Nobody WANTS to Kill Animals: Monroe Co Edition

Monroe Co, FL contracts with three animal shelters for services. Here are the 2014 kill stats for each:

Humane Animal Care Coalition (aka Upper Keys Animal Shelter)

Cat kill rate: 81%
Dog kill rate: 43%

Safe Harbor Animal Rescue of the Keys

Cat kill rate: 31%
Dog kill rate: 18%

Florida Keys SPCA

Cat kill rate: 47%
Dog kill rate: 18%

While none of these shelters is no kill, one is clearly failing worse than the others.  Local media sought an explanation:

Marsha Garrettson, director of the Upper Keys Animal Shelter, offered little explanation as to why the euthanasia trends in the Upper Keys were far above the rest of the island chain.

She told the Free Press her nonprofit organization is financially sound and can afford to provide surgeries and healthcare to any animal brought it. Her shelter also provides free spay and neuter services, which she says has reduced overall intake of cats and dogs over the years.

“This was never about the money,” Garrettson said. “It never has been.”

M’kaaay, so money is not now nor has it ever been a problem.  Upper Keys can pay for veterinary care for any animal at the facility.  But the staff is killing them instead.  Why?

[Garrettson] said her shelter never euthanizes an adoptable animal. With the exception of feral cats, every cat or dog put down is either too sick or aggressive for adoption, she said. However, she acknowledged that the higher euthanasia percentages in the Upper Keys do not indicate that animals there are sicker or more aggressive than those elsewhere in the county.

Wait, what?  Money to pay for vet care is no object yet 81% of cats and 43% of dogs impounded were killed for illness or behavior?  How is one county facility being allowed to fail so miserably while stats from its two neighboring shelters show that less killing is achievable?

Meet Enabler Number One:

 Monroe County Commissioner Sylvia Murphy said she was not concerned by the difference in euthanasia percentages.

“I’m perfectly happy with the services at the clinic,” she told the Free Press.

Murphy reiterated that the Upper Keys shelter only euthanizes ill, diseased or aggressive animals.

To be clear, the “service” most animals at the Upper Keys facility receive is killing.  Which this elected official is perfectly happy with.

And Enabler Number Two:

Tammy Foxe, director of the Key West shelter, declined to speculate why percentages were lower in her region.

“I think the three county shelters are working very hard for this community,” she said.

There are hundreds of open admission shelters all over the country saving 90% and more of their pets.  Those shelters are working very hard for their communities.  These three, not so much.  And one of the three is lagging way behind the other two, clearly disproving the notion that all three are fabulous.  It almost sounds like this person is ashamed of her work saving lives.

Mercifully, there was a quote at the end of the article from the token Regular Person Who Says What I Am Thinking:

Nancy Warner, a member of Forgotten Felines of the Florida Keys, said she was appalled by the euthanasia data.

[…]

Warner said the county should find someone else to run the Key Largo shelter.

“It would be better for people to let their animal run out the door than take it to the shelter,” she said.

Thank you.

The Upper Keys shelter has the financial means to treat every animal under its roof.  But they are putting most of the animals into garbage bags.  What’s the money being spent on – Fatal Plus?  Compassion fatigue counseling for the staff?  Cheery posters for the kill room?

I hope Monroe Co taxpayers stand up and demand accountability from their shelters and elected officials.  Get rid of the pet killers and their enablers and put people in place who are willing to do their jobs, even when – and especially when – it means ruffling feathers. That’s why they call it work.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Forsyth Co Officials SavingNotSaving Pets from the Cold

Forsyth Co, NC:

Over the last two days, at least 57 animals were saved from the sub-freezing temperatures in Forsyth County.

Animals saved.  Yay!

However, FOX8 has learned that at least one of these animals will be euthanized.

[…]

Many more of the animals may meet the same fate.

Animals saved?

“If they do die, it’s a humane death. It’s not the type of situation they’d face if we didn’t do anything,” [Forsyth Co Animal Control’s Lt. John Day] said.

If we didn’t do anything – like for example, kill them.  Which sounds pretty terrible but did we mention it’s humane and such?

As if things aren’t bleak enough for animals outside in Forsyth Co, the people killing them have enablers:

There are a lot more things worse than euthanasia,” said the nonprofits’ Jennifer Tierney. “They would have continued to live like that had it not been that they were taken.”

There are no fates worse than death.  Where there’s life, there’s hope.  Is anyone in Forsyth Co advocating for the rights these animals have to live?  We don’t have to choose between letting them freeze to death or killing them with injectable poison.  There’s always that third option of respecting their right to life and the county actually doing its job to shelter them.

She also wants anyone who might feel sick realizing they called in a tip on a cold pet and probably got them killed to know that they shouldn’t worry:

“You did the right thing to protect them, and it’s everybody’s responsibility to look out for these dogs,” she said. “Keep your eyes open and report everything you see and keep reporting it. You are the voice for the voiceless.”

Oh yes compassionate citizens of Forsyth Co, definitely keep your eyes peeled for any lost or homeless pet you might be able to “save” or “protect” by getting them into the hands of people who think death is a kindness.

With any luck, the freezing temperatures will snap their phone lines.

(Thank you Jan for the link.)

Memphis Bans the Public from Giving Treats to Shelter Pets

Memphis Animal Services, which functions primarily as a pet killing facility and does not vaccinate all animals upon intake as per standard shelter best practices, is suddenly concerned that treats given to doomed dogs might compromise their health. As such, the public has been banned from giving out treats at the pound. This email is from La Sonya Harris Hall, Deputy Director of the Division of Parks & Neighborhoods in Memphis:

From: Hall, LaSonya
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2014 8:30 AM
To: Boyd, Bill; Brown, Joe; Cain, Pam; Clark, Dynisha; Collins, Harold; Conrad, Kemp; Flinn, Shea; Ford Jr., Edmund; Fullilove, Janis; Garcia, Rebecca; Geater, Lisa; Halbert, Wanda; Harris, Lee; Hedgepeth, Reid; Hooks, Director Janet; Keplinger, Juaness; Little, George; Lowery, Myron; Milam, Judy; Morrison, Bill; Spears, Danielle; Strickland, Jim; Sullivan, Maura; Turner, Ann; Wordlaw, Sophia
Cc: Little, George; Sullivan, Maura; Hooks, Director Janet; Rogers, James; Coleman, Rebecca
Subject: MAS takes precaution with pet treats

Good Morning Councilmembers:

As a precautionary measure and based on observations by Dr. Rebecca Coleman noted below, Memphis Animal Services has temporarily suspended visitors from providing treats to the animals in our care. We will research this matter over the holidays and develop a plan that will be in the best interest of the pets.

Recently MAS encountered a situation involving several dogs that were vomiting and experiencing diarrhea after they had been fed treats.  The partially eaten treats were found in each dog’s cage that became ill. Unfortunately no one was able to identify who gave the treats.  As there are multiple visitors to the shelter each day, some type of control needs to be in place to ensure that the health of the pets is not compromised.  Not knowing what a pet has been fed adds an element of complexity to treating the pet if complications arise.

Rebecca Coleman, DVM

Veterinary Medical Director

Memphis Animal Services

 

Thank you for your continued support.

Happy Holidays!

La Sonya Harris Hall, Ph.D.

Deputy Director, Division of Parks & Neighborhoods

lasonya.hall@memphistn.gov

125 N. Main Street, Suite 200

Memphis, TN 38103

901-576-6206

The most basic thing that could be done to protect the health of the animals at MAS is across the board vaccination upon intake.  That’s not being done.

Most of these animals are going into the dumpster, as fast as MAS can legally (?) put them there. But the city says there’s a risk of harm in the dogs receiving a bit of kindness from the public before being snuffed.

The biggest threat to the health of animals at MAS is Fatal Plus.  It’s got dog cookies beat by a mile.  Can we get a ban on that?

No doubt everyone in this email has been researching this issue over the holidays and is developing a plan to protect the best interests of the pets.  Who are going out the back door in garbage bags by the truckload.

Well done as usual, Memphis.

Animal Neglect and Suffering Exposed in KY Pounds

Kittens suffering in a county pound in KY, as photographed by animal advocates and shown on the WAVE website.

Kittens suffering in a county pound in KY, as photographed by animal advocates and shown on the WAVE website.

Animal advocates in KY are suing some county shelters for failing to comply with the state’s humane care law for shelters.  Over the past 2 years, they have photographed numerous atrocities at county pounds around KY.  (Warning: There are suffering and dead animals in this slideshow of horrifying images.)

Investigative reporter John Boel from WAVE in Louisville went out to visit some county shelters to see the conditions for himself.  What he found ranges from troubling to  – uh, what’s the term I’m looking for? – organized crime.  Yeah, that’s it.

One county pound in KY is the dog warden’s house.  He doesn’t adopt out pets but sends people to another county which he doesn’t know the location of offhand.  Another county pound keeps dogs chained to a fence with no shade, even in 90 degree heat.  Other shelters either have signs posted stating that cameras are not allowed or outright refused entry to Mr. Boel.

The Edmonson Co pound is owned by Kim Carroll who operates the pound for personal profit.  Mr. Boel saw cages of dogs and cats piled high.  The cages were too small for the animals to stand up or turn around.  When Carroll refused to allow Mr. Boel and his photographer inside the facility, he asked her about the stacked cages and suffering animals he had seen.  And for real, don’t take a sip of your beverage just now.  Because this was Carroll’s response:

“If you press the issue, we can go in and put down anything you want to,” Carroll said.

“I’m just talking about humane treatment of animals. I’m not telling you to kill them,” I said.

“Do you want me to kill ‘em?” she said.

“No, I don’t want you to kill them,” I said. “I just want you to treat them humanely.”

If this isn’t make him an offer he can’t refuse enough for you, Carroll obliterates all doubt:

Kim Carroll said their private status means they don’t have to answer to the public. Then she pushed my photographer.

“If you don’t turn that thing off, that’s going to be the end of it,” she said.

Carroll said the shelter passed a recent inspection by the state, but she never let us in.

“I’m asking you, don’t air this,” she said. “This is a lot bigger than you and I.”

What the what?  This person is pocketing cash from taxpayers in four KY counties, flouting the law, forcing animals to suffer, threatening to kill them if a reporter gets too asky – all while doing her best Don Corleone impression.  Who are the people writing checks to her from those four counties?  Where are the police in Edmonson Co who are supposed to be enforcing the law?  Which state inspectors submitted passing reports on these facilities?  Are all these public servants in on this animal cruelty, perhaps skimming off taxpayers to perpetrate this fraud?  Because if not, how has Kim Carroll not been sent directly to jail do not pass Go do not collect $200?

The Contemporary Justice Review is about to publish a scathing analysis by two members of UofL’s sociology department of how Kentucky has complied with the Humane Shelter Law.

Let me guess:  Not.

I’m glad there’s a lawsuit.  I’m glad there’s been an analysis done.  But some people operating “shelters” in KY need to have handcuffs slapped on them and get put in the back of the police car for these failures to comply with state law.  Now.

(Thank you Clarice for the links.)

PETA Asks KY Shelter to Kill More Animals

McCracken Co in KY parted ways with the local humane society after a whistleblower’s testimony resulted in cruelty charges (related to heartsticking fully conscious pets and unlicensed workers killing animals) against two employees in 2011.  In June of this year, the animal shelter task force recommended re-establishing a partnership with the local HS “as long as agreement is reached to provide humane care for the animals”.  Which this “humane” would somehow be different than the previous “humane” which resulted in the cruelty charges, I guess.

Also puzzling:

Diana Cruickshank of the task force outlined the policies of the Humane Society of Lexington, which has been listed as a possible model for Paducah. […] A person in Lexington gave her data indicating that 40 percent of the 10,000 animals captured each year are euthanized[.]

*blink*

That’s the model?  If a 40% kill rate is your shoot-for-the-stars aspiration, you need a new task force McCracken Co.

And just because everything is FUBAR, enter PETA:

[Judge-Executive Van] Newberry said the county has received a letter from People for the Ethical Treatment for Animals asking them to euthanize more animals – something he found shocking.

Oh hey yeah, that is weird.  Except that PETA runs a large pet killing hellhouse itself and is known both for encouraging other facilities to kill more animals and giving them frowny faces when they stop.  But I love that the county politician was all head-scratchery:

The letter said keeping animals long-term in an overcrowded shelter was more cruel than euthanizing them, but Newberry said the county shelter currently takes any animal and tries its best to keep them until they are adopted.

Warehousing animals or killing them.  These are the only two options, per PETA.  And yet, like Mr. Newberry, I can’t help but long for Door Number Three.  The one where the shelter does the job taxpayers pay for and actually shelters animals or at least “tries its best to keep them until they are adopted”.  Just like hundreds of other open admission shelters are doing all over the country.  As if it’s their job.

I don’t know what’s going to happen to the community’s lost and homeless pets in McCracken Co and I’m concerned.  But at least they didn’t fall for the It Says ETHICAL Right Here On The Letterhead shenanigans from one of the killiest animal organizations in the country.  That’s encouraging.  I hope McCracken Co applies similar common sense strategies to the sheltering issues it currently faces.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

TX Pound Gets Huffy When Local Advocates Ask Them to Stop Hiding and Killing Pets

The Humane Society of the New Braunfels Area in Texas hides many of the animals impounded by the facility. When a citizen contacted the organization in July expressing concern over this practice, Amanda Craig, president of the HS of the New Braunfels Area, responded with an explanation. This is a portion of that response:

I have to assume, due to the content of your email, that your knowledge and opinion of our shelter have been influenced by the No Kill New Braunfels group. I would like to take this opportunity to clarify a few things and invite you to be a part of our future success.

The only animals that are not photographed are the stray animals that are still on hold, animals who enter the shelter in such poor medical condition that they cannot be treated, animals that enter the shelter that are too aggressive for adoption and feral cats. I will elaborate on the “stray hold” policy. When strays enter our shelter they are “held” for 3 business days minimum. During that time they may not be put up for adoption or presented to the public via photographs/internet. The reason for this is that, in the past, there have been issues with people “shopping” our stray area. The reason that people do this is to look for a pure bred and/or intact dog to breed or fight in order to make a profit. You see, if an “owner” claims a dog the fee is typically much less than the adoption fee so it is financially beneficial for these corrupt individuals to claim a stray as their own rather than buy or adopt if they can manage to get away with it. However, during that hold time, if an owner comes in who has legitimately lost a dog, we will happily show them every single kennel in our stray hold area in hopes that we can reunite them with their dog. Based on the level of detail that a person can give about the dog they claim to have lost, we are able to determine if they are truly missing a companion animal or if they are simply “shopping”.

Shorter: No Kill New Braunfels sucks and here’s a bunch of baloney we made up so we don’t have to do our jobs.

For the month of July, when that e-mail was written, the HS of the New Braunfels Area took in 359 dogs and cats, hid an unknown number of them and killed 243 – a kill rate of approximately 68%. But of course, better off dead than living with PET SHOPPERS. Because you know all the evil people in the world are posing as lost pet owners and looking to adopt an animal off death row in the New Braunfels pound. That’s common knowledge.

But alas, No Kill New Braunfels keeps the ball rolling and stays focused on lifesaving with this recent newspaper ad:

Newspaper ad from No Kill New Braunfels in TX (click to enlarge).

Newspaper ad from No Kill New Braunfels in TX (click to enlarge).

How ya like me now, bitchez?

(Thanks Linda for info on this story.)

GA Pound Oops-Kills Owned Dog Because Math

The Whitfield Co pound in GA has some “animal facts” on its webpage that the county likes so much, it printed them twice. They read, in part:

Dogs and cats out number humans in this country at a ratio of about 6 to 1. […]

Pet overpopulation is a serious and growing problem in the United States. It is estimated that between 10 to 20 million companion animals are unwanted and put to death every year.

The U.S. Census Bureau says there are approximately 318,649,000 people in the US. If dogs and cats outnumbered humans 6 to 1 in this country, that would indicate a dog and cat population of roughly 2 billion. Which would make it a tad difficult to get to work, what with all the freeways piled high with kittens, let alone the mountains of puppies covering the sidewalks.

The ASPCA says there are an estimated 144 – 176 million owned dogs and cats in the U.S. and that each year, shelters kill approximately 2.7 million pets.

I guess no one at the Whitfield Co pound majored in math. Or Google.  Or reality.

Wiz and family member, as pictured on the Dalton Daily citizen website.

Wiz and family member, as pictured on the Dalton Daily Citizen website.

Last month, a dog named Wiz bit a kid in Whitfield Co. Wiz was not current on his rabies vaccination so he was impounded by the county for a standard 10 day rabies quarantine.  After the holding period expired, the owner called the pound to make arrangements to bring Wiz back home.  But Whitfield Co had already killed Wiz because the person doing the killing couldn’t count to 10.  Because math is hard:

[County administrator Mark] Gibson said the employee claimed to have made a mathematical mistake in adding up the number of days since the dog had been brought in. So he euthanized the wrong dog.

Oops.  All two of the Whitfield Co pound employees have been suspended by the board of commissioners as a result of the killing – the director for 5 days and the guy who killed Wiz for 2 days.  And the county has instituted several changes at the pound to prevent a similar type of oops-killing from happening in future.  Specifically:

  1. Owners will be called at the end of the quarantine period to let them know their pet will be killed if not reclaimed.
  2. Animals being held on rabies quarantine will be separated from the general population and have their cages marked with the date the quarantine expires.
  3. The one guy who attempts to count to 10 to determine when the holding period ends needs to turn in his homework to the other guy for a double check.  Hopefully between the two of them, they might get it right.

The fact that they weren’t calling owners before killing their quarantined pets or separating rabies holds from other animals is shocking. The math thing is just frightening.

The director and the other employee both said they feel their punishment for killing Wiz is fair. The chairman of the board of commissioners also thinks it’s fair. As does commissioner Harold Brooker, third cousin to the pound director. No word from Wiz’s family on how fair they feel the punishment is but it’s swell to know the good ol’ boys are all satisfied.

(Thanks Arlene for the link.)

Enablers Desperately Cling to Killing in Glynn Co as Public Supports No Kill

The Florida Times-Union shamefully published a killing apologist piece whitewashing the weekly killing done by Barbara Sancomb, the manager at the Glynn Co pound in GA.  Framing the manager as an animal lover and showing a photo of her paw print tattoos to prove it, the paper talks about the terrible “burden” of killing animals who trust her and willingly submit to her while she’s killing them.  Like we’re supposed to be all aw when in reality, I expect most people’s reaction to the disturbing visualization is more AHHHHH!

The article also talks about how sad it is that no kill advocates have complained online about animals being mistreated, deplorable conditions and needless killing at the pound.  That hurts the shelter staff’s feels.  Plus, the paper says, the animal advocates are liars anyway.  Because other places are worse:

“Everybody who criticizes us, they have obviously never been to a bad animal shelter because this is a really good one,” [Sancomb] said.

Yes, it does sound really good.  Animals in need of homes who come to trust you and willingly allow you to inject them with poison so they can die.  I’m trying to think of anything that would be better but nothing is jumping to mind.  Unless you want to touch upon that doing your job to actually shelter animals thing.

The shelter has been a public relations nightmare for the county. Earlier this year, Animal Control Advisory Committee Chairman Marci DeSart released startling statistics describing the shelter’s euthanasia rates. Since 2006, 18,000 dogs and cats have been put down.

The county kicked that person to the curb post haste.  But then one of the commissioners started talking about no kill and it seemed to resonate with the public:

A town hall meeting he called last month drew a couple of hundred animal advocates in favor of no-kill including DeSart and members of No-Kill Glynn, an organization she co-founded. No one spoke against it.

No one spoke in favor of killing.  Zero.  A couple hundred were in favor of lifesaving.  But veterinarian Bill Disque says reality is an illusion:

But Disque, a retired vet who spays and neuters animals at the shelter several times a month, said there’s a silent majority in the county who realize no-kill is not an achievable goal as things stand now.

A silent majority who really want to see the killing at the pound continue unchecked.

Now you’re just making shit up.  There is no silent majority of the public who secretly rub their hands together in hideous delight when thinking about puppies and kittens being sent to the landfill by the local pound.  There just isn’t.

What there is:

The overwhelming majority of the public, 71% of those surveyed, believes shelters should only be allowed to euthanize animals who are medically or behaviorally hopeless.  Sorry to rain on your Pet Killing Parade with my Actual Data from Reputable Agencies but oh, not sorry.

The vet goes on to invoke the too many animals, not enough homes myth and blames the irresponsible public for the killing. In a county where a couple hundred people showed up in support of no kill at the town hall meeting.  They do sound so irresponsible.  I wish they would move to my county.

(Thank you Valerie for the link.)

Memphis City Official Explains Why Killing Pets Even Faster is Going to Be So Awesome

Manhandled kitten, as posted by MAS on PetHarbor.com

Manhandled kitten, as posted by MAS on PetHarbor.com

If you are partial to flowery political speeches, you might like to read the city’s full explanation for why it’s retaliating against rescuers shortening hours at the Memphis pound and proposing to kill pets faster than ever.  But if you’d rather blind yourself with rusty pokers than read more bullshit excuses for killing animals, I’ve got you covered.  Here’s the takeaway:

The proposed change in hours will assist with the reduction of holding time of animals from 5 days to 3, saving 104 days annually in the cost of food, work hours (animal care techs and vets), housing, medical supplies, etc.

Shorter:  Dead pets don’t eat food and take up cage space.  The faster we can kill them, the less we have to do our jobs.

So there it is.  In case anyone was wondering where the city of Memphis stands on the issue of animal sheltering.  It’s a no.

(Thanks to everyone who sent me this link.)

Memphis Expands its Retaliation Against Rescuers and Owners of Lost Pets

Screengrab from PetHarbor of a lost dog, posted by the Memphis pound.

Screengrab from PetHarbor of a lost dog, posted by the Memphis pound.

Ever since Mayor Wharton put straight man James Rogers in charge of Memphis Animal Services, MAS has become lolMAS.  While MAS slaughters pets by the thousands, Rogers blathers on about being “on a positive trend” and continuing the “march forward in terms of excellence”.  When rescuers started doing his job for him by volunteering to photograph shelter pets and network them on social media, he retaliated with a ban on photography.  When his ban was recently overturned by the city, he had to dig deep into his bag of shenanigans:

Memphis Animal Services director James Rogers is shortening shelter hours.

Specifically, Rogers is eliminating the evening hours, which totally by coincidence happens to be when most people, including the rescuers who photograph pets, can get to the pound.  He’s also eliminated all morning hours – because hey, who wants to deal with the unwashed masses before noon?

He’s got explanations people, so please buckle in:

He says his goal is to increase adoptions.
[…]

Rogers calls it a budget cut, but he is not cutting the number of staff members or the hours MAS employees will work. The only thing changing is the hours the shelter is open to the public.

By being open 9 less hours a week for adoptions, including the hours most people can get there, he’s going to increase adoptions. And it’s going to save money in the budget, even though every single staffer will be paid exactly the same as they are now so no actual dollars will be saved. Also: increased adoptions!

As soon as Rogers announced the changes at a public meeting of the pound’s advisory board on Wednesday, people knew what was up:

“There were two evenings a week they were open late. You’re eliminating both. On one Memphis Pets Alive took photos to network,” people in the crowd said.

Those against the changes pointed out there are now no hours for those who work 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to come.

The hour shift is also cutting into the shelter’s popular Thursday adoption event called Yappy Hours. It’s held from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursdays. Rogers admits the events are a huge help.

“What we’re trying to do is increase number of adoptions,” Rogers said to people in the crowd laughing.

All the credit for keeping a straight face, Rogers.  But there is something sinister going on here, beyond the obvious retaliation against rescuers and the ridiculous excuses.  Included in the announcement about shortened hours was another change:  MAS would open at noon for 2 hours each on Sundays and Mondays strictly for owners of lost pets to be shown some of the animals in the facility by staff members.

Since MAS has previously been closed entirely on Sundays and Mondays, those days were not counted against strays when determining their mandatory 72 hour hold.  With the announcement that the pound would open for 2 midday hours on Sundays and Mondays, comes a change in how Rogers calculates the mandatory hold for strays.  Sundays and Mondays will now count as 2 of the 3 mandatory hold days, even though the shelter is closed for all but 2 midday hours each of those days.

I am not an attorney but I think there is a legitimate case to be brought against the city of Memphis here.  The city appears to be subverting the intent of the 72 hour holding period for strays by playing games with the pound’s business hours.  It is entirely possible that a pet owner in Memphis who works a day job could not get to the facility to search for his lost pet during the newly announced, limited hours.  Since MAS does an extremely shabby job of posting impounds online and since the pound kills lost pets immediately after the 72 hour holding period expires, the new hours are in effect an automatic death sentence for many lost pets.  And Rogers won’t allow these animals to live, even for one day past their holding periods:

MAS holds stray dogs for 72 hours as required by law. The shelter has been euthanizing the dogs immediately once their time is up, often before opening and allowing them a chance to be adopted. Board members are questioning that logic, especially when the shelter has empty kennels.

The director’s explanation for why strays need to be put down immediately isn’t adding up.

“It behooves us to follow the law which is 72 hours,” said director James Rogers. “Anything beyond that opens us up to the susceptibility of allowing parvo to increase.”

“It’s a disease of puppies,” said Stephen Tower, who is a veterinarian and on the MAS advisory board. He argued an extra few hours won’t cause any greater risk. “I don’t buy that exposure argument.”

“According to the director of veterinary medicine at Memphis Animal Services, the parvo virus has mutated and it does affect adult dogs now,” Rogers said.

But just a few weeks ago, the head veterinarian Rogers is talking about said the exact opposite at an open press conference about parvo.

“There is some acquired immunity with older pets, so I don’t think the public should be concerned about adopting an older pet,” said Dr. Rebecca Coleman.

So to recap:

MAS is eliminating the evening hours that many adopters and rescuers can get there to save lives. To increase adoptions.

The shortened hours are going to save money. Not actual money but possibly Rogers has cut out some rectangles from construction paper and drawn pictures of himself and dollar signs on them and likes to pretend he can buy unicorns and fairy dust with them – those dollars might be saved.

Sundays and Mondays will now be counted against strays under mandatory 72 hour hold. Because parvo is magic and now infects all adult, vaccinated dogs at MAS and immediately zaps them with death rays on the 73rd hour.  And Rogers’ kill techs aren’t going to get beaten to the punch by no magic parvo death ray.

Memphis, this is your animal “shelter”.  File an emergency injunction to stop the killing.  Address your city council.  Demand meaningful reform.  Do something.

(Thank you to everyone who sent me these links.)

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