Memphis Pound Refused Local Rescue Willing to Save Pregnant Dog and Pups

Pregnant dog at the Memphis pound.
Pregnant dog at the Memphis pound.  (Image via Facebook)

On April 11, 2013, I spoke with Carrie Crunk, a rescuer in Memphis.  She told me that at the public meeting of the pound’s advisory board the previous evening, several local advocates were concerned about a pregnant dog at MAS.  She says interim director James Rogers reassured concerned citizens that time would be provided to allow them network this dog and that no mention was ever made of killing her unborn puppies.  The next day, Ms. Crunk says she called MAS and was placed on speaker phone with James Rogers, Tracy Dunlap and DeKeisha Tunstall.  She says her group offered to rescue the pregnant dog but one of the people on the call (she’s not sure which one as the person did not identify himself/herself when speaking) said that the dog can not leave the building until she is spayed because it’s state law.  When Ms. Crunk expressed concern that spaying a pregnant dog would mean killing the unborn pups inside her, someone on the call replied that the dog was “not far along” and that they had a rescue group from CO which was fine with killing the unborn pups and had offered to take the pregnant dog after the spay surgery.  Ms. Crunk also told me she had heard from another local advocate who had visited MAS on April 11 with the intention of visiting the pregnant dog but was turned away because the dog had been “adopted”.

Under the TN open records law, records were requested for the pregnant dog on April 11.  This is the wording of the request:

I am requesting all records for the dog ID #252910 – records to include all notes by ACO , behavioral notes, front and back of kennel card and all pertinent information on this dog including her final disposition. I also want all veterinary notes including other records which reference the disposition of the unborn pups in this dogs uterus at the time she was at MAS. I also am requesting the drug log for the day she was spayed.

The records indicate the dog was impounded as a stray on April 3.  On April 9, her weight was recorded as 35 pounds and a notation was made that she appeared to be pregnant.  She was vaccinated and dewormed.  A noted dated April 10 says that Ona Cooper was given 48 hours to network the dog.  Medical records from April 10, the day of the public meeting at which James Rogers reassured advocates they had time to network her, indicate she was spayed and her unborn puppies taken from her belly to die.  Her weight was recorded as 47.2 pounds.  The notes include the following:

Approx 11 puppies, approx 3 weeks old

Puppies given Fatal Plus en utero

On April 11, the day after the meeting, the day after the spay, and the day the records were requested, the following note appears in the records:

Puppies euthanized after spay surgery.  10 puppies estimated to be about 3 weeks in development.  0.1cc per puppy of Fatal Plus, bottle #40.

The drug log showing the Fatal Plus used on the unborn pups is also dated April 11.

I have some serious concerns:

  • Why did MAS refuse to allow Carrie Crunk’s local group to rescue the dog and her unborn pups in favor of an out of state group which agreed with the killing of the unborn pups?
  • Where is this state law that does not allow exceptions for the release of intact dogs from shelters and if it exists, why has MAS ignored it so many times in the past when releasing intact dogs and cats to rescuers?
  • Why was James Rogers reassuring concerned citizens at the public meeting on April 10  that they would be given time to network the pregnant dog when in fact she was already spayed, her puppies already removed from her body?
  • How can the 12 pound discrepancy in the dog’s weight between April 9 and April 10 be accounted for?
  • Why is there only one page containing a single line entry for the pound’s entire drug log on April 11, 2013? Assuming this was a normal day at MAS and numerous pets were killed, how were the other dogs and cats in their care killed that day? Because apparently they didn’t use controlled substances to do it.  Is this an indication that strangling dogs and crushing cats to death is still practiced in the MAS kill room?
  • Why would anyone at MAS contend that the dog was “not far along” when in fact it was ordinary citizens noticing the size of her belly who alerted MAS to the fact that this dog was pregnant?  A pregnant dog’s belly does not begin to enlarge until the second half of pregnancy because the puppies do not develop to any significant size until then.  In other words, by the time it’s obvious to casual onlookers that the dog is pregnant, she is near term.
  • Why would the vet note that the 11 (or 10?) puppies were only about 3 weeks in development and killed with injections of Fatal Plus when in fact canine embryos at that stage are merely 1 centimeter in size?  See a photo of a puppy at that stage of development here. (This is an actual medical photo from a teaching facility and may not be appropriate for sensitive readers.)
  • Why are the note about the Fatal Plus injections for the unborn pups and the drug log for those injections both dated April 11 when the spay was done April 10?  When the vet indicated the puppies were killed “after” the spay surgery, did that mean one day “after”?

This pregnant dog had a local rescue willing to take her and her unborn puppies but MAS refused in favor of an out of state rescue which raised no objection to the killing of the pups.  The unborn puppies had a right to live.  The records appear to show deception and incompetence, at best, on the part of MAS.  How many more, Memphis?

31 thoughts on “Memphis Pound Refused Local Rescue Willing to Save Pregnant Dog and Pups

  1. What a pretty dog! I can see she would be highly adoptable, pregnant or not. The fact she was pregnant, would only be a bonus to any adoptee. What is with MAS and the entire government of Memphis? This kind of barbaric behaviou goes along with that doctor death from Philadelphia, who is on trial for murdering live, aborted babies. Time to shut this entire operation down, now.

  2. I am honestly ashamed of this city and what it has become. Particularly MAS & the administration that allows MAS to continue their abuse, incompentance, false record keeping, lying and excess killing.

    MAS hasn’t changed one bit since Wharton became mayor & promised “transparency” & “changes.” It is & always will be a torture chamber until everyone that has anything to do with it is removed & replaced with good people. It’s quite obvious, they are not good people.

  3. This is so wrong this poor girl could not speak she had people to speak for her and what did you do kill her babies this can be traumatizing for the dog and cruel for her and her poor babies It is obvious this is not a good place for any Dog .

    1. Memphis has nothing but low life thugs snd rednecks running the shelter. There needs to be a change. obviously these no good idiots who probably don’t know how to take care of their own family ,have no business running a shelter! there’s clearly something wrong that they do not let a rescue group get this dog pregnant or not pregnant they should never turn down a rescue group unless there something wrong with these people they like to kill!

  4. Memphis Murder Squad. Investigate. Incarcerate. Including the management, workers and vet that participate in this behavior. They all know it’s wrong yet continue to participate.

  5. This needs to be seen in the popular local newspapers so the people of that area can protest and get this place closed. Fines and imprisonment for the perpetrators!!!

  6. http://www.fayettevilleanimalsheltertn.com/Pages/TNDepositLaw.aspx LAW DOES STATE THIS::§ 44-17-501. Short title

    This act shall be known and may be cited as “The Tennessee Spay/Neuter Law.”

    2000 Pub.Acts, c. 789, § 2, eff. July 1, 2000.

    § 44-17-502. Adoption; requirements

    (a) No person shall adopt a dog or cat from an agency, including, but not limited to an animal shelter, dog pound, animal control agency or humane shelter operated by a municipality, county, or other governmental agency within the state, or a private organization operating a shelter from which animals are adopted or reclaimed, unless:

    (1) The dog or cat has already been spayed or neutered;

    (2) The dog or cat has been spayed or neutered by a licensed veterinarian while in the custody of the agency; or

    (3) The new owner signs a written agreement with the agency stating that the new owner will have the dog or cat spayed or neutered by a licensed veterinarian:

    (A) Within thirty (30) days of the date of the adoption, if such dog or cat is sexually mature; or

    (B) Within thirty (30) days after the dog or cat reaches six (6) months of age, if the dog or cat is not sexually mature at the time of the adoption.

    (b) Nothing in this section shall preclude the spaying or neutering of a sexually immature dog or cat at the discretion of a licensed veterinarian with the consent of the new owner.

    2000 Pub.Acts, c. 789, § 3, eff. July 1, 2000.

    § 44-17-503. Deposit

    (a) If the dog or cat being adopted has not been spayed or neutered, theagency shall require a deposit of not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) from the new owner prior to the adoption in order to ensure that the dog or cat is spayed or neutered. The new owner may request and shall receive a refund of the deposit from the agency upon providing confirmation of the spaying or neutering.

    (b) If the new owner fails to have the dog or cat spayed or neutered within the time frame established by § 44-17-502, or if the spaying or neutering is timely performed, but the new owner fails to request the return of the deposit within an additional ten (10) days after the date by which the spaying or neutering is required to be performed, the deposit shall be forfeited to the agency holding the deposit and shall be used by the agency to conduct programs to spay or neuter dogs and cats in the community where the agency is located.

    1. THERE IS NOT ONE DAMN WORD INCLUDED IN THIS SPAY/NEUTER LAW THAT WAS CALLED TO REFERENCE AS SOMETHING THE DIRECTOR WAS UNDER OBLIGATION TO FOLLOW. HE IS A LIAR AND THE LAW, IN SO MUCH AS IT CALLS FOR CONTROL, IS OPEN TO BEING MANAGED IN ALLOWING FLEXIBLE OPTIONS FOR MANY SITUATIONS THAT COULD HAVE ACOMADATED WITH THAT LOCAL RESCUE,. AS YOU CAN SEE…THE DIRECTOR IS NOT GOOD AT THINKING ON HIS FEET AND IS A BAD LIAR. ABOVE WE SEE THE POLICY HE SHOULD HAVE TAKEN WAS TO TURN THE DOG OVER TO THE RESCUE AND AT MOST REQUIRE A DEPOSIT FOR HER SPAY THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN REFUNDABLE WITHIN A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF TIME ONCE SHE WAS FINISHED NURSING HER BABIES. THAT’S WHAT SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED.

    2. The law clearly allows for discretion on the part of the shelter. They can release intact animals with an agreement to neuter. MAS regularly releases intact animals to rescue groups. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of them turning down a rescue b/c the animal was intact.

  7. The people at MAS simply do not care! They are on some kind of power trip and will do what they want, with the blessing of the “mayor” of memphis. I’m just sorry for the animals and for the rescue groups who try so hard to do right by the animals.

  8. I have NEVER read ANYTHING good about the Memphis pound. Was there EVER anything positive written? EVERYTHING that is said is soaked in the blood of the poor animals they execute because they like to do so, NOT because they HAVE to.

  9. What a pretty mom; she has a big heart on her back. Clearly an angel who has been robbed of having her babies and now, will never have the chance to have any more. Cruel people suck. Hell will be full of cruel people. I hope,

  10. What else is new!!!! MAS is cruel and heartless and continues to get away with the cruelty they impose on animals. I feel so helpless and wish I had the solution to get rid of the staff and James Rogers!!!

  11. Mayor Wharton, LaSonya Hall, Janet Hooks & James Rogers are the four responsible for the conspiracy of killing & covering up the incompetent activities at MAS. They are the four which must be replaced before the changes can be made for an honorable shelter to exist in Memphis. As long as any of them have their paws into MAS, I’m afraid it will continue as the death row it is.

    Everyone can work for changes this next election season, particularly with them.

  12. Since networking the story about the pregnant dog at Memphis Animal Services, I have learned that this facility has adopted out several intact dogs, mostly because they do not sterilize heartworm positive animals.

    Kim Harper from Memphis Pets Alive went to Memphis Animal Services on the morning of April 11 to visit the pregnant Lab mix and take video but was told the dog was adopted and could not be visited.

    Despite several emails to James Rogers, Dekeishia Tunstall, Tracy Dunlap, Dr. Shana Wall and Dr. Rebecca Coleman, I did not receive any response. The last communication that I received on April 11 was that Carrie with Blue Sky Dog Rescue was going to pull this dog the morning of April 11 and she was told by MAS that the Mother Dog could not be rescued unless she was aborted
    of her entire litter.

    Despite the fact that I discussed this dog’s dire situation with James Rogers before the Memphis Animal Services’ Advisory Board meeting on April 10, and despite the fact that I received an assurance via email that he was available to help us in the rescue of this dog at 6:42 AM on April 11, I never received the courtesy of a reply to my many emails, asking for assistance to prevent this dog from having to be aborted.

    The lack of customer service that I have received and the lack of humanity and compassion on Memphis Animal Service’s part to work with me and the rescue group that wanted to rescue this dog and her puppies continues to prove to me that absolutely no progress has been made in moving Memphis Animal Services forward to produce the “positive outcomes” or better public image that this facility so desperately needs.

    The continued lack of customer service that others have received as well, when they attempt to rescue a dog from this facility, confirms this, and I am deeply disappointed at this extremely negative outcome.

    1. There’s another dog in a later post here who looks pg (shhh -MAS doesn’t think so). Any chance you could pull her in memory of all those dead puppies?

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