MAS Takes in 3 Kittens, 3 Kittens Die Alone in Their Cages

mas 287452

Kitten ID #287452 was brought into the Memphis pound on Tuesday, May 31, 2016. The MAS vet noted he had a soft tissue ulceration near the tail base and was underweight. The kitten’s weight was recorded as 9.3 ounces. A note was entered into the kitten’s record that he should be transferred out immediately and not be kept overnight:

mas 287452 note

This kitten was left alone overnight in a cage to suffer until he died. His remains were discovered the next day.


mas 287971

Kitten ID #287971 was brought to the Memphis pound by the owner of the litter on June 17. The owner requested euthanasia because the kitten was lethargic, not nursing and had crawled away from the mama cat and siblings. The kitten’s weight was recorded as 10 ounces.

This kitten was left alone in a cage to suffer until she died. Her remains were discovered during vet rounds the same day she was brought in for euthanasia.


mas 287672

Kitten ID #287672 was brought to the Memphis pound on June 7. The kitten’s weight was recorded as 1.4 pounds. On June 10, a veterinary evaluation was requested because it was noted the kitten had diarrhea. On June 11, the kitten was seen by the vet and the following notes were entered into his record: Age was corrected from 9 weeks to 6 weeks. Not eating well, no interest in food, underweight, recommended for transfer to foster care and recommended to see a vet. Really.

This kitten was left alone overnight in a cage to suffer until he died. His remains were discovered the next day.


The complete records for these kittens can be viewed here.

How many more, Memphis?

(Thank you Lou Ann.)

22 thoughts on “MAS Takes in 3 Kittens, 3 Kittens Die Alone in Their Cages

  1. This is just heartbreaking. I had hoped the new director would have made changes that would have prevented neglecting animals who need help. She should fire these people and hire some who care.

  2. Kittens, especially sick ones, can crash so quickly. Does anyone know or care? I was so hoping that things were changing there. Doesn’t sound like it. I hope those responsible are fired and replaced with folks who will do right by these animals. RIP Babies

  3. So… the vet recommends that the kitten goes into foster care immediately and sees “a private vet”. Are fosters expected to provide vet care, too?

    They have cages, they have vets, and they have a shiny new surgical suite – is there a reason that these animals cannot be cared for on the premises while searching for a foster? Did anyone try bottle feeding or warming the tiny baby? Are staff or volunteers trained in bottle feeding? What about tube feeding? My vet taught me how to tube feed a kitten in ten minutes…

    Bottom line – with all of the resources at MAS, why are the rescue groups supposed to do all of the heavy lifting (and at a moment’s notice)? Is the answer “because we’re still okay with babies dying in cages alone and cold”? I am hoping that the new director makes changes here. The vets that MAS has do not seem to be pulling their weight in the lifesaving department…

    1. Much easier to just kill them or let them die. We’ll see what happens once the new director knows that the word is out to the public.

    2. mikken – I also found it interesting that the vet “recommended for transfer to foster care and recommended to see a vet.”….Finally – an admittance that the vet there could not do her job effectively….geez. This is so very sad….when does it stop?!

  4. Asked about this on the “friends of mas” facebook page. Cat volunteer says no one knows anything about this so I linked the mas documents. We’ll see what happens . . .

  5. This is like a whole new level of evil, just let them die, it’s so much cheaper than killing them and heaven forbid we actually help them. Lovely. They should just put up a sign that says Slaughter House and call it a day.

  6. I wonder who exactly the vet(s) report to . . . obviously no one holds them (her) accountable. And they (she) came from the old shelter on Tchulohoma! Bring back the webcams!!!

  7. Did anyone actually read all of those records, especially the medical records? One of those kittens was dying and was a euth request and died in the kennel the same day. The other two show initial treatment by the clinic staff in the records. They both had rescue requests sent out. Both kittens died before rescue could respond (get them adopted/transferred).

    And just because the veterinarians recommend medical transfers to rescues does NOT mean they are ‘incompetent’ or “won’t or can’t do their jobs”. The MAS clinic is NOT a full clinic like your neighborhood veterinary pet hospitals. MAS is limited in what they are able to do for treatment, which is WHY they allow medical transfers.

    1. You seem confused about the meaning of the word “euthanasia.” It does not mean “leave a suffering animal in a cage until they die on their own and save monies on pink juice.”

    2. Giving antibiotics to a kitten who is not eating is not sufficient treatment. Supportive care of fluids, warming, and feeding is required. If MAS staff is unable to do that, and if rescues (most of which are staffed by people who are working full time jobs and cannot respond within the hour) are unable to take them, then it is on MAS to find volunteers or vets or SOMEONE who is willing and capable of providing care. But instead, they shrug their shoulders and say “no rescue stepped up, oops, dead in cage” and that is unacceptable.

      If you have a kitten who is dying and there is no one at the end of the day to possibly care for it, you euthanize that kitten so it doesn’t suffer and die in a cage for who knows how many more hours.

      I’m not asking for heroics, I’m asking for compassion.

  8. When the new shelter opened, reports claimed the “$7.2 million facility” also had a “state-of-the-art veterinary clinic.” Hmmmm. Also note the 5/31 rescue “plea” went out that afternoon with a disposition within a few hours and a note that the “pet should not be ‘retained’ overnight” — yet the kitten was found the next day (6/1) deceased in kennel. Compassion at its finest.

  9. They recommended the kitten should not be kept overnight because it needed serious care at a specific, regular community clinic. A plea was sent to rescues but the response did not come in time. The ‘facility’ for the MAS clinic is modern, but the facility is NOT a ‘full care’ veterinary clinic like Berclair or Park Avenue or Utopia or other fully operational clinics.

    Treating an animal that has serious injury or medical issues does not ‘guarantee’ that the animal will not end up dying. That happens at ANY veterinary clinic. Even at your local clinics – with the exception of a couple of Emergency facilities – there is no “24/7” staff that monitors sick/injured animals 24 hours a day.

    Some people seem to think that MAS should be MORE than any other veterinary clinic. Given the average population at MAS on any given day, that is unrealistic and impractical.

    1. Sylvia, I think you’ve communicated your position pretty clearly. Leaving kittens alone in MAS cages to suffer until they die is ok by you. I’m going to go ahead and stop you there because obviously.

    2. Sylvia, speaking as someone who volunteers at a shelter, supportive care is hardly “above and beyond” the call of duty. Warming disks. Fluids. Bottle or tube feeding. These are BASICS that many people manage to do in their own homes – you certainly don’t need a “clinic” of any sort to manage them.

      Yes, you’re going to lose kittens. But that doesn’t mean that you give up without even trying. And if you have a kitten who is going to die, why not euthanize before you go home at the end of the day? At least then, there’s no struggling for breath or seizing or wracking gut pain as an animal dies in a cage. Why is MAS so keen to euthanize healthy animals, but leaves the suffering ones to gasp out their last breaths on the floor of a cage?

  10. Mikken, no on ‘gave up’ on anything. The kittens were in bad shape and they got care. I suspect that you would have criticized MAS FOR euthanizing the kittens instead of giving them care if that is what they had done (instead of trying to help them).

    YesBiscuit, the kittens WERE receiving care – they were not just “left to die”. You have no real evidence of that but you made up your mind to believe it anyway.

    1. Well, your definition of “care” and mine seem to differ, then. Because I see zero indication of fluids, warming disks, or attempted tube/bottle feeding. I see a note that an animal should not be left overnight, but still was – only to be found dead the next day. I see a note that an owner requested euthanasia of an animal because it was so very ill, but that animal too was left to die. I see a kitten who is not eating, who is having diarrhea and was given medication without any mention of nutritional support or fluids. But hey, there was canned food and water in the cage, so it’s all good, right?

      And no, if an animal is suffering and there is no one to monitor them and administer care, then yes, that animal should be euthanized. You see, that’s the problem with MAS – they tend to euthanize for space, but seem to “forget” to do it when there’s actual suffering (like the cat with the degloved tail from an earlier posting). Why is that?

      I am truly hoping that the new leadership makes a difference in the level of compassion at MAS, but I don’t see how that’s possible without getting rid of much of the staff – starting with the head vet.

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