Shelter Pet of the Day: Memphis, TN



Bella, ID #290655 at the Memphis pound.  (Photo by Memphis Pets Alive)

This sweet dog has been kept behind locked doors in the “stray” area of the Memphis pound since she was surrendered on September 24.  And gee, no one has adopted her.  As if there’s some correlation between keeping pets hidden from the public and pets getting adopted.  So weird.  And now, her number is up.  She has until tomorrow, October 8, to get the hell out of hell.

Bella is 3 years old and heartworm positive.  Anyone interested in meeting her needs to wait for a hall monitor to become available at the pound so they can be escorted to her cage.  You will have to provide her ID number:  290655.  If anyone interested in Bella needs any assistance, please post a comment. We will try our damnedest to make it happen.

Memphis Animal Services
2350 Appling City Cove
Memphis, TN 38133
(901) 636-PAWS (7297)

(Submitted by Jody)

Young Hillary Clinton: Baby Bunny Defender

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” – Maya Angelou


It’s Silly Season in U.S. politics, where all manner of things get spotlighted in the media, including stories from 60 years ago. Snipped from an anti-Hillary Clinton article:

I interviewed Hillary’s grammar school classmate, Jim Yrigoyen, who told me the story of being ordered by Hillary to guard a warren of baby rabbits, and not give any of them away to neighborhood boys. When he did, recalled Yrigoyen, “Hillary hauled off and punched me in the nose.”

Hell to the yeah!

The author’s apparent intent in relating this anecdote was to smear Hillary Clinton but as far as I’m concerned: total fail. I love this story. You go girl.

Polk Co Pound Kills Microchipped Lost Pet Upon Impound


Lefty, as shown on

Kristi Durham adopted a special needs beagle who circled to the left and named him Lefty. She moved from Kentucky to Polk Co, FL in August and the following month, Lefty accidentally got out of his yard. A good Samaritan saw him in the road and reportedly took him to a vet. The vet reportedly instructed the finder to take the dog to Polk Co Animal Control. The pound vet determined Lefty needed to be killed immediately but there was a pesky problem of him having a microchip:

“We did make, I feel, a reasonable amount of effort to locate this owner, unfortunately the [microchip registration] service gave us a bad number [with two digits reversed],” said [Polk County Sheriff’s spokesperson Carrie] Horstman, who said animal control staff spent at least 20 minutes calling the microchip company and a disconnected number.

Twenty minutes. Then they killed the dog. A dog whose owner had already called Polk Co to ask if they had, within the last hour, impounded any left-circling beagles. Pound staff said no. Lefty’s family gave their contact information to staff and asked to be called if any left-circling beagles were brought in. They never received a call. The county explains it this way:

[T]he dog was not entered into their database because it was not entered into the kennel – it was euthanized due to the Vet examination.

Even though the microchip’s first contact number was off by two digits, there was a secondary contact number which the owner says was her cell phone, still in service, even though she’d moved. Had Polk Co called the secondary number, or called in response to the lost dog report filed by the family minutes before Lefty was impounded, they could have reached the owner. I guess it might have taken 23 or 24 minutes or some other time that is apparently too damn long.

And yet somehow, the county considers that a “reasonable amount of effort” was made to find Lefty’s people. Plus the pound vet provided them with cover:

“In our vet’s expert opinion the dog didn’t have a good quality of life,” explained Horstman.

Hmm, doesn’t seem like he has a good quality of life. Let’s kill him and see how his quality of life is after that. Otherwise, we’ll have to actually set up a kennel and enter him into the system which sounds too much like work.

Polk Co stands by its actions in the killing of Lefty but is willing to toss the heartbroken family a crumb:

She’s welcome to come to animal control and we’ll give her a pet for free. We certainly don’t want this to ever happen again,” said Carrie Horstman[.]

Hey, free pet. Because they are interchangeable. And we don’t want this to happen again. Not that we have admitted any wrongdoing or made any changes to prevent it happening again. I guess what I’m saying is, we don’t want to get caught killing someone’s beloved lost pet upon impound again. Yeah, that’s it.

(Thanks to everyone who sent me this story.)

Weekend Jade


My brace entry for the dog show.

Open Thread

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Two County Employees Charged After 14 Shelter Cats Found Dead in SC

Marion County Code Enforcement Officer Marion Richardson was fired earlier this month after 14 cats he had taken from the county pound were found dead. Richardson has since been charged with misconduct in office and a violation of the state’s animal euthanasia law. Hank Rogers, the county building code and inspections supervisor, has been charged as well.

The arrest warrants filed by the SC Law Enforcement Division (SLED) indicate that Richardson and Rogers went to the Marion Co pound and picked up 14 cats, telling the director the cats would be living on a farm and helping to control rodents. The men then drove the cats to the county landfill where Richardson shot them to death. Although SC law does allow for animal “euthanasia” by gunshot under certain conditions, SLED determined that Richardson had failed to meet these conditions when killing the cats. Ya think? So apparently the law doesn’t specifically say, “OK to use cats for target practice at the dump even if you tell a wee fib to get them from the pound.” Which is lucky, I guess.

One local rescuer who volunteers at the pound says the cats were all friendly and that Richardson has taken groups of Marion Co pound cats – you know, to the farm – many times.

Richardson is currently out on $24,000 bond. His attorney has all the excuses:

“Marion thought he was doing his job. He was called by the animal shelter to pick up the cats and dispose of them. That is exactly what he did. Shooting a feral cat in the back of the head is actually a more humane way of killing it than using carbon monoxide. Marion loves animals and has an indoor cat of his own. It is a wonder anyone would want to be a law enforcement officer when we not only fire them, but charge them with a crime for doing their job.”

Just doing his job. Shooting beats gassing. He’s an animal lover and a cat owner!

Welp, I’m convinced.

Also convincing:  Local media, which jumped through the appropriate hoops in order to have their cameras allowed at the bond hearing, was locked out.  Nothing suspicious there.

Richardson is due in court on November 29.  Rogers is out on $7000 bond and no longer works for the county although I don’t know whether he quit or was fired.  Neither man has been charged with animal cruelty.  I wonder if both these guys are laying low until their government cronies can get them back on the payroll doing some other “job”, perhaps on the farm, as it were.

(Thanks Nathan and Clarice.)

Virginia Dog Warden Kills Dog Who Had Adopter Coming


Sam as pictured on WTVR.

Sam was a 3 year old dog who had been living at the Appomattox Co shelter in Virginia since February. Volunteers who cared for Sam during his stay report that he was a healthy and “extremely gentle” dog. They found an adopter for Sam who had adopted a similar dog from the facility a few years earlier. But when the adopter came to pick Sam up last week, she learned he’d been killed.

Oops. Or not. No one seems to know. But have faith, the county investigated itself:

In a news release Wednesday afternoon, County Attorney J.G. Overstreet said: “it appears that the matter was handled properly and in accordance with state law.”

Because the dog’s holding period had expired. Therefore, kill at will. All legal.  Yay.

Then there’s this, apparently pulled out of someone’s ass:

“From staff’s perspective, you had a dog that was becoming more anti-social over time,” Piney Mountain Supervisor Sara Carter said of Sam […]. “They didn’t know of any adopter … the decision was made to euthanize.”

Becoming more anti-social over time.  Could you please be a little more vague?  The dog lived in a shelter for 7 months.  Was there some expectation that he would grow cheerier over time?  Didn’t know of any adopter.  Did anyone uh, ask?  Because knowledge does not always fall upon you from the sky like you’d hope.

In response to public outcry over Sam’s killing, the county closed the shelter to the public, citing unspecified threats that were not reported to police.  They also tried a different assplanation for the killing:

We apologize for it and we now have got a policy in place to correct it,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman, Sam Carter.


Carter told ABC 13 that the county is conducting an internal investigation into the matter and that “there will be corrections made.”

As to what those will be, Carter would not comment specifically.

When I put this into my bureaucracy translator, all that comes up is, “Blah, blah, blah.”


Carter also said, that a text sent to one of the shelter staff on September 6th, regarding Sam’s potential adopter coming to get him, was not confirmation of a firm adoption.

So staff got a text saying an adopter was coming to get Sam but staff “didn’t know of any adopter” because a text is not “confirmation”.  Is there a blood ceremony required to confirm an adoption?  What did the text do, just put it in staff’s mind that an adopter was coming for the dog but it wasn’t confirmed therefore, go right ahead and kill?  Dang, I think *I* am becoming more anti-social over time.

The county animal warden, Micki Caifano, on the job since July 1st, reportedly authorized Sam’s killing and took him to a private vet to have it done. The warden has not provided any reason for the killing. Animal advocates want an explanation. And:

[Advocates] are disturbed because they say shelter cameras were turned off at the time and they want proof from the county as to how Sam spent his last hours.

Turning off the security cameras at the time you are taking a dog you know has an adopter out for killing sounds legit. Especially with the NO REASON explanation.

I hope animal advocates in Appomattox keep after these chuckleheads.  They clearly need it.

(Thanks Lisa and Clarice.)

Weekend Jade


The last meltinghot weekend of 2016, I hope.

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Virginia ACO Charged with Felony Cruelty

Nottoway County, Virginia pays one man to care for the county’s lost and homeless animals.  That man is now on unpaid leave after being charged with two felony counts of animal abuse.  Both charges stem from shelter pets the ACO allegedly left to suffer without veterinary care until they were near death.

In one case, a terrier who was unable to stand was left in a cage without treatment or pain medication for two weeks before a rescuer transported him to a group willing to take the dog to a vet.  A court document indicates the ACO claimed he took the dog to a vet initially, received a $2000 estimate but opted instead to leave the dog at the pound for the five day holding period before killing him.  I wonder if he thinks fulfilling the holding period requirement earns him extra credit on the test.  When the rescuer requested copies of the vet records at the time the dog was being transferred, the ACO reportedly said he had thrown them out since he was just going to kill the dog anyway.  WRIC reports the dog had to be euthanized.

In the second case, a kitten was impounded with serious wounds and injuries which became infected as he sat in a filthy cage at the pound for at least five days without veterinary care.  The ACO reportedly said he had placed, then removed, a splint on the kitten’s leg (playing vet hospital is yay) and that he was holding the kitten while waiting for a feline leukemia test to arrive.  Which you know, testing for FeLV is important but not HOLD IT HOLD EVERYTHING THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE WORLD important.  The ACO reportedly told the rescuer not to post the kitten’s photo on social media.  Red flag, anyone?  Sure would be a shame if someone saw what state the kitten was in and offered to take him to a vet and ruin the ACO’s fun, I guess.  When the rescuer finally took the kitten to a vet, it was determined he had a badly infected leg wound, his pelvis was fractured and there was nerve damage to the bladder and rectum.  The kitten was unable to stand or urinate and had to be euthanized.

The Nottoway Co shelter pets are currently being cared for by a neighboring county while the ACO is on leave.  Hopefully the other county has some sort of checks and balances in place so that one horrible person can’t harm animals as the whim strikes him.  Shame on the elected officials of Nottoway Co for having zero interest in what the actual hell was going on in their shelter – which was actual hell, to be accurate.

(Thanks Nathan.)