In August 2012, the city of Memphis sent representatives from every conceivable division to the home of a dog rescuer who had a couple dozen dogs on her property. These are the initial notes with some personal info redacted (click to enlarge image):
Follow up visits were conducted and ultimately the rescuer went to court on the citation. The judge apparently ordered her to surrender several dogs to MAS. While I don’t know what happened in this specific court case, it generally happens that rescuers who get in over their heads and wind up in court are ordered to reduce their numbers, ostensibly for the welfare of the animals. It seems a reasonable guess that may have happened in this case. It’s hard to imagine any other reason a judge would order the surrender of dogs who were obviously being cared for, even if the circumstances were less than ideal.
The following dogs were surrendered to MAS by court order on October 11, 2012: Blade, Sweet Pea, Lady Bug, Piper, Lillie and Smudge. If you look at the notes on their cage cards, several of them were already neutered and there are notations that include “sweet dog”, “housebroken” and “leash trained”. Though one of the dogs was 10 years old, the rest were all 1 – 2 years of age. I look at these dogs and I see highly adoptable pets. MAS interim director James M. Rogers looked at them (on paper, at least) and ordered every single one of them be immediately killed.
MAS killed all 6 dogs on October 12, 2012. They were never offered for adoption to my knowledge and no pleas were issued to the public or to rescue groups or fosters. Is this what the judge had in mind when the order to surrender dogs was issued to the rescuer? Does this represent an improvement in the quality of life for these dogs? Is this the best the city of Memphis can manage when called upon to help 6 pets in their $7.2 million facility?
How many more, Memphis?