As promised, another installment featuring records for some of the pets needlessly killed by the Memphis pound during the week of December 5 – December 12, 2012. The first set of records belongs to a litter of pups, 2 male and 2 female mixed breeds, who were impounded as strays on 11-29-2012. Although the impounding ACO’s notes were requested, none were provided so presumably either the officer failed to make any notes or the city failed to provide the requested records. The MAS records show the pups were apparently young and healthy and they all received vaccinations and deworming on 12-2-12. Their cage cards indicate they were housed in an area of the shelter where the public is not allowed. Their review date (after the mandatory hold period) was 12-5-12 and instead of being marketed for foster or adoption on that day, they were all taken to the kill room and put in the trash. They weighed just 5 pounds each.
The next pet was a 1 year old Pitbull type female named Laura. Her cage card indicates she was housed in an area of the shelter where the public is not allowed. Laura’s owner surrendered her to MAS on 12-4-12 “due to chewing and climbing fence”. (Note: This is per a note entered by Christine at MAS. The owner surrender form was not provided and there is a note on Laura’s cage card that says “No form avail.”) Chewing and fence climbing are not unusual behaviors in young dogs and they are well within the realm of behavioral issues which can be readily addressed by owners, sometimes with the help of a professional trainer (other times simply with the help of a bone). But Laura was taken to the kill room on 12-5-12 after a note was entered in her record by shelter supervisor DeKeisha Tunstall which read, “Animal has poor behavioral history per owner. No holds requested at time of memo entry.” Poor behavioral history per owner in this case is the pound’s attempt to spin the facts: The dog’s reported behavior, which is not unusual and carries a reasonable expectation of modification with training, is unverified. And no holds requested is indicative of the fact that no one had a chance to request a hold on this dog because the only people who knew she was there were the ones intent on killing her. Laura never had a chance.
MAS impounded a 1 year old Pitbull type dog named Beer on 10-24-12. Although the impounding ACO’s notes were requested, none were provided so presumably either the officer failed to make any notes or the city failed to provide the requested records. Beer was neutered, wearing a collar and had a microchip. On 10-25, Vincetta D. Jackson called Home Again regarding the microchip and obtained the owner’s name, address and phone number. The records indicate the number was called but found to be disconnected. There is no note to indicate any letter was mailed to the owner’s address or that 411 was called to see if there was a new phone listing for the owner. There are no notes indicating the dog’s information was checked against lost dog reports in-house, on Craigslist, on Facebook or anywhere at all. There are no notes indicating the dog was listed by MAS as FOUND on any website. Beer was vaccinated, dewormed, given a flea treatment and determined to be heartworm negative on 10-30-12. There are no notes indicating he was ever determined to be sick. He was killed on 12-5-12. No reason was marked on his kill card.
Champ was wearing a leather collar and an ID tag when MAS impounded him as a stray on 11-13-12. Although the impounding ACO’s notes were requested, none were provided so presumably either the officer failed to make any notes or the city failed to provide the requested records. He was a neutered 2 year old mixed breed dog. A note entered into his record on 11-15 by Tameka Booker-Shaw indicates that “when moving this dog”, an ID tag was noticed and an unsuccessful attempt was made to reach the owner by phone. There are no notes to indicate any follow up attempts to reach the owner were made in the days following. There are no notes indicating the dog’s information was checked against lost dog reports in-house, on Craigslist, on Facebook or anywhere at all. There are no notes indicating the dog was listed by MAS as FOUND on any website. On 11-26, a note entered by shelter supervisor DeKeisha Tunstall says, “E-mailed Tracy Dunlap in an effort to locate a rescue group. Dog already neutered and very well trained.” As far as I know, no such plea was issued to the rescue groups on the MAS list. On 12-4, Ms. Tunstall noted “animal’s time has expired” in the record. Champ was killed on 12-5-12.
Goodbye litter of 5 pound pups, Laura, Beer and Champ. I’m sorry the people paid to protect you from harm failed to do their jobs. Your lives had value and you were loved, even if it wasn’t evident at the end. I won’t forget you. Memphis please, stop the killing.