Nashville Pound Kills Owned Dog with Rescue Hold

Sadie Mae, as shown on the WKRN website.
Sadie Mae, as shown on the WKRN website.

When Sadie Mae got lost late last month in Nashville, her family began looking for her.  Sadie Mae’s 6 year old girl made these posters to tack onto phone poles in the neighborhood:

Photo via WKRN website.
Photo via WKRN website.

Owner Janet Mabry checked lost and found pet postings on social media and came across a listing for Sadie Mae on a Saturday. Someone had found her and taken her to the Nashville pound the previous Thursday, placing a rescue hold on the dog if she went unclaimed.

The pound was closed at the time Ms. Mabry saw the listing for Sadie Mae and did not re-open until Tuesday morning. Ms. Mabry called to reclaim her pet as soon as the pound opened on Tuesday but was told Sadie Mae had been killed by staff:

“She kept saying her time was up, her time was up,” said Mabry.

The Nashville pound had held Sadie Mae for the minimum 3 day stray hold then killed her immediately after it expired. The director, Lauren Bluestone, told WKRN that Sadie Mae had been given a temperament test and failed the portion on dog aggression so: Kill. Immediately. The owner says her pet was sweet and had never exhibited any signs of aggression. The director also wants it noted that the owner is a slob and it’s all her fault the dog is dead anyway because:

  • Didn’t file a lost pet report.
  • Didn’t leave a message at the pound while it was closed.
  • Didn’t have the dog tagged or microchipped.

And as far as the finder who placed a rescue hold on Sadie Mae, it sounds like she’s a slob too:

“If truly what she had said was a miscommunication on our part as far as a rescue hold,” said Bluestone. “I’m getting two conflicting sides.”

Metro said it has nothing in writing to verify if there was a hold on the dog.

So many shady people wanting to keep dogs alive in Nashville, sounds like. Thank goodness the Nashville pound director is on duty to administer tests and monitor that 3 day hold clock and mete out punishment to keep everyone in line.

(Thanks Clarice and Arlene for the links.)

52 thoughts on “Nashville Pound Kills Owned Dog with Rescue Hold

  1. So, why wasn’t the shelter checked and notified immediately? Why wasn’t the dog micro chipped and wearing a collar? Stop blaming the shelter. They held the dog for the required time.

    1. Really? Do you blame rape victims because their clothing doesn’t meet your standards of dress, or that they had a drink? Do you NOT know where you are on this blog?
      There are dozens of dogs lost in the Valley fire that HAVE microchips that are unreadable by some wands but are being held for their families at vet clinics and shelters because that’s the definition of “shelter”. Collars come off, chips slip and shelters, especially THIS shelter in Nashville, aren’t known for adhering to their own procedures. QUIT blaming the victim here. The shelter failed this dog and dozens like him. Stop apologizing for people who are too lazy to do their damn jobs.

      1. You just don’t understand how the shelter system works! Maybe you should do some research and find out some more about it!

      2. Apparently, they did adhere to their procedures. The dog had no ID. They checked reports for a lost animal. They scanned to the dog. They temperament tested the dog and the dog didn’t pass.

        “Rescue holds” don’t apply to finders. They apply to registered and verified rescue groups already listed with the shelter. The finder was not a “rescue hold.” If they didn’t find the dog adoptable and no rescue group was listed as taking the dog, and no one is claiming the dog, and there is no ID on the dog, after their mandatory holding time, the dog can be euthanized.

        How many hundreds of dogs are in this shelter? How many dogs came in that day and how many would come in the next day?

      3. Why are you assuming that the finder wasn’t affiliated with a rescue group? Or are you claiming that even if a person affiliated with a rescue finds a dog and takes the dog to a shelter, that person can’t place a rescue hold simply because they’re a “finder”? Does finderhood somehow nullify rescue affiliation? The person who took this dog to this shelter stated that a rescue group was willing to take the dog if she was unclaimed. Are you saying she’s lying? Are you saying it’s ok if the shelter didn’t even try to contact this rescue? Don’t you think that if the rescue hold wasn’t going to be honored, they should have told the finder?

        As for the ID, tags can fall off. Some dogs can’t wear collars all the time because of skin conditions or other medical reasons. Or maybe they escaped right after a bath. Chips can migrate. Etc. As for the temperament test, it’s absurd to kill a dog based on a test given before they’ve even had time to settle in to the shelter. Many dogs who don’t show dog aggression outside of a shelter environment will be DA when they’re away from their people and in a new and scary place full of unknown barking dogs. And as for the 72-hour hold, it’s absurd that days when the shelter is closed count towards that time. IDGAF if they “adhered to procedures”; if indeed they did, then their procedures are terrible and need to change.

      4. Again, the shelter followed their procedures, and the owner didn’t have any ID on their dog and never checked or notified the shelter until several days later, which was too late. Unfortunately, this is common throughout the country. People don’t check shelters and don’t put ID on their pets and do the wrong steps to find their pets. Shelters follow state laws.

        Obviously, the viewpoint of the shelter is not properly posted here, so the story is highly biased.

      5. I’m aware of the shelter’s viewpoint, as are the author of this blog and the rest of the regular commenters. We’re just not buying it. Essentially what you’re saying is that pet owners have to do everything perfectly or else it’s completely their fault if their pet dies, but if the shelter doesn’t communicate clearly about a rescue hold or counts days that they’re closed towards a stray hold, they shouldn’t be held responsible. Because hey, that’s their procedure and they followed it!

      6. You aren’t posting the viewpoint of the shelter because you aren’t the shelter and you obviously don’t like the shelter, thus you are incapable of being unbiased.

        Case in point, you can’t even accurately summarize what I am saying, and my words are right there. Obviously, you can’t summarize the viewpoint of a shelter in which you disagree with how they run a shelter.

      7. Do you know how many hundreds and hundreds of animals are being moved from the shelters in the areas of the California fires to rescues all over the country because the shelters there are over loaded or don’t exist anymore? Once the animals pass their mandatory holding time, and no one claims them and they don’t have ID and they don’t get adopted, yet they are considered adoptable and pass their tests, they are being transported out to what shelters and rescues who will take them. Are you going to blame these rescues and shelters for doing the wrong thing? Know thy stuff before you open your mouth and insert foot.

        In any state, if an animal comes in with or without ID, they have a mandatory holding time per state law. If no one claims them and they do or don’t pass their tests, that will determine what happens next. If they do pass their tests, and if the shelter works with rescues, they can be put up for adoption or offered to rescue. If they don’t pass their test, then they will either be euthanized or offered to rescue, if one exists, depending on the shelter and their policies.

        These are all standard procedures in each state, depending on the laws.

      8. “Know thy stuff before you open your mouth and insert foot. ” Oh, the irony. Do you know where you are and at whom you’re bloviating? Those are rhetorical questions BTW; it’s obvious that you have no idea. Here’s a clue – just because people think there’s a better way to do something doesn’t mean they know nothing about how it works now.

      9. Sarahjaneb, If the finder was part of an authorized rescue group registered with the shelter, that information is not posted or noted. If the finder was a person who found the dog and is not affiliated with an authorized rescue group, then until an authorized rescue group is the group who can pull the dog. That doesn’t appear to be the case here.

      10. Read your own posts. They say different things about who the finder was. It is completely unclear. One article says one thing and one says another. Again, the point if the shelter is not here.

      11. It’s not at all unclear to me. The person who found the dog was a rescue volunteer, which makes sense, because the type of person who picks up a lost dog is likely to be the same type of person who volunteers for a rescue. Yes, the articles say slightly different things, but I don’t see how they’re in any way contradictory – one says “rescue volunteer” and one says “loves dogs.” Again, do you think she’s lying about having placed a rescue hold?

      12. It is not clear at all who this person was. Just because a person suurenders a found animal to a shelter does not automatically make them an authorized rep of a rescue. Duh!

      13. Jackie Phillips, nobody is saying that she’s an authorized rescue rep JUST BECAUSE she surrendered the dog. One of the articles clearly states that she was a rescue volunteer and the other clearly states that she placed a rescue hold. I understand that not all volunteers will necessarily be authorized to place holds all on their own but it’s very likely that as a volunteer she has the contact information of the people who are authorized to place holds and she could easily have gotten the go-ahead from them.

        Again, you’re effectively asserting that the information as presented in the articles is false – again, do you think the finder was lying about having placed a rescue hold?

      14. There is too much killing in Shelters and we need to conduct studies and monitor the facility regularly (without advance warning). The staff claims they didn’t see a hold, talk to someone or anything that might give the animal more time! They should everything possible to avoid killing and focus on finding homes for them instead!

      1. Seriously, you think the Nazis had some good ideas? Which ones? The race annihilation? The testing of chemicals on starving and beaten prisoners separated from their children? The slaughtering of millions of people? The take over of the world? Which ones? That ought to be an interesting conversation.

      2. C.D. Bales: Oh, ho, ho, irony! Oh, no, no, we don’t get that here … We haven’t had any irony here since about, uh, ’83, when I was the only practitioner of it. And I stopped because I was tired of being stared at. – from ‘Roxanne,’ 1987

    1. Now there is an adult and mature response. Where did you learn that? In kindergarten a couple of years ago?

  2. To Jackie or any other traditionalists who would defend this shelter: pointing out that Sadie Mae failed a temperament test is a non-starter, and an outrageous blaming of the animal. I’m just a regular person, and even I know that scared animals in a new environment are unlikely to behave normally in a temperament test.

    If I, a regular person, know that meaningless temperament tests shouldn’t be used to decide to kill animals, why is it that the so-called experts who run this facility don’t know that?

    Also a non-starter: saying that the shelter behaved acceptably because they adhered to the letter of their procedures, while blaming the family for failing to meet *your* behavioral standards. I’ve seen this claim so often: the owner didn’t do this, the owner didn’t do that. How shameful to imply that the killing of this dog was dependent on the timing of the owner’s phone call or the fact that the dog had no ID. Whether Sadie Mae lived or died was dependent on one thing: whether the shelter director wanted to save her life or was happy to okay her killing based on a test that in no way indicated who she was.

    1. It is your choice to agree or disagree with the shelter procedures. If you don’t like them, then get them changed. If you don’t like the temperament tests, then change them. I remember working in shelters and no temperament tests existed. So, again, rather than complaining about how you don’t like something done, get it changed.

      Again, you are misquoting and mis-representing me and what I am saying. Again, your summary is wrong and extremely out of touch and out of line, but I seriously doubt you are concerned about that.

      1. Jackie, we’re working on shelter reform! Shelters don’t care for dogs! They just kill them! The first thing we need to do is get rid of you and your smart ass comments!

    2. Thank you for being a voice of reason here. Sadie Mae is dead and she was killed, not euthanized. I don’t know if Jackie is a facility director or just a facility cheerleader, but I hope like hell she doesn’t make policy for whether animals live or die. GEESH!

    1. Gosh, a shelter that euthanized a dog? OMG! That is so unusual! I have never seen that before! Really? I didn’t know that shelters put dogs to sleep. This is the first time I have heard of this. Wow! This group is so on top of things. They have discovered a world where dogs are never euthanized in shelters. Wow!

      But, wait, this dog was put to sleep. So, there must be shelters out there that euthanize animals. But, maybe it is only in this one town, and that is why this group is so surprised! Gosh, they are so enlightened.


    1. Enna, so get the laws change that prevent any shelter anywhere in this country from ever euthanizing any animal anywhere. While you are at the courthouse, tell them that every animal that comes into the shelter needs vaccinations and healthy food and a Kuranda bed to sleep on and fresh water and a heated and air conditioned room and a place to play and training and socialization and quiet instead of the hours upon hours of barking dogs.

      While you are there, tell them that all employees need to be respected and paid well and have great benefits. They should never be forced to deal with idiot customers who surrender litter after litter of puppies and kittens year round and refuse to spay/neuter or keep Fluffy confined. Or the person who surrenders their 15 year old dog because they are moving and can’t take him with them. Or the adult child who surrenders his mother five year old dog after she died because that dog doesn’t get along with his untrained and un-neutered German Shepherd. Or they shouldn’t have to deal with the people who come looking for their lost dog who has been missing for two days, and then go into the adoptable rooms with their child and look for a new pet.

      While you are at the courthouse getting the laws changed so that every animal finds the perfect home and never knows the fear of the back room, get the laws changed to help the employees have a better time at work and to be more respected by the public who treats them as animal killers rather than the animal saviors.

  3. First of all I feel they need to keep dogs a little longer before killing them! And most of all they should not be killing any dogs! It’s just wrong! I believe in NO KILL shelters!

    1. So get the laws changed to get that done instead of complaining. If government shelters didn’t exist who are required to take in all animals, no matter how cute or adoptable, then all the unspayed females would be running around having puppies and all the aggressive dogs and all the dogs that no one wants would be running loose, and dog and cats would be carrying rabies because no one is enforcing the vaccination laws. Why don’t you take a trip to Mexico or Thailand or India and see what a system looks like where no government shelters exist and animals starve on the street or are hit by cars and no one does anything?

      If you can’t appreciate what government shelters do in this country and all their hard work, then go to a country where none of that exists and see how lucky we are to have such hard working, compassionate, caring and dedicated government animal shelter workers. If a person has never walked in another person’s shoes………………..

  4. OMG part of the problem is that people like Jackie Phillips are working in shelters. If you are not an animal lover you should not be allowed to work there. No animal lover would kill a dog within THREE freaken days!!

    1. Geez, I hope you don’t make your living as a writer. Your reasesrch is terrible and your facts are all wrong.

      The problem with the majority of people who bash shelters and rescues is that they haven’t actually worked inside one or volunteered for one long term. They dont know what is required and what happens and why. I am not talking about an occasional fundraiser in a parking lot on a weekend. I mean inside where everything goes on.

      It is obvious by the majority of the comments posted here that these comments are coming from people who don’t know what it takes to run a government or private shelter with laws and regulations that must be followed.

      1. No, the majority of commenters here know that when following laws & regulations without thinking about ways to do the job (provide a safe place for animals to WAIT while their original owners or new people find them) in a better, more compassionate way for the staff, volunteers, and THE ANIMALS leads to killing, killing, and more killing, then the laws & regulations need to be changed. YOU’RE the one who doesn’t understand that being a deaf, blind robot that only has those words (laws, regulations) to fall back on, you’re only showing how limited your programming is. We get it – you can’t think outside the box and you don’t think anyone else should either. Fine. Now go pedal your laws & regulations regurgitation somewhere else. It’s not helpful to those who can think outside a box.

      2. Rather than constantly complaining and complaining about the laws and regulations that you don’t like, go ahead and make the changes. Go ahead and make the changes for every single shelter to hold an animal indefinitely until the former owner eventually comes looking for them when they get around to it. Go ahead and get the laws changed that prevent any shelter from ever euthanizing another animal in any shelter anywhere. Believe me, after having worked in many government and private shelters and worked directly with rescues and shelters to help animals and adopting animals rather than buying from greedy breeders, I would love to see the day in my lifetime when shelters can hold animal for ever and another animal shouldn’t be killed just because there is no more room or the law says their time is up and there is no one to adopt because the potential adopter purchased an expensive purebred from a breeder instead.

        Go head and make those changes and work with those honest politicians to get it done. I will be the first at the celebration party, as well thousands of other people who have worked tirelessly to help animals in shelters.

        See the difference: helping animals in shelters rather than just complaining about the system? See what actually gets things done? Doing the hard work rather than blaming and complaining.

  5. Jackie Phillips, Will you ever get tired of defending the “Gotcha!” in these stories? Are you really so clueless that you can’t get an inkling that in these instances “Following the rules” is wrong? JUST WRONG! Blame the Dog, Blame the Owner rather then BLAME A SYSTEM that is designed to fail for the best interest of the animal. The laws have been supported by well funded organizations with the intention to separate People from their Pets. 3 day wait to death while the Shelter is closed for 2 of those days? Kill the dog before the shelter is open to receive a phone call? GOTCHA!

    1. Geez, why don’t you blame Global Warming on shelters, also? You seem to want to blame them for every woe in the world. I have seen that before for spay/neutering. The anti-spay/neuter people blame cancer and early death and aggression and lack of appetite, floppy ears, black tongues, etc., on early spay.

      Again, if you don’t like the laws of the city, county, state (notice I said laws, and not rules.), go get them changed. If a person breaks the law, they will be get fined or put into prison. If you break rules, that is up to the person who sets the rules. Often times, you may get a reprimand or a note in your file or you can get fired. See the difference? Open door Government shelters are under the jurisdiction of the laws where they are located. If they break those laws, not only could they loose they jobs, they can be fined and go to prison. The law says how long an animal can be held. The law says that a dog and cat must be current on vaccinations. The law says that if an animal bites, attacks or kills another person or animal, these laws must be followed. Private shelters don’t have those laws since they don’t take in strays and they don’t handle rabies control, but they must still abide by the animal welfare laws in their area, whatever that might be depending what gets passed.

      Again, if you don’t like the law, then change them. Laws are made by the legislature and politicians, also one in the same.

    2. Jackie Phillips, let me add that many, many people here are working with shelters, rescues, pounds and animals in many capacities. We are not sitting behind computers running our mouths. There ARE places who do a wonderful job of not killing . . . unless it’s a true euthanasia. But you have to stop making excuses for why you continue killing and use the proven ways to stop it. Once an animal enters a facility it becomes the choice of the facility to kill or save. Blaming the public, the owners, the breeders . . . whoever accomplishes nothing and ends up with a whole lot of dead animals.

      1. I didnt say working with shelters. I said working inside open door full admissions government shelters. Big difference. Learn to read and comprehend English.

      2. Speaking of which, you need to stop your trolling behavior. It is not allowed here. Final warning. Next trolly comment from you that pops up in the moderation queue will not be published and you will be banned from commenting. If you want to engage in discussion, do it without the personal insults, the dozens of comments, and the other troll nonsense.

      3. I’m so sorry that you have to resort to name calling and insulting. I’m also sorry that you have such terrible experiences with “sheltering” in your area that you have become so bitter.

    1. Such an angry, bitter person. I am sorry for her and for the animals she is in contact with. Thanks for ending her negativity here at least.

    2. Thank you, Shirley. That was such an asinine display of nasty and she can just go be a twit elsewhere – dog help whichever place she lands on next.

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