Memphis Animal Services (MAS) is a pet killing facility which has long cited “time and space” as its primary reason for killing dogs and cats. In order to counter the alleged time and space issues at MAS, a group called Memphis Pets Alive has been photographing pets at the pound weekly, sharing them on Facebook. In this way, owners looking for lost pets have an opportunity to see clear photos on an easily navigable and popular website – a service the pound does not provide. In addition, rescuers and potential adopters can see the pets currently at the pound and begin making arrangements to get the pets out alive once the holding period expires, a date which Memphis Pets Alive notes on its posts.
The marketing of pets immediately upon impound is an important tool used by shelters wishing to increase their return-to-owner and overall live release rates as well as reducing their average length of stay. MAS does not market pets upon impound, selectively choosing to photograph only some pets, using seemingly arbitrary criteria, and list them on a user-unfriendly website not designed for the public to navigate. But Memphis Pets Alive has helped bridge the gap by photographing pets every week and sharing them on Facebook.
This week however, Memphis Pets Alive was informed by pound director James Rogers that they would no longer be allowed to photograph pets who are still within their mandatory holding period. The “review date”, as MAS terms it on its cage cards, must be met before anyone is allowed to photograph the pets.
The Tiny Problem with That: MAS typically kills pets the day of, or the morning after, their so-called review date. Review is MAS-speak for Kill. Some examples of pets who have been killed by MAS on, or within hours of, their review date:
- Beauty and Rocko – two young, healthy dogs whose owner wanted them back.
- Two owned dogs who were supposed to be quarantined at MAS for 10 days but who were killed after 72 hours because “review date”.
- A 3 year old mixed breed dog who was impounded after the owner fell behind on utility bills and killed by MAS on her review date.
In addition, the following pets listed on the Memphis Pets Alive Facebook page are just some who were recently listed as having been killed on their review date:
- 8 month old puppy
- 2 year old female dog
- 1 year old mixed breed
- 2.5 year old male dog
- 2 year old brindle colored dog
- 10 month old female Lab mix
- 3 year old female Lab mix
- Male dog ID #265867
Tragically, these dead pets are the “lucky” ones, in terms of MAS killing, since they were allowed to live until their review date. MAS also kills pets before their review date. Nola, a lost dog whose owner went to MAS trying to find her, was killed before her review date. And pets who are owner surrendered do not get the “benefit” of a review date at all. MAS often kills them upon impound.
Needless to say, shelter pet advocates raised hell about the photo ban. After all, MAS is still killing pets for “time and space” but now actively blocking efforts by advocates to reduce the supposed time and space burdens placed upon the $7 million pet killing facility. The city posted a response on its website which explains that the reason for the
dick move ban is because MAS doesn’t want a potential adopter to see a pet’s photograph on Facebook and mistakenly believe the animal is immediately available for adoption. Because MAS cares, really, so much:
MAS views the emotional trauma of such an unfortunate misunderstanding too great a risk[…]
I wonder how much of an emotional trauma it is to have your pet killed by MAS because of “time and space”, such as has happened to so many Memphis pet owners. But I guess Memphis is all full up on caring. The city can’t possibly care one iota more. It’s too great a risk to consider more caring. So please everyone, stop bothering MAS about its enormous level of caring. Just leave it alone and quit bringing up how hugely much MAS cares. Because the caring, it’s bulging and gigantic. And space is an issue.
(Thanks Arlene for sending me info on this story.)