Where there’s life, there’s hope. Where there’s MAS, there’s death.

Portion of records, obtained via FOIA request, for Rosie at the Memphis pound (click to enlarge).

On October 11, a dog owner in Memphis was charged with aggravated animal cruelty after an ACO responded to a complaint and found one dead dog and one emaciated dog without food or water. The emaciated dog, an adult German Shepherd Dog called Rosie, was impounded. She weighed just 39 pounds.

Portion of records, obtained via FOIA request, for Rosie at the Memphis pound (click to enlarge).

The MAS vet completed a forensic exam on Rosie, vaccinated and dewormed her. Besides having been starved, Rosie appears to have been otherwise healthy.

Portion of records, obtained via FOIA request, for Rosie at the Memphis pound (click to enlarge).

On October 23, Memphis Animal Services killed Rosie, despite having plenty of empty cages at the facility. There are no notes indicating any GSD rescues – or any rescues at all – were contacted. To my knowledge, Rosie was never posted on Facebook or Petfinder nor was she housed in an area of the pound where adopters could meet her.

Portion of records, obtained via FOIA request, for Rosie at the Memphis pound (click to enlarge).

Let me be clear: I do not approve of animal abuse in any form, including starvation. In this case, Rosie’s options were to remain in the care of someone who was severely neglecting her or go to a pound that would kill her. Neither of these options is acceptable. Rosie had a right to live. She deserved to be placed in an environment where that right would be respected. The bottom line is, the alleged animal abuser did what MAS failed to do – keep Rosie alive. And as repulsive as the thought may be, she might have been better off being left with the owner. Maybe she could have escaped and been picked up by a compassionate stranger. Maybe the owner would have gotten tired of her and given Rosie to someone who would have taken care of her.  Maybe a friend or family member of the owner would have intervened and made sure Rosie was fed and loved.  Where there’s life, there’s hope.

Some will say that a “humane death” is better than a drawn-out death due to starvation. The problem with that line of thinking is two-fold: 1. We do not know for certain Rosie would have starved to death had she not been impounded by MAS. 2. Neither of these scenarios – humane death vs. agonizing death – takes into consideration Rosie’s right to live. It is a false choice. We are morally bound to offer Rosie, and every other pet, an option which includes respecting her inherent value and right to live. MAS refuses to consider that option. Therefore I would argue that tragically, MAS would better serve the community’s pets by leaving them in situations of neglect and hoping for the possibility of a good outcome. Because there will definitely be no good outcome if the animal goes to MAS.

If anyone in Shelby Co is willing to take legal action on behalf of the pets at MAS, please let me know.  You have my support.

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26 Comments

  1. This breaks my heart. Rosie’s photo is haunting. (Even her name – the same as my first dog).

    You are so right – it would be insane to say the choice was starving vs. “humane” death. When animals are rescued from neglect and abuse, they should be rehabilitated, comforted, and loved – and then adopted into good homes. Every time ACOs or some “humane” group goes to “rescue” animals, I am sickened by the thought that they may then be killed. It’s like HSUS deciding to kill Michael Vick’s dogs.

    R.I.P. Rosie. I am so sorry for what people did to you.

    Reply
  2. Sheree

     /  October 27, 2012

    Is there ANYBODY in Shelby Co that cares enough to stand up and do ANYTHING?? Everything at MAS sickens me and makes me furious! The fact that no one there is doing anything to stop this insanity is horrible!!!

    Reply
  3. mikken

     /  October 27, 2012

    Again, no effort made to advocate for her. No thought put into “where will she go from here” except into a plastic bag and then to the dump.

    MAS is not a shelter. MAS is a slaughterhouse for pets.

    Any animals that get out alive do it *despite* the efforts of those working there, not because of them.

    How many more, MAS?

    Reply
  4. We also don’t know if the owner was intentionally starving her. Perhaps he had no money for food? That would have been an easy and compassionate alternative — give the guy some food on a regular basis. Did I miss something?

    Reply
  5. KateH

     /  October 27, 2012

    Hell, why did they bother to spend any time and money on her (supposedly vaccinated, dewormed, and by the slightest chance, the water used to possibly clean the cage she was in) if they were just going to kill her? Why can’t any of the assholes who have anything to do with MAS in any official capacity, understand the concept of ADOPTION FEES BRING IN MONEY and killing costs money? Serious lack of brains – do they all wear slip-ons because they are too stupid to learn the complicated task of tying their own shoes?

    Reply
  6. Arlene

     /  October 27, 2012

    Surely there must be some good people in Memphis! Some caring individuals? Please realize that knowing the things that go on at MAS and doing nothing implies that you condone what they are doing; they are killing and torturing someone’s pet. It could be your
    pet next. Doing nothing means that you are just as guilty of these horrible acts as MAS is. MEMPHIS, WAKE UP! Remove the current abusers immeiately.

    Reply
  7. Jennifer

     /  October 27, 2012

    There is no excuse for them not contacting rescues especially since the dog tested negative for HW. The shelter gives her vaccinations and kills her anyway without networking her-wth! If I was a taxpayer in Memphis, I would be upset about this. It lists her as special needs but I am sure there would have been a rescue or adopter that would have taken her. What good is Friends of the MAS if they will not or cannot market and/or network these dogs? Does MAS not have a coordinator to help place their dogs? I would think they could hire someone-even part time to do this.

    Reply
    • Sheree

       /  October 27, 2012

      Friends of MAS are unfortunately pretty much worthless. They put on a good show, but they are ignoring/covering up the real horrific torture/murders that go on behind closed doors. I tried to comment/ask questions on their FB page. Now I’m blocked from there.

      Reply
  8. Jennifer

     /  October 27, 2012

    MAS is hiring an Animal Care Technician. The job was posted on 10/24/12. Here is the link if anyone is interested: https://ebusiness.memphistn.gov/OA_HTML/OA.jsp?_rc=IRC_VIS_HOME_PAGE&_ri=800&OAPB=IRC_BRAND&_ti=1228365554&OAMC=75477_31_0&menu=Y&oaMenuLevel=1&oapc=8&oas=joGdG8Mw4yHCT8ylyEcx6A..

    Reply
    • Jennifer

       /  October 27, 2012

      The link did not pull up the specific job but search under Parks & Neighborhoods for the information!

      Reply
      • Sheree

         /  October 27, 2012

        One of us should apply!

      • mikken

         /  October 27, 2012

        No, look at the requirements -

        “MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: High School education or equivalent and one (1) year of work experience in animal care preferred; or any combination of experience or training which enables one to perform the essential job functions. Basic computer and typing skills preferred. Must obtain and maintain a certification as a Certified Animal Euthanasia Technician within one year of employment, as a condition of continued employment. ”

        Translation – “Must be prepared to kill animals.”

    • wow.. I wish they would put another under cover cop in there.. wouldn’t that be great

      Reply
  9. Arlene

     /  October 27, 2012

    This job description does not describe anyone currently at MAS.

    http://www.ehow.com/about_6659531_animal-technician-job-description.html

    I saw that a love of animals is required.

    Reply
  10. Arlene

     /  October 27, 2012

    Those would be the questions to ask of the current staff! They need to leave the premises immediately!

    Reply
  11. bknd2anmls

     /  October 27, 2012

    The greatest indicator of future behavior is past behavior.

    Reply
  12. Faith

     /  October 27, 2012

    http://www.abc24.com/news/local/story/THE-TRUTH-Police-Dropped-the-Ball-in-Prior-MAS/25_VTb_puUGR4y3cbUOR_w.cspx

    .5 yrs later and we are still talking about the ongoing corruption at MAS….Makes one wonder just how far up the corruption goes? Doesn’t it Mr. Mayor.

    Reply
  13. Arlene

     /  October 28, 2012

    No doubt in my mind; it reaches all the way to the top.

    Reply
  14. Here’s what somebody posted on Wharton’s FB page: “Dear Mayor Wharton, Today my wife and I decided to leave Memphis. you are to blame. You could have done something about the road this city is on. Police arresting bad cops, judges letting them go, murder is this communitys hobby and your police department sells the guns that committed crime, back to the criminals and you sit quiet. A pregnant mother shot while she sat in her own home and you sit silent! police arrested by the FBI for cocaine buying AND YOU ARE COWARDLY, MUTE. I’m ashamed to let my children see your bad example and I won’t have them thinking thats the way it is elsewhere. I pity your soul for the bible states if you lead the young astray … you know the rest of it and doing nothing to stop this is a bad example.” Memphis is a disaster.

    Reply
    • Mayor Wharton is the disaster. He and his cronies have brought such shame to what could be a great city. I do not understand why no one in Memphis will wage a political campaign on behalf of the pets at MAS. Political advocacy is obviously the cure for what ails this city.

      Reply
    • is this still on the Mayor’s page or has it been deleted?

      Reply
    • Jennifer

       /  October 28, 2012

      I thought MAS was bad-the police dept. is even worse. When the FBI has to get involved, you know there are major problems! It sounds like the whose city needs to be revamped. It reminds me of New Orleans before the hurricane-low murder convictions, police corruption, and horrible schools. It took a major disaster to show the worst of N.O. with the cops killing citizens during it and making it on the national news. I think the Memphis problems need to go national and a boycott of the city started!

      Reply
  15. Jessica C

     /  November 2, 2012

    You guys have all made such good comments/points, I agree with all of them. THIS NEEDS TO STOP.

    Reply

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