Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Humane Society Says Train's Adoption Process is Underway

Posted By on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 4:28 PM

click to enlarge Train
  • Train
About 25 people showed up at the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County this morning with "Let Train Leave" signs to voice their frustration with what they believe to be a drawn-out process of adopting Train, a Humane Society dog that was placed on the euthanasia list a few weeks ago for what the organization deemed as aggressive behavior. 

A "Let Train Live" Facebook page was launched to protest Train being placed on the kill list. One volunteer said Train was only diagnosed with predatory aggression because he'd stared at a child in an aggressive manner. But a week ago, after the public outcry, the Humane Society posted on its own Facebook page that they were "finalizing an agreement with a credentialed, third party (located out of town) veterinary organization to adopt Train."

From that Humane Society post: "Fortunately our willingness to identify and locate other professionals has given us this creative solution. Train will be adopted into his new home as soon as possible. Once Train is there and safe, we will post a photo of him in his new home. This has been a very difficult issue and we want to reaffirm that we are here to SAVE animals, not destroy them."

However, a week later, those who spoke out have been raising concerns about why Train is still at the Humane Society. Volunteers say Train is being kept in a small "not ready" kennel, and they're holding protests to raise awareness about Train still being held at the facility. The Flyer reached out to Humane Society consulting interim director Amy Howell, who was hired last week to replace former director Andrew Jacuzzi. 

Flyer: Is Train being kept in a tiny kennel?
Amy Howell: The dog is being treated just like the other dogs. They're working with Train. He's not been kept in some small, dark corner or anything like that. That's not right. The dog is being handled as normal. He's walking three times a day. Train is an animal that needs a lot of attention, and the staff is giving him the attention that he needs. We're working on finalizing an agreement with an adopter, but it's taking a lot of time because there is a lot of red tape when you have an animal like this. And there is a legal process that we're going through. Sometimes, it takes several weeks to transfer a dog like Train, but we're working as hard as we can.

Why is his adoption taking so long?
We're in the process of finalizing an adoption with someone who is trained to handle Train, a veterinarian, and we can't say with certainty that it's been finalized because we're still working on some of the legal issues and details. It's just taking a while because Train is not your average dog. Train has predatory aggression, and he is a special needs dog. The criteria is very selective for who he can be adopted by.

Is the issue simply that he stared too aggressively at a child? Is that how he was diagnosed with predatory aggression?
That's not all there is to it. He has a whole file of assessment information, which we do not disclose to the public. We're being very careful as an organization to make sure we're doing the right thing in the interest of public safety and in the interest of the dog. 

What is your response to the public outcry and protests?
If these people who are stirring the pot would spend as much time as they have pestering us about Train raising money for the organization, they could help a lot more animals. What they're doing is a very big distraction for us, and it's hindering our ability to do our jobs. They're taking us off the task of helping these animals. 

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