Memphis: One Step Up and Two Steps Back

Dog ID #267072 at the Memphis pet killing facility, as shown on Facebook.  Her "review date" is tomorrow.

Puppy ID #267072 at the Memphis pet killing facility, as shown on Facebook. Her “review date” is tomorrow.

After much public outcry, Memphis Animal Services has announced it will again allow Memphis Pets Alive and other rescuers to photograph pets in the healthy hold area before their review dates expire.  Photographs of the cage cards will again be allowed as well.  The statement from the city, which can be read in full here, is hardly anything to celebrate.  Although MAS staff is again allowing members of the public to do their jobs for them, as they were before, there are new restrictions in place which appear to be at least cruel and at worst, illegal.

MAS now stipulates that rescuers will be allowed just the first two business days of the mandatory three day holding period to save animals from the kill room.  Obviously MAS wants to protect its staff from the annoyance of dealing with e-mails and phone calls from rescuers wanting to save animals on their kill day.  Once the first two days of the holding period have passed, MAS staff has the green light to kill the animal – no need to even check if there is an owner standing in the lobby holding a leash and collar I guess.

The city’s statement also attempts to restrict the First Amendment rights of anyone using the photos:

Photos taken of animals housed at the facility are not to be used in any negative campaign or propaganda against Memphis Animal Services.

MAS is primarily a pet killing facility.  If city officials are worried about American citizens truthfully saying so in public, they need to find jobs outside the U.S.  Speech is protected in this country and anyone who wants to express that MAS is wrong to kill animals, that the staff doesn’t do their jobs, or any other “negative” opinion about MAS is free to do so.

Finally, I think it’s important to restate something that has long been true at MAS, even before the current administration began its shenanigans:  No member of the public has had access to every animal in the facility, including those in the so-called stray areas, in years.  MAS continues to impound pets, hide them in areas deemed off-limits to the public, then take them to the kill room after 3 days with no one ever knowing they were there.  The reversal of the photo ban does not change that.

Pardon me if I find little worth celebrating in the draconian measures being employed by MAS to continue its needless dog and cat killing spree.  And I’ll be saying so.  Still.  More.

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16 Comments

  1. Hiding pets from the public is completely unacceptable! Our local city/county shelter in New Braunfels, Texas, is operated through contracts by the New Braunfels Humane Society. They hide half the pets at the shelter from the public and secretly kill them. They have operated like this for 34 years :(

    Just because a shelter is run by a “humane society” does NOT mean they save lives!

    Reply
  2. mikken

     /  June 5, 2014

    MAS has always been all about appearances, nothing about substance. They don’t want you to call them killers, but they won’t stop killing because killing is easy (as long as you don’t have a soul, anymore). They don’t even bother to put all of their animals up on Pet Harbor, even though the system is automated and it would be simple to do so.

    Remember, these are the people who took a photo of a mom dog with her dead puppy and didn’t even notice (or care) that the puppy was dead. When it was pointed out to them, they tried to cover it up with an earlier photo of the puppy alive. This is exactly how they operate – always trying to fix the *image* rather than the *reality*.

    And why the “two business days” thing? Because they can’t organize themselves enough to stop “oops” killings of animals that have rescue waiting for them? Because it’s too much of a hassle? Or because it gives them more control over uppity rescue groups who might want to speak out against the slaughter now and then? That’s right kids, here’s a reminder that MAS giveth and MAS can taketh away – now say nice things about us or we’ll kill these adorable puppies. Oh wait, never mind, we’ll kill these puppies anyway. No photos, please.

    Reply
  3. KateH

     /  June 5, 2014

    I’m impressed that the comments on the article are all asking why all the animals aren’t being photographed and given a chance at life outside that slaughterhouse.

    Reply
  4. db

     /  June 5, 2014

    Once again, mikken has hit the nail on the head! MAS only cares what the people think, not about the animals in their “care”. That comment about being used for negative publicity is nothing more than a threat . . . and Wharton is just plain STUPID if he thinks we don’t see through that. He is obviously hearing from the irresponsible public again and we need to keep that up. Hope the sweetie in the photograph above makes it out alive . . .

    Reply
  5. Andrea

     /  June 5, 2014

    Please someone save that scared little dog.

    Reply
  6. I keep emailing the mayor’s assistant, now he just ignores me completely. That’s ok, one of these days the people in this community will vote these yahoos out of office and maybe find someone with an ounce of kindness left in their soul to take over. Maybe…

    Reply
    • I have a background in sales and animal science, but no background in shelter management. I honestly believe that I could do the job 100% more efficiently than the idiots in charge of this place. It takes actual effort to be THAT bad at your job. I think a random person pulled off the street would do better. It really baffles me that they’re still employed.

      Reply
  7. That place needs to be closed, permanently. I have never read of anything good coming out of there.

    Reply
  8. Karen

     /  June 5, 2014

    From MAS’s statement: “If Memphis Pets Alive and other rescue groups cannot successfully place a pet within 2 business days of the pet’s 72 hour holding period, then Memphis Pets Alive and other rescue groups understand that MAS will have to adhere to city ordinance in the disposition of the animal, which may include humane euthanasia.”

    Take out “humane euthanasia” and substitute “routine torture and killing of healthy animals.”

    Reply
  9. Makes me wonder what actually happens there. I most bureaucratic decisions involve lining of pockets. How could hiding dogs gain someone money?

    Reply
    • seabrooksr

       /  June 6, 2014

      Tax payer funding. Remember a lot of these places are given budgets by the city/county/state etc. Their budget is based on how much they spent last year and how much income they made. Too many adoptions mean that funding could be potentially cut (and they’d have to do as many adoptions next year). Alternatively, having more adoption events, etc, now would mean more staffing, advertising etc, and that money would have to come out of their budget NOW.

      Reply
      • db

         /  June 6, 2014

        Oh darn, it’s just much easier to kill them then . . . not an acceptable rea$on for killing.

  10. Sharon Litton

     /  June 6, 2014

    Come one people get a heart. Become a no kill state. This is deplorable

    Reply
  11. These people need to go to work for the taliban

    Reply
  12. Chanceencounterstlm, seabrooksr is right on regarding budgeting and tax appropriation, I think.
    There is also the possible dog flipping business that is going on. I have a theory that a certain person or persons like to keep the good “flippable” dogs going to herself and her fave rescues. If the public and other rescues see these dogs in advance of due out date, this ruins their ” first dibs” on the cute fluffy dogs with no medical issues.

    Reply

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