On December 16, Vickie Carter was driving her car and saw two dogs attacking a third dog. She stopped to help. After breaking up the fight, the dog who was being attacked ran into her car through an open door. Although he appeared to have minor injuries from the fight, he seemed to be in otherwise good shape. Ms. Carter called the police for assistance and decided to take the dog to Memphis Animal Services, which was right across the street from where she found him. She thought he must live in the neighborhood and his owners would be able to find him at MAS, where he could receive vet care for his wounds in the meantime. Ms. Carter photographed the dog in her car in order to network him on social media before taking him to the pound.
At MAS, Ms. Carter says she was very clear in her communication with staff: she asked them to make sure the dog was not killed because she planned to get him out one way or another if no owner reclaimed him. She and a friend began networking the dog online and both women placed phone calls to MAS to reiterate the “do not kill” request. Between the two of them, Vickie says they spoke with multiple staff members, a veterinarian and MAS director James Rogers. Ms. Carter says that in a phone conversation with a staffer on December 18, she offered to personally adopt the dog if no one claimed him and was told she had to wait until December 20 because the dog was on mandatory hold until then.
But when Ms. Carter went to MAS to adopt the dog on Saturday the 20th, she couldn’t find him. She asked a staffer about the dog and was finally told he had been killed. Ms. Carter was understandably upset and says she asked many questions, including why the dog was killed. But no one at MAS provided any answers of any kind beyond “I don’t know.”
Now Ms. Carter is heartbroken. She says she plans to attend the next public meeting of the shelter advisory board and is working to get this dog’s story out to the public. She wants to know why MAS killed this dog, despite her offer to adopt. And she wants people to know that when she was at MAS, the place was half empty but they killed the dog she wanted to save anyway.
I wish I could say this is the first time we’ve ever seen a story like this out of MAS but tragically, it’s the So Many I’ve Lost Track time we’ve seen this same scenario. MAS has always been primarily a pet killing facility. And until someone is able to buck the status quo, fire the animal killers and send the enablers scurrying back under their rocks, it always will be.
How many more, Memphis?