In Memoriam, Because the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby Co Won’t

At least two of the dogs slated for killing by the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby Co were apparently killed there on Tuesday.  The HS has remained silent on the killings of Joy and Truffles and in fact has been posting adoption photos on the group’s Facebook page, as if that’s the most newsworthy thing happening there.  No mention of the poor dogs needlessly killed and no photos of them either.  I didn’t personally know either Joy or Truffles but their lives mattered.  They were loved, even if they did not know it at the end because the people who should have been advocating for them killed them instead.  So here is a little memorial for both dogs.  They deserved so much more but the least we can do is to remember them with love.

Joy, a dog at the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby Co, reportedly killed on Tuesday. (Photo submitted by a reader.)
Joy, a dog at the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby Co, was reportedly killed on Tuesday. (Photo submitted by a reader.)
Truffles, pictured as a youngster, was reportedly killed by the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby Co on Tuesday.  (Photo submitted by a reader.)
Truffles, pictured as a youngster, was reportedly killed by the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby Co on Tuesday. (Photo submitted by a reader.)

The person who fostered Truffles while she was growing up sent me a note today that read, in part:

She changed my  life. Before we fostered her, I was scared to death of a pit bull. She opened my heart to the breed and showed me how big their hearts are.  I was never fearful of Truffles.  With her floppy ears and feet that were too big for the rest of her little body, she was funny to watch and all she ever really wanted was someone’s full attention.

If only the hearts of those at the so-called Humane Society were half as big as a dog’s…

59 thoughts on “In Memoriam, Because the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby Co Won’t

    1. WTF??? You’re slamming the FOSTER MOM? Get your head on straight. The foster mom did not kill this dog.

      1. When I get a foster I commit to the end whether it is finding a home or the end of their life, it was no slam it was a statement. I am sorry for the one who has no voice & no choice. The story didn’t state whether they demanded the dog back or she returned her so it wouldn’t have been possible to slam her for anything.

  1. I wonder why the foster relinquished her back to the kill factory. Nevertheless, the HS should have to explain these murders. If these dogs were healthy, friendly dogs then there was no reason for their deaths. I only wish the foster would have keep Truffles until a forever home was found.

      1. It’s NOT a backlash on fostering. I was asking why the foster gave the dog back.

      2. I assume because she thought the place was an actual HUMANE Society, that fosters were supposed to give dogs back so they could be adopted (which Truffles was), and that she was helping animals by keeping her fosters rotating through.

  2. The idea of fostering is to give a pet a temporary home. There is no rule that a foster pet has to stay in that very same foster home until it is adopted. In our shelter, as example, people come and foster a dog just for a weekend. It gives the dogs a nice break from the shelter and we, on the other hand, learn more about the dog too. It is a win/win situation for everybody.

    I do would like to know which reasons the HS of Memphis & Shelby County has listed for the killing. Did they just run out of space or did the dogs have behavioral issues?

    1. They are not open admission so running out of space is definitely not the issue. No one knows what the “reasons” might be since the HS refuses to answer publicly for what they’ve done.

  3. So sad needlessly killing Adoptable dogs.Makes me sick to my stomach.RIP Truffles & Joy.Your life was taken to soon.

  4. Sad, just so very sad. What a waste of precious life. Those who make these decisions ought to be very ashamed of themselves.
    RIP pups, you will never again be the victim of human cruelty

  5. Stop and think before taking this article at it’s word. This organization is very well known for saving lives and I at times believe they sometimes go too far the other way and keep animals longer than they should The people that work and volunteer there are not cruel to these animals and I am very disturbed that anyone is not going to do the due diligence prior to making them out to be the bad guy. Please tell me how any of you know why the animals may have been euthanized and the circumstances. Shame on you for following like sheep.

    1. Unless they were medically hopeless and suffering, or a judge had declared them dangerous and ordered the HS to kill them, there is no justification.

    2. So…you’re ok with them killing healthy dogs for “being there too long”? Because “being there too long” is a failure of the HS to market them, nothing more.

      1. Thank you for this!! It really IS about marketing and all about partnering with the public (instead of vilifying them as so many shelters do – to get attention away from what they’re NOT doing, one would presume). Yes, things REALLY have to change in this country and we are going to have to work very hard to get some solid laws passed with teeth in them for those who want to sit on their backsides and collect a paycheck and wait for rescues to arrive on their doorstep (or the public, for those who actually allow public adoptions.) They all should be FORCED to do so! There is no excuse. None.

    3. You have to admit, Kaki Dawg, the silence of the HS in that case is, let’s just say “strange”. The HS simply is stone walling any attempt to shed some light on this story and it doesn’t really matter what good they may or may not have done in the past. What matters is how they handle this particular incident and in my eyes, they don’t handle it at all.

    4. How can we do the “due diligence” when the director hides like a coward? Why does she choose not to tell us the circumstances? Sheep do not question, they follow. We have a lot of unanswered questions! So shame on you for not caring enough to ask the questions and relying on blind faith!!!

    5. YOU SAID: “I at times believe they sometimes go too far the other way and keep animals longer than they should”

      That just sent chills down my spine, what is YOUR time line? What organization do you run or are you affiliated with? I want to take very serious note of that. Very serious.

      No shame on my part for listening to the only side of the story we can get because the HS won’t talk… Unless they sent you, in which case I’ll stick with what I see here.

      The foster mother’s account of Truffles is not the description of a dog who needed to be put down, unless of course they adopted her out to someone who abused her & didn’t want anyone to know…

    6. The volunteers are good people, but the folks in charge don’t do much except sit back & live very well on donations. They seem to do very little for anyone seeking help in some way with a detrimental animal issue. Their idea of help is to “put them down” on every occasion I’ve seen first hand.

  6. Do you guys know for sure that they were adoptable? I really feel like there is a reason..the HS just doesn’t randomly kill dogs for no reason!
    Does it?
    When my friend adopted a dog from there they were very particular in making a great forever match and checked references etc..
    I know because of severe behavior issues or untreatable illness they might euthanize an animal.

    1. We don’t know anything because the HS director won’t answer questions. If there WAS something wrong with them, it would help if she would just tell the public her reasoning.

      1. And then maybe she can explain what was “wrong” with Graham, Hollywood, Shelby Angel, Milton and the dozens of other Pitbull type dogs she has allegedly killed in the past year.

  7. I had only heard of Truffles, I had not heard about Joy. So, I wonder just how many others they have killed that we know nothing of? This HAS to stop!!!! The fact that the HS director has locked herself away and will not answer questions regarding these killings is unacceptable. She should be made to face the public!!! This breaks my heart!!! And we all know that Truffles had a person who wanted to adopt her and give her a loving home!

  8. Don’t you love it when someone complains in the comments that you haven’t verified the information and that they are “disturbed” by their notion that you haven’t done “due diligence” but they are too gutless to sign their own name?

  9. And Riana. She is not on the list of the dead. But she was reportedly euthanized too a couple weeks ago after being there as a resident since June of 2010. She was not a pit bull. She was a lovely black Lab/Chow mix whose dysplastic hips, one has to wonder, if they ever really got the medical attention they needed in that place. So she could be occasionally picky of anyone touching her hind quarters incorrectly. All those years she lived on a concrete floor within cinder block walls staring out a stainless steel-barred door while laying on her dysplastic hips at the Humane Society. And then after all those years, they reportedly killed her a couple weeks ago. One must guess they will say they did because she had gotten nippy with those dysplastic hips that bound to have hurt, thus a liablity risk if adopted out….because she “might” bite. They will likely say killing her was the humane thing to do since they are a “humane society”….given her painful hips. They will say many things, but among the things Riana never got in all those THREE years at the HS was marketed consistently and heavily as a “special needs” dog. And we all know there are adopters out there who ONLY want special needs furkids. Instead, they placed multiple restrictions on who might adopt her…thus limiting her chances of ever leaving that place alive. This is to remember her life in that place too. Riana mattered too.

  10. “Dog That Was Focus of Humane Society Fight Has Been Euthanized

    Posted on: 6:05 pm, March 27, 2013, by Sabrina Hall and George Brown, updated on: 03:12pm, March 28, 2013”

    “(Memphis) The fight to keep a dog from being put to sleep by order of the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County ended.

    Today we learned the dog, known as “Truffles” has been euthanized.

    The Humane Society honored the foster home’s wish to have Truffles by sending the family her ashes.

    The fight to save the dog has a lot of people talking.

    “Truffles” was at the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County.”

    How sick is that? They honored the foster homes’ wish to have Truffles by sending the family her ashes? I’m positive they would have wanted her back alive! This organization is not a humane society. From the sounds of it they are posing as one. In actuality they appear to be on a killing spree.

    1. Let’s make a correction. The foster family fought and begged to have the dog’s remains after realizing that getting the dog alive or placed elsewhere was going to be impossible. They said we could have her but then after posting what was considered a violation of their media policy on FB, we were told that we couldn’t have the remains. (BTW, nearly every volunteer has pictures of dogs from inside the shelter on FB- including managment. Some volunteers have entire blogs and pages dedicated to certain dogs. Maybe the media policy only applies if it causes a problem.) Only after going in person to beg for the remains for the sake of our children in the family and giving us all some closure AND agreeing not to post negative information about the HS did they relent and say “ok.”

      It is worth noting that the cremation company that had offered to do the service for free as a Christian kindness and out of love for pets was FIRED because when she heard about Truffles, she forwarded an email to a friend in the rescue business to see if any other options were left for Truffles. The HS found out that she did that and cancelled her contract on the spot. Vindictive? Retaliation? Mean Spirited? I think so. They considered that unprofessional. I thought it was a very kind and loving gesture offered by a stranger to a family in need. She believed she was trying to help and as a result, was kicked to the curb.

      Dixie Memorial has served the Memphis and Mid South community for 21 years and before she started picking up animals at the HS, it is my understanding that most were being sent to the county landfill like common garbage. Dixie Memorial treated the animals with a great respect and dignity and her heart is broken that her contract was cancelled because she tried to do the right thing to help someone. We reached out to her and she offered us nothing but love in return and for that she may lose her business. I pray that she will be restored to her position and that she never loses her Christian kindness.

      All that said, I want to thank everyone who offered support, legal advice, rescue, prayer, and kleenex to our family. We have the urn with our Truffles and we feel a sense of peace that she is finally at rest in a place where she is loved.

      Finally, I want to make sure you all realize that abandoning the HS is not the answer. If you donate money there, please don’t stop. The animals need you! If you volunteer, please continue because the animals need you. Get more involved and hold them accountable. Don’t be bullied to not ask questions. It is YOUR shelter- remember that the Humane Society operates solely on donations and does not receive government funding. If you feel you must dissolve your relationship with them, please funnel your efforts toward another shelter or rescue group. There are so many places to offer your talents. The animals have no voice and they need us now more than ever.

      1. I do not see how this comment represents a correction. What exactly needs to be corrected and where in your comment did you make the correction?

      2. I just can’t support HS as long as Amorose is the director – Threatening people should not be tolerated
        I feel HS has mislead the public. Good people have given their hard earned money with the intent to help save animals – not kill them.

      3. I don’t give money to places that needlessly kill pets. I don’t want my cash to buy Fatal Plus or garbage bags for the bodies. There are plenty of places out there working their tails off to save every healthy/treatable pet in their care. I’ll gladly support them.

        On Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 12:05 PM, YesBiscuit!

      4. I’ll never support them again after they wanted to “euthanize” a dog that I instead took home & nursed back to health. Their answer to anyone’s need for assistance has always been “put them down” so, NO they won’t get from me anymore than what I’ve received from them.

  11. Sorry folks, but let’s use the proper terminology here. These precious souls were killed, not euthanized!

    1. Agree completely. NO MORE EUPHEMISMS for what shelters are doing. They are NOT “euthanizing” or “putting to sleep” or “putting down”. They are KILLING. This war will have to be fought on the semantics level as well so those who don’t know what is happening will get the picture. This was NOT “mercy killing”. Not in the least. And we must not allow shelters to give that impression with the use of that terminology. Accountability!

  12. It’s more like: RIP Truffles, Joy, Jewel, Hollywood, Graham, Shelby Angel, Aja, Happy, Rianna, Milton, Gwendolyn, Pirate ( a puppy), Timberlake, Rosie, Shera, Marmalade, JBro, Cyrus, Blade, Trixie, Jellybean, Henna, Ripp, Sampson, Topper, Balboa, Melinda…and so many more.

  13. I know the director and the statements all of you are making about her not caring couldn’t be farther from the truth. In the article, the writer says that she/he didn’t know either dog. The director did. She does not indiscriminately kill animals, THAT much I know for certain.

      1. Because that’s my account name (srsly you should know that). My name is Mary R. Thompson, I live in Malta, NY. I have known the director since 2005.

      2. How could I, or anyone else, possibly know who you are? You’ve never commented here before. At any rate, thanks for identifying yourself. One source told me the director has said no one should believe what I’ve posted b/c I don’t live in TN. I wonder if the director would say the same about you.

      3. Well, listen, people who are signed up to WordPress blogs rarely use their real names = why I assumed you’d realize that. And, probably not, since we’re friends. I have been in some really hard rescue situations with her and I have an immense amount of respect for her and I know without question that she would not indiscriminately kill any animal. And for the record……..she has raised the live release rate at that shelter 5% since she took over.

      4. Increasing the live release rate of a place that is not open admission? Color me unimpressed. But do you have any documentation to back that up? The HS doesn’t allow the public to view their records as a rule but maybe since you all are friends…

      5. No, I don’t have documentation…….why would I? Never in a million years would’ve thought I needed to defend her of all people! You can take what I say however you would like to, I just needed to speak the truth about what kind of person she actually is. And all of these comments slamming her are not a good representation. I find that (for me) it’s hard to pass judgment without knowing the full story or anything about the person. Can you blame her for not wanting to talk to you when you’re approaching it in an antagonistic manner? I wouldn’t tell you either for heaven’s sakes! I’ve seen her in action, I know what she’s made of, specifically in heinously difficult rescue times. Everyone here knows nothing about her and knows nothing about being a shelter director and have never been put in a situation where a decision has to be made. How do you know that the decision didn’t gut her? I’ve made rash statements before when I vehemently disagree with a move a shelter director has made, only to find out details much much later (because I went about it in an antagonistic manner) and ended up feeling quite bad about the things I said. Again, just my .02 cents.

      6. Noted. And just because we don’t know someone personally does not mean we can not condemn, in the strongest of terms, the killing of shelter pets. The HS picks and chooses which pets to “rescue”. Then they pick and choose which ones to kill. And they refuse to speak to anyone in the media about the killings while reportedly threatening everyone inside and warning them not to go public with the truth. I have no worries about “feeling bad” about condemning such practices.

      7. I as just as big an advocate of No Kill shelters as you are, trust me. But let’s look at a few things……It is TN, we know how awful things are in that state in general. Her goal is to continue to increase live releases, which she has done thus far by 5%. To suggest that she isn’t moving in that direction is ridiculous. She hasn’t been there long enough to cast her into the depths of hell. You know as well as I do that turning a shelter (especially in the south, might I add – I lived in NC for a decade and worked tirelessly with the shelters there) into NK is not something that will happen overnight. “Reportedly threatening” doesn’t mean it actually happened. My only goal here is to let you know that she is not the pariah she is being made out to be.

      8. You are talking about the place like it’s an open admission facility when it is not. It is misleading, at best, to continue to make references to things like “turning a shelter into no kill”. The HS is NOT an open admission shelter, ergo it MUST be no kill. Otherwise it’s a scam. “Reportedly threatening doesn’t mean it actually happened.” Physician, heal thyself.

    1. AS YB stated, this is NOT an open admission shelter, it is a sham, I run a rescue, in our state I am licensed as a shelter, & when people donate to me they ask if we kill our animals, because they are smart enough to know the difference. I don’t except for cases of terminal illness. Many people are aware that open admission shelters kill & refuse to donate to them. I wonder how many people donate to them thinking they are saving lives, & never know about all the one’s who are killed. If they have a 501(c)3 – donors have a right to request records, I say we all donate a dollar & start asking more questions.

  14. MUST? Not when it comes to illness and behaviour. How about trying to talk to her in a non-accusatory manner? Might get you farther than you think.

    1. Irredeemable illness and behavior deaths are euthanasia. Death from anything else is killing.

      Truffles was not irredeemable. Therefore, her death was not euthanasia, it was killing.

      No Kill does not rule out euthanasia. Euthanasia is the last kindness we can bestow for some. No Kill rules out killing (hence the name).

      But Truffles had places to go – offers to take her and keep her safe and well. Her death was completely unnecessary. Yet your friend killed her. These are facts.

    2. If you’re the director’s pal, maybe you can ask her personally, why did she KILL a dog that folks wanted to adopt, any why kill all those that have been if it is supposed to be a “humane” society?

      I’ve had problems with them in the past. I know it’s not as “humane” as they make out to be.

  15. It is a shame these two canines were killed by an organization that is supposed to save and protect discarded dogs and cats. Being a past employee of HS (left in 2009) and being asked to leave by Director Carlson because I wanted to know why 3 healthy dogs were killed when I was on vacation. She is no longer there. There used to be a Euth committee to decide if any animal was to be PTS. Had to be unanimous. Any put down were usually too ill and did not respond to treatment. Check to see who vet of record is! Word is may despise pits and does not like breed. Same with vet at MAS. In Truffles case she supposedly bit a child. What did child do to Truffles? Did child startle truffles while asleep? Did child pull tail ears etc? Did owners have to pull dog off child or was it one nip and truffles walked away. No one seems to know theses answers. Donors need to get involved. Every shelter I have operated used behaviorist in checking dog’s personality and weeks. We need to fight for all and not be afraid to ask for answers.

  16. This dog should have never been killed.
    Alexis, the humane society director who decided to kill her is now the director of the memphis animal shelter. There was so much more to this story than was brought to public attention. Horrible horrible decision.

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