Memphis Pound Gives Compliance Notice to Dog Owner Who Fell Behind on Utility Bills

Dog ID #253447 was impounded by MAS on April 18, 2013 because the residence did not have utilities.  The impounding ACO left the owner a notice to comply and spoke with neighbors.

Portion of records from the Memphis pound, obtained via FOIA request, partially redacted by me (click to enlarge).
Portion of records from the Memphis pound, obtained via FOIA request, partially redacted by me (click to enlarge).

Let’s be clear from this point forward: MAS knew this dog (and the 3 others impounded with her) had an owner. MAS knew where the owner lived. MAS left the owner a notice to comply and recorded the full name and phone number of the owner’s sister.

Note the “OWNER UNKNOWN” contained in the portion of the records below:

Portion of records for dog #253447 at the Memphis pound (click to enlarge).
Portion of records for dog #253447 at the Memphis pound (click to enlarge).

The cage card for dog ID #253447 indicates she was housed in the stray area and that the microchip scanner was not working.  Her intake type was listed as stray/field despite the fact that MAS knew she had an owner.  She weighed 33 pounds.

253447 cage card

She had just two observations noted in her records, both on April 19:

253447 med notes

On her “review date”, the following note was entered:

253447 note

And she was killed. Note that the kill tech indicated she had no microchip (did the scanner start working again?) and that her weight had dropped to 24.5 pounds in the 1 week she’d been at MAS:

253447 killed

There are no notes indicating any follow up was made with the owner or that the owner signed over this dog to MAS. This dog was locked in the back of the dungeon that is MAS, never being examined by the vet, never being allowed visitors, never being allowed outside for socialization, fresh air or even a brief walk. She was never offered to the public for adoption. I don’t know what happened to the other 3 dogs who were impounded with her. I don’t know if she was pregnant when they killed her.  All I know is that, according to the records, she was living at a home without utilities when MAS took her away.  Now she’s dead.

How many more, Memphis?

23 thoughts on “Memphis Pound Gives Compliance Notice to Dog Owner Who Fell Behind on Utility Bills

  1. Memphis is just full of good folks who try and help their neighbors. Did anyone try to help the person get the utilities turned back on? Nope, much easier to just snatch the dogs, kill them (do you really think the others fared any better than this poor dog?) and go on about business as usual.
    Are these people (a) stupid, (b) apathetic, (c) sick, (d) all of the above OR do they simply enjoy the power that killing defenseless animals brings them? Never mind . . . we all know the answer (s).
    How many more will die in the hellhole they call a “shelter”?
    C’mon, somebody help!

  2. Geez. What is wrong with their thought process abilities there? I just don’t get it.

  3. Today I had the unfortunate occasion to visit a shelter in Brownsville. When we left, I actually felt like their animals would be SAFER at MAS. That’s pretty bad! Dogs with no water, caked feces on the dogs and in the blankets, inadequate ventilation, and overcrowding. MAS is awful, but in comparision to Brownsville, it looks like the Ritz Carlton.

    I think the Owner has every right to legally go after MAS fo rthe impound. EVen without utilities you can provide shelter, food, water, and love. By what right did they have to take the dogs? When we adopted from MAS a month or so ago, our card also said “scanner not working” but the scanner in the clinic area worked- cause they sent us down the sidewalk to the other door to make sure the dog was chipped for us.

    Mayor Wharton, I have always respected you, but our Shelter is in dire need of some magic. And Brownsville, just shame on you. Not having enough resources is not an excuse to just stop trying. It should motivate you to work harder.

    1. While it is understandably easy to fall into the trap of grading hellhole shelter by comparison, I think it’s important to keep in mind that regardless of whether there is or is not a “worse” place around the corner, every shelter pet has a right to live. Killing is the ultimate deception on the part of any “shelter” and it is neither diminished nor justified by comparisons with other places also guilty of the same offenses. I raise this point because we must constantly guard ourselves from adopting kill shelter speak. Those who kill are quick to point out things like the neighbor’s yard being weedier than ours and are only too delighted to have compassionate people unwittingly repeat their diversionary statements. All shelter pets have a right to live, whether they are at the worst so-called shelter in America, the best, or any shelter in between.

  4. All I can do right now is cry and hug the rescue dogs I have in my home and be glad/grateful/blessed they are here with me. They are the lucky ones.

    And I agree with the comment..animals don’t need utilities to have what they need. This was so wrong.

  5. Since when is the lack of utilities a reason to impound pets? It states, on the activity card that no dogs were found running loose. That means they took the dogs from either the residence or the fenced (?) yard.

    I’m sure there is more to the story than what we read here since the officers spoke to 6 neighbors. I can only assume there was a chronic problem with the dogs getting loose, and running at large, and that is why animal control was called.

    Regardless, what happens to the poor dog(s) afterwards is dispicable. The dog was abused and then killed by a “shelter” that should have provided her with at least basic humane care.

    Unfortunately, until people in the MAS area complain vigorously and consistantly, until positive changes are made, things will not get better.

    Governments respond the best to those who make the most noise. Someone needs to organize a citizens group to lobby for the changes that are needed.

    I am sure there is information on how to effectively lobby for change somewhere on the Internet. It only takes one person, who cares enough, to get the ball rolling. Maybe this incident will help motivate someone to be that person.

    1. I was wondering the same thing about the reason for pick up, but what goes on as MAS is so horrific and wrong. I know people such as no kill Memphis have been working for awhile to make changes, the city wont budge.

    2. MAS & Memphis government (one & the same) hasn’t changed regardless of No Kill Memphis & every concerned citizens available. (all 50) It’s doubtful if they will ever change as long as the same people hold office in this city. There isn’t enough caring citizens to amount to anything, obviously, because it’s still the same as it has been for decades. It is still operated by unconcerned, unethical, incompetent, abusive, immoral and less than intelligent a..holes, as it has always been.

      MAS is the shame of Memphis I hope keeps visitors & businesses away.

  6. When I’ve been flooded, I’ve been without utilities for up to a week. I wasn’t behind on any payments – and how does MAS know that anyway? My dogs are well cared for or boarded as needed during our floods. As a sanctuary, part of my mission is to work with my community in need, not remove their dogs from them.

    1. when i wrote my other response to this thread, i forgot about natural disasters. WV recently had a couple of severe weather conditions… in Oct. a blizzard due to the Sandy storm. Loss of power for weeks on end…. including many of the animal shelters themselves! shuold people’s pets be taken simply because of that? We were without power only a few days, and we made it! Our pets were quite happy and content to have both mommy and daddy home with them!! But if the rurual animal shelters are in worse shape than the homes, would Memphis and places advocate for taking animals out of a home and placing them into a cold cell like shelter kennel?

  7. They’re trying their best, right?

    But *what* are they trying their best to do? Because if it’s “kill people’s pets”, then yes, they’re certainly giving it their all.

    MAS is still a slaughterhouse for pets. James Rogers, I hope you’re proud of your legacy here.

  8. Once upon a time, in fact about 8 years ago, my husband lost his job due to outsourcing to India. my income plus his unemployment were not sufficient to pay utilities and an $850 month mortgage. because we owned our home and owned our vehicles, we did not qualify for ANY assistance. It got to the point that the electric was shut off. we created a “warm” room, by using blankets around windows and doors, and such to shut out the air, we put our cats into crates and wrapped with blankets, we did the same for the dogs, when they were not with us. since in the winter, food could be stored outside, we were able to keep the water on. it was not nice, no not at all, i pretty much huddled with the pets, and kept them safe and warm during the day while husband did odd jobs and job interviews.

    do you know who helped us? the manager of the local shelter (yes, she is a friend of mine) but she reached out with pet food to help us not have to spend money on the pet food (since we owned the house, and the cars, we did not qualify for help even though our tax dollars pay for everyone else to get help)

    We lived this way for a few weeks, then with the help of friends, and with a pay check for work he did, we were able to get power back. Our lives were touch and go for several years, until he got a new job.

    Today, we are back on our feet, and our fur family are still here with us. we are together.

    It is frightening to think that someone could have contacted the wrong group and our animals could have been removed simply because we had a horrible time for a while. I shudder to think of what might have happened if we lived in one of these horrible towns or cities where animals are taken simply because you are not up to some arbitary standard or you are in a temporary situation.

    No, i don’t know the rest of the story from the one published, but i can say, that not all of us who are in the position to have lost utilites are bad, evil or abusers of our pets. We did the best we could for our pets and kept them safe and fed! I guess they went through the same things we did, but they were happy and content to be with us. Today we are very blessed to give back to others the way we were treated at that time.

    And a silly thought, when people go camping, and take their pets, often they have no utilities, live in a tent in sleeping bags, cook over a fire and such – would that not be thought of as cruelty by the cruelty defininers?

  9. MAS. It seems they didn’t try at all. Except to steal and murder the puppy. It used to be that city shelters were synonymous with “building that kills pets” and so the managers had to be heartless. Now with the internet these facilities need to be reformed. Change is happening, except for those dragging their ass.

  10. Nothing about the hell hole called Memphis surprises me, I’m just sorry it’s in my home state, wish I could move it south of the border.

    1. I agree with you. I hate that MAS is in my state and would love to treat the people responsible in the same way they treat the precious animals.

    1. Memphis, Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago…. cities with the worst records for animal shelter killing & abuse. What do these cities have in common that makes them so anti-animal care?

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