Memphis Takes Dog Away from Home to Pet Killing Facility

On January 10, Memphis Animal Services responded to a police department request for assistance with a loose dog.  The ACO knew who the owner was and apparently spoke with him/her.  The owner advised that the residence had no phone.  MAS issued a citation to the owner and impounded the dog.

MAS records, obtained via FOIA request, partially redacted by me.
MAS records, obtained via FOIA request, partially redacted by me.

MAS listed the dog as “stray” and entered a note on the cage card advising that the dog had an owner.

MAS cage card 262564

MAS placed a a “review date” on the dog of January 16.  In between the date of impound and the review date, there are no notes indicating any attempt was made to return the dog to the owner.  No return visit to the owner’s residence, no letter, no attempt of any kind was made to communicate with the owner about the dog according to the records.  The only notes indicate the dog was bright, alert, responsive and had a good appetite on January 11 and that she was vaccinated and dewormed on January 13.  Memphis Pets Alive photographed this pet on January 14 and posted her on the group’s Facebook page:

[via Memphis Pets Alive page on Facebook]
[via Memphis Pets Alive page on Facebook]
On this pet’s review date, the day MAS could officially offer her for adoption to the public, they killed her.

Did the ACO think taking this dog away from her owner and putting her into the Memphis pet slaughterhouse was the best course of action?

Did the owner, who apparently can not afford a phone, have any means of paying the fine issued by MAS in addition to the outrageous impound fees?

Why did no one at MAS make any attempt to return this pet to her owner or even communicate with the owner to see if he/she had the ability to care for the dog?

Why did MAS refuse to offer this young dog to the public for adoption, rescue or foster – even for one week, one day or one hour?

Why did MAS take this apparently healthy, friendly pet to the kill room the minute her hold expired and she was eligible for disposal?

How many more, Memphis?

Nobody WANTS to kill animals?  Shyeah.

26 thoughts on “Memphis Takes Dog Away from Home to Pet Killing Facility

  1. The government is running a deficit – broke, clearly this part of government is not working, not serving the community, or carrying out their own mandate thus my solution is to eliminate this portion of government. Get rid of the incompetent uncaring people and lets save some money, some pets lives, and give pet ownership back to the owners nad keep government out of our lives!

    1. Although I support shelter reform and it is my wish that this would happen in Memphis and every other city where the public employees are killing homeless animals in shelters instead of doing their jobs, I would agree with you that it would be preferable to have nothing if the only alternative the government is willing to provide is violence.

  2. They had no business killing this sweet pup – nor taking her from her owner. They do NOTHING in that hellhole but kill, kill, kill. The whole lot of them are an abomination to the human race. There is no reason for what they do, except they can and they like to do it.
    What will it take for this to stop? How many more family pets will be tortured, abused, neglected at the hands of these “people”?

    1. I have just read that pits at MAS are killed third day. They do not get six days like all others. Their dead before they have a review date. Someone needs to get mad enough to change the way MAS does business.

    2. First, the owner allowed their dog to roam at large which is a violation of the law. If they were a responsible pet owner, this wouldn’t have happened in the first place, so please let’s place the initial blame where it belongs. Owners MUST start being responsible instead of letting animals roam and then blaming cars for hitting them, farmers for shooting them if they’re killing livestock and ACOs for picking them up and euthanizing them when a neglectful owner doesn’t come pick them up.

      Second, state law only states a dog gets 3 days before euthanasia. Each individual agency has the right to change that. Most give three days to animals with no signs of an owner (wearing a collar for example) and five days for those that do show signs of being owned. Is it too short? Yes, obviously, but in a metro area where there are, again, irresponsible pet owners that don’t bother to spay and neuter their pets to prevent thousands of puppies flooding the shelters every single year, they have to put time limits on it to keep from winding up in a hoarding situation where pets wind up fighting, starving due to lack of funding for food, spreading disease, etc.

      Do I think that what happened is okay? No. But I place ALL blame on this owner. Didn’t have money for a phone? Then you probably don’t have money to feed and vet a dog. The owner never should have had a pet in the first place. What if that dog had been hit by a car and was seriously injured? The owner couldn’t have take it to a vet, let alone even paid a vet bill! I DO NOT support this shelter. There is a lot of evidence out of there of abuse. This case however is a case of owner neglect, plain and simple. The owner knew where that dog was but apparently didn’t do crap until after their dog was killed.

      1. While perched in your I Am the Judge of Everyone throne, I wonder if you realize what a horrible human being you sound like here. But don’t answer. Since you’ve been banned.

      2. Wow. And THAT’S the mentality that leads to places like MAS functioning the way they do.

      3. Regardless of how the dog got to MAS, once there she was their responsibility. And, without a second thought, with empty cages available and no effort to find a rescue or adopter, they killed a healthy, friendly young dog.

        And, I agree, this is the attitude that allows killing factories like MAS to continue to do what they do best – torture, abuse, neglect and kill, kill, kill.

        I hope and pray that your dog, if you have one, never escapes from your house or yard and is caught running loose.

  3. I wonder if FoMAS could have done something, here? I don’t know that the dog was kept in an area to which they have access…BUT, the shelter, if they felt compelled to take this dog from her owner for whatever rules and regulations, should have let FoMAS know of the situation to see if there’s something they can do to mitigate it – contact the owner, raise funds to pay the fees, sent the dog home with some food, etc. You know, HELP.

    But hey, it’s MAS and killing is the “normal” thing we do, so no one even considers maybe there’s another way to do things, maybe we can try to NOT kill sometimes…oh no, never mind, let’s just kill everything and go on our merry way. Again.

    1. Memphis Pets Alive saw her on their weekly trip to photograph pets and they are just members of the public who are not allowed to see all the animals at the facility. I can’t imagine the “Friends” have less access than the public. If anything, I would think they might have more access since they have never done anything but cheerlead for the city’s abuse and killing of pets at the pound.

      1. Ah. Perhaps someone at FoMAS reading this will stand up and explain why they did nothing to get this dog back to her owner, then.

      2. I agree – the “friends” are not friends of the animals in any way, shape or form. They, I believe, are part of the problem that exists there. I, like mikken, would be delighted to hear what they have to say about this young, healthy, wiggly-butt puppy who should have been returned to her owner.

  4. Just look at the dog’s wagging tail. This is a friendly dog that had every right to be available to the public for adoption for a reasonable period of time. What makes you think this is a unique one-time incident? THIS HAPPENS ON A REGULAR BASIS AT MEMPHIS ANIMAL SERVICES! Animals are regularly killed on the night before their due out date or before the shelter opens on their review date even with plenty of empty kennels available. Would you like to see pictures of the many dogs this tragedy has happened to? It would break your heart. What I can’t understand is there seems to be no accountability for the actions of MAS. Every infraction is viewed as an “OOPS!” incident by Mayor Wharton and all of his cronies. I am only one person, but I am outraged and infuriated when this happens to an innocent animal that looks to us for protection for its safety. We need CNN, CBS, NBC, or ABC to do a documentary on the atrocities that happen at the shelter here in Memphis. When you disagree with one of their practices, you are banned from the facility. I have gone to pay for a dog many times on his due out day only to be told he was euthanized that morning. That’s why our “underground railroad” of rescue workers frantically try to transport as many dogs north as possible, but the harder we work, the more challenging our struggle becomes. I am pleading with you to please continue bringing attention to the plight of the innocents in Memphis. The director can present a good power point in an attempt to convince the public that progress is being made, but it is pure fluff. Their one adoption event at a public park in 2013 was a big flop because it was not advertised, resulting in only 1 adoption for the day-long event. When will efforts be made to bring about real change? I am begging you to keep the Memphis Animal Shelter in the center of your discussions until there is a public outcry for fewer killings. While 1000 a year would be too many, killing over 10,000 adoptable dogs a year is absolutely criminal, and it needs to be stopped! We need advocates your help!!!

    1. Long-time readers here are equally as frustrated as you are with the culture of killing and other atrocities that are happening at MAS. We also realize that, since most of us are not local, there is a limit to what we can do. I fear that the criminal culture in Memphis government will have to change before anything else does. How to make that happen? I don’t know, but I know it makes me sick to my stomach every time I see the picture of a precious soul who has been killed at that killing factory. If you can tell us how to stop this, from a distance, I think you will find we will support you.

      Godspeed, sweet pup – at least you will never again know the cruelty of man.

    1. You might start by calling the mayor’s office and telling him, respectfully and honestly, what you think about what’s going on. Perhaps if he got enough phone calls, he might at least change things to avoid the hassles. Shirley used to have contact information posted – maybe she would be willing to do that again if anyone else is interested. It’s going to take a lot of people, though. He easily discounts a few comments or concerns.

      1. He discounted testimony from an undercover cop who witnessed multiple MAS employees torturing pets in the kill room while others looked on, referring to the abusers as “a few bad apples”.

  5. Cant we do something? is there a petition? i’m not familiar with how to do it, but cant someone start a petition to the mayor or something in Memphis???

    1. Sorry, Katie, but a petition won’t do it. What Memphis needs is change. Or someone in charge with a heart (which would be a change in itself).

    2. What might help is every official in city government coming down with a fatal case of flu – but that’s just my lovely fantasy.

  6. How can this happen??? How can this heartlessness exist in the world? WHY is killing so very popular? WHAT in the world is WRONG with People????

  7. It boggles my mind how throughout TN and other states this type of abuse takes place daily in county shelters . Pompous leaders who think they own their counties instead of working for the citizens in their counties. It seems like no one stands up to them including the media.
    Hopefully the day will come when all citizens in these counties become aware of what abuses take place and they will finally stand up and force changes to be made. If a private citizen committed half the abuses that went on in these shelters, they would be arrested and their story would be flooded throughout the media with pompous leaders showing disgust for the abuse. Yet when it takes place within a counties shelter, then it’s not considered abuse.


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