of time without care.  The pain from distended bladders, illness from the toxic build-up of waste, dehydration and starvation from lack of bottle feedings and chill from a lack of heat source would be excruciating for neglected orphan kittens.

The MAS records for the two kittens pictured seem to indicate at least some degree of neglect (the severity of which is difficult to determine due to the shoddy record keeping practices at MAS) and a violation of the stray holding period law.  This was the entirety of their brief lives.

Memphis, this is your public animal shelter.  These are the people you pay to care for the community’s pets in need.  How many more must suffer and die within these $7 million walls?

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18 Comments

  1. The staff at MAS should be euthanized!!! Give them a dose of what they’re giving all those defenseless animals!!!

    Reply
  2. The “irresponsible public” needs to be made aware of how they can help if they are going to help. Therein lies the problem – that would mean that the powers that be would have to care about helping the animals.

    What kind of monsters would allow these wee ones to suffer and then kill them (unless they just died on their own – you know, the “dead in cage” category)? My heart breaks for all of the animals who are treated so badly at MAS and other killing factories.

    What’s it going to take, citizens of Memphis? Is this how you want your tax dollars spent? Is this the kind of community you want to live in? If not, what are you going to do about it? And when are you going to do it?

    Reply
  3. What does Rogers say about this?

    Reply
    • KateH

       /  September 28, 2012

      He says, “La, la, la, I can’t hear you.” Because he’s worthless and should resign. Oh, but he won’t resign, because he has a cushy job where he does nothing of value, yet gets paid a ridiculously large amount of money to sit on his ass and say, “La, la, la, I can’t hear you.”

      Reply
  4. Diane Erb

     /  September 28, 2012

    God, what a hateful place….

    Reply
  5. Vicki Aucremanne

     /  September 28, 2012

    And if a breeder or other pet owner did this…no food, no bladder or bowel care…no warmth…no nothing.. .they would be arrested for neglect and cruelty…and YES< in many places breeders are required to keep detailed records of care provided…WHY ARE SHELTERS NOT REQUIRED TO DO SO?

    I was an RN for many many years. the rule of charting and record keeping is "if it is not written, it was NOT done" how horrible… how can anyone in their right mind walk by infants and not do something?

    Oh I get it now – if they were neglected for three days or so, then their condition would be deemed as hopeless and suffering, thus they can kill them for those reasons.

    now i must go, as an irresponsible member of the public, I have a bottle baby kitten, a foster from a shelter – to care for.

    Reply
  6. Katherine

     /  September 28, 2012

    This is just plain out sick and heartless!! Bastards! They have no business running a shelter or a pound or whatever they call this 7 million dollar building!! Just shoot em all and get some people in there that care! I just can’t find the words strong enough to call these people what they really are. Just know that God has a special kind of hell waiting for them. “Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened” Kathie

    ________________________________

    Reply
  7. Has anyone found a lawyer yet?

    Reply
    • No news to report at this time Isabel but ‘m still hoping.

      Reply
      • This has got to be animal cruelty, no matter what state it happened in. Check out my comment under you “dungeon” blog. Are you in touch w/ anyone in Memphis that may be willing to try doing those things on their own? I bet you could help them write very thorough complaints to submit to the SA, and the licensing board, Shirley, and some press releases may be a good idea, too.

  8. Jean

     /  September 28, 2012

    Just flat out neglect and animal cruelty. They should all be charged with same.

    Reply
  9. ezbuddy

     /  September 29, 2012

    Getting my panties in a wad hasn’t helped. Blowing a vein on the side of my head probably wouldn’t either. All I can do is bitch & moan at every opportunity at anyone & everyone I possibly can. Any further action would only put me where Miss Hogan belongs.

    Has anyone heard anything about the notorious Hogan? I hope she is where she belongs.

    Reply
  10. Jessica C

     /  September 29, 2012

    *sigh* SO sick of the abuse and neglect happening here, including the killing for space. Even a 2nd grader would know that you cant just throw some kittens into a cage and hope they survive. They need food, medical care, attention, warmth, etc. I really hope we can get a lawyer soon. I would totally do it pro-bono if I was a lawyer and lived anywhere closeby but Im not and I dont.

    Reply
  11. c. dianne clements

     /  October 21, 2014

    I had my kittens thriving for 2 weeks and the shelter said they would find a nursing mother. They lied and killed my kittens.

    Reply

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