Memphis Oops-Kills Two Pets on Rabies Quarantine

When two of Memphis pet owner James Brown’s dogs escaped his yard recently, they apparently got into a fight with another dog.  A police officer told Mr. Brown MAS had to impound them for a ten day rabies hold.  Instead, MAS held the dogs for three days and then killed them, without ever contacting the owner.  Oops.

“And when I called, they said ‘Your dogs are dead’,” [Mr. Brown] told us.

His dogs had been euthanized. That’s because after 72 hours, unclaimed dogs are considered property of the City, and the City can do with them what it wants.

And what the city of Memphis wants to do with dogs at the pound is kill them.  That has been made abundantly clear over the years in a facility whose primary function is the killing of dogs and cats.

And in this case, the city has not only torn apart a family but also failed in its public safety directive since the rabies quarantine hold was never completed.  So much for using public safety as an excuse to justify the killing of shelter animals.  Oops.

Mr. Brown inquired about his pets’ remains and MAS bluntly told him a truck carried them away.  The owner is heartbroken and outraged:

“So, you can pay a truck to go and destroy the remains but you can’t call me?”


“People just don’t kill dogs for no reason and that’s what they’ve done,” he said.

Tragically, they do.  Again and again and again.  And until someone in Memphis is willing to step on toes, make waves and wage a political war against the city, the killing will continue.

I am so sorry for the suffering of Mr. Brown and his family.  I am even sorrier that I will be extending my condolences to another Memphis family, probably sooner rather than later, when they find out MAS killed their pets too.

How many more, Memphis?

(Thank you Clarice for the link.)

26 thoughts on “Memphis Oops-Kills Two Pets on Rabies Quarantine

  1. How many more? Thousands. If they’re allowed to continue the way they do. They’ll just keep killing because they think that’s what they should do. Until real leadership steps in and says, “Stop. We’re not a slaughterhouse, we’re a shelter, let’s start operating like one.” then nothing will change.

    Fire. Them. All.

  2. So laws are for everyone else but MAS? I agree that the killing will continue because that’s what they do. And until a group of citizens steps up to stop the slaughter, it will continue.
    I’m sorry for the family who lost their dogs.
    MAS, stop.the.killing.
    And, as mikken said, fire.them.all ~ and start at the top!!!
    Citizens of Memphis ~ who will stand up for the cats and dogs in your city?

    1. I WILL. Frankly, I don’t know what else to do. We’ve gone to their meetings, when allowed, written regular letters & emails many many times but all we hear, when there is a response, is excuse after excuse. They actually believe they are always doing the right thing. There’s never any admission of guilt for anything, even as everyone can plainly see in videos direct abuse to cats & dogs. Even their own records speak for themselves – killing after killing.

      Just like in this story of Mr Brown’s dogs being killed, they have killed other’s pets over & over before anyone is ever notified. Why? Because it’s what & the only thing they are good at – KILLING. But why, with so many empty cages? It has to be their hatred of dogs, and they can’t be too fond of cats either.

      When others are ready to march on city hall, please let me know so I can be counted too. They haven’t heard us yet.

      1. I know there must be others who are willing to fight city hall, but what is it going to take to get enough of you organized so changes will be made? Many of us, from other areas, have written letters, made phone calls, sent emails, and have gotten no further than you there. Do you have any sense of what has to happen? Are there not enough horror stories, yet, so the people of Memphis understand what’s happening at MAS? Or don’t most people even care?
        Isn’t there a former board member who was so disgusted that she resigned (or was fired)? Has anyone called a meeting of concerned people to organize and develop a strategy for dealing with MAS? We’ve talked long enough ~ action is needed.
        Thank you for doing what you do. Please don’t give up.

    2. We’ve done it and done it and done it. They DO NOT CAREl As I said in my previous post, any dog that favors or even resembles any part of a pitt bull, they are to be killed, if the scum that hangs out at MAS doesn’t grab them first for fighting. It is in the manual. I have sent notices and copies of these posts umpteen times to MAS including our senators governor, mayor and everyone on the MAS board and City Council. They just do not care

      1. Denise, FWIW I believe you. The powers that be don’t care about pets being tortured and killed. But that doesn’t relieve locals from the obligation to organize and bring hell to the local politicians 7 days a week. Resigning to the “save a few, kill the rest” status quo is what enables MAS to continue their ruthless reign. Give. Them Hell.

      2. I have given them hell twice today, and umpteen times in the past. Maybe with this news release they will do something. It is said “they are investigating” but, it will probably end up like every other time. A slap on the wrist.

  3. Until someone lights a fire under Memphis’ governmental asses, the killing will continue. INCOMPETENCE on a grand scale is what Memphis Animal Services is made up of. From the TOP to the very BOTTOM.

  4. It was on the news this morning. They WERE going to test for rabies because one dog bit another dog, However, in their haste to kill the dogs, this never happened. It is a known fact and in the manual at MAS that ALL dogs, no matter what, that favor a Pitt Bull IN ANY WAY are to be euthanized. That or people show up who fight dogs before the dogs can go through intake. This is enough and this too will be forwarded to my MAS contacts.

  5. And, according to a recent Texas Supreme Court decision, owners of dogs who are negligently killed like this are only entitled to recompense in the form of the market value of the dog. Few pets have any significant “market value”, therefore, when dog pounds kill owned pets they are not legally liable for any of the emotional pain and suffering they caused. I think that is horribly wrong. These malicious animal control departments will NOT change their ways until and unless they are penalized either criminally or financially.

  6. Is there a reason why MAS kills dogs with known owners without first contacting the owner? Surely some kind of due diligence is standard? Oh, unless you’re functioning as a slaughterhouse, that’s right.

  7. Memphis police are sickening and so is their shelter system. Poor dogs and poor family. What idiots. I wish the SPCA or Humane society could bring charges against all the lame brained cops and shelters who kill mercilessly just because they can.

  8. My heart breaks for the Brown family and the many other families who’ve had their beloved pets murdered by employees of the MAS paid by their own tax dollars.

    If Memphis cannot take care of their own school system, why would anyone believe that the Memphis career politicians and MAS employees would value the life of a family pet?
    Memphis, give up the MAS like you gave up the schools and allow it to privatize properly!

    Why is Memphis and MAS doing the same thing over and over and excepting different results?

    Our police department tried, had undercover officers and observed many incidents of abusive and horrible behavior by paid MAS employees. They need to continue to pursue the crimes of MAS. The connection between missing pets and dog fighting is apparent, as well.

    I am angry, frustrated and ashamed. Why aren’t you angry and ashamed at the actions of MAS, Mayor Wharton and other career politicians? The bottom line is until our mayor finds value in the life of our lost and former pets’ lives – it will not change. They are being tortured and viciously killed because no one can or wants to stop the criminals. They are getting a free pass, why?
    Ask any competent mental health professional and they will tell you that those who abuse, kill and torture lost and former pets will eventually do the same with people if they haven’t already. These people just do not value any type of life. Will you allow these people to continue their brutal activity and start hurting the sick, children and the elderly – those who can’t defend themselves, just like the former and lost pets?

    If the career politicians and those in authority do not stop this horrid behavior then they are a part of the problem and should be held responsible for the crimes. Doing nothing shows us that they do not acknowledge that there is a problem and that this is accepted behavior to them. How can they look their children in their eyes, how can they sleep, and how can we keep them in office?

  9. It is almost unbelievable to read over and over again of the abuses at this facility and the corruption in the government. It makes me furious. I can testify that when I was involved with protesting at Pet Stores In Wisconsin that selling puppy mill dogs – it had a big impact. We were eventually successfully in forcing a few of them to go out of business. It takes commitment and follow through, but we were there every weekend with our signs, handing out informational flyers, etc. It begin with one person starting a website and getting others to join. Perhaps a continual protest (perfectly legal) at the shelter or at the County Building where the Board of Commissioners and/or Mayor’s office is located would have a impact. It would certainly raise awareness for the citizens that don’t follow “pet” websites. I just know that it had a big impact for us. Good luck citizen of Memphis…..and my prayers are with you.

  10. Unfortunately, it’s going to take concerned Memphis citizens thousands of hours of time to push through the change that needs to happen. Once you have a killer like the leader of this Memphis shelter, that person either needs to be replaced by someone who cares about animals and “gets it” or the killings will go on indefinitely. Having just fought that same battle in our county, it is not an easy path. I wish them all luck and lots of patience. But most of all, I wish them the guts to stay with the battle until the animals finally win!

    1. It is just the status quo. I flood them with emails about these posts and post my own dissatisfaction as well. It never ends. They do not listen to us, no matter how many protests we have. It is the “good old boy network” thinking that prevents change. They don’t care about the animals or the “little people” of Memphis. They are incompetent, lazy and just collecting their cushy paychecks. Nothing changed at the old shelter and nothing is new at the new shelter. It is still a house of horrors that really needs to be shut down. I’m trying, and I write almost every other day. I’m sure they would like to be rid of me, but it ain’t gonna happen.

  11. This sounds flagrant….dogs aren’t held for quarantine for biting other dogs only humans…someone gave this pet owner some misinformation…did they intentionally tell him to reclaim in 10 days knowing his dogs would be gone in three?…likely…so sad…

  12. And if they had owners info a hold and a flag should have been placed in the system by the impounding officer…smh…

    1. Yes, any “normal” ACO or shelter would follow that protocol, but then, we’re dealing with Memphis’ animal “shelter” where the ACOs are incompetent and no employee, including the Director, gives a damn about any dog or cat anyway. Animals seem to only be a nuisance to them to be destroyed without any concern for their caretakers/owners. Business as usual for MAS.

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