The progress that MAS is claimed to have made since James Rogers has come on board is moving at a snail's pace. There are still too many animals, including healthy puppies, who are killed way too quickly who could be marketed for adoption. There are too few adoption events. There are still two employees working at MAS who witnessed animal cruelty at the hands of Archie Elliott, Billy Stewart and Frank Lightfoot. There are animals who are on Petharbor.com who have only a description and no photograph. There are animal control officers who do NOT do their jobs and do NOT deserve the $40K they are making annually. There is dissension among the ranks of ACOs who are nothing but a bunch of lazy government-paid employees who have the mindset of doing the least amount of work for the most amount of money. There is no attempt by the City of Memphis Mayor's Office to move toward either privatization or the no-kill philosophy. Even though Memphis Animal Services has moved into a new facility, it still has a horrible reputation both locally and nationally. It is a disgrace and immoral to kill so many animals, especially puppies, when there are homes for them. Despite the fact that this article has touted the fact that deaths at Memphis Animal Services have gone down, the kill rate is still too high and much more needs to be done to get these animals adopted. But that is going to take an effort that these apathetic and inhumane monsters are not going to want to put forth. The volunteers can dress these animals up in cute dog collars and post them on Facebook 'til the cows come home, but unless Memphis Animal Services changes the mindset that it's easier to kill these animals and makes an effort to have more adoption events, more animals are going to remain hidden from the public and eventually die.
Memphis Animal Services took in 12,808 animals in 2012 and killed 8,859 of these animals, what is MAS's kill rate? That would be 69.167%. James Rogers quoted a 59% kill rate. That's a 10% difference and that equates to a lot of dogs who died needlessly because the City of Memphis is too lazy to check into adopting the No Kill philosophy, or even benchmarking with another similar city, such as Baltimore, to find out how it works. Memphis has so much to learn about the humane treatment of animals.
Even with a 59% kill rate, that is still horrible. Why can't Memphis benchmark with Baltimore, a city with the same demographics as Memphis? Baltimore has adopted the no-kill philosophy and its many components including an aggressive spay neuter program, aggressive marketing, TNR, and more. What prevents Mayor AC Wharton from doing this? Is it laziness? It is the belief that it won't work? Is it apathy? Is it the belief that these are "just animals" so they are not worth the effort? Is it because Wharton believes it's the public fault and we are to blame? Is it because Wharton's nothing but a snake oil salesman and manure rolls downhill starting with his office.
Earlier today, Oct. 19, 2011, we first heard there were 30 dogs with kennel cough, which is very treatable and NOT A DEATH SENTENCE. This was what was told to a rescue group trying to adopt a baby Basset by an employee at Memphis Animal Services. Then we got this email from Tracy Dunlap calling it acute respiratory disease. Here's the email:
"Hey Everybody! I have been asked to send this to you. All of the animals listed can be found on PetHarbor. com. Memphis Animal Services is currently experiencing an episode of acute respiratory disease. This disease is affecting all of the dogs in our current Adoption Hallway. In spite of the fact that all of the dogs in this area have been vaccinated, there are some dogs still exhibiting symptoms of this disease. This episode is similar to what we experienced in the spring of 2011. The Medical Director suspects we are dealing with pneumovirus. This virus is highly contagious and may be fatal in some cases. While we are treating the symptoms, there is no vaccine currently available for this disease. Due to our limitations to isolate these animals at our current facility, we are unable to effectively treat affected dogs. We want to save as many dogs as possible hence this plea to our rescue partners to come and get as many of the dogs as possible from this infectious environment. Due to the nature of the virus, we will transfer any animal to a Pet Placement Partner that steps up to help us in our current dilemma. We do ask that if this email is cross-posted that it is done so in its entirety. The offer of transfer is only for our registered Pet Placement Partners. Because this virus spreads so quickly we will need a response as soon as possible. However, if any animal begins to exhibit symptoms it will be pulled immediately to help prevent the spread of the disease within our population. Thank you for all you have done in the past and will continue to do in the future to assist Memphis Animal Services. The list of animals in the effected area are below:
233037 - OBV2 - brindle/white - Pit bull mix - male - 1 yr old.
233487 - OBV27 - black/white - lab - female - 6 months old
233248 - OBV7 - black/brown - Neutered lab - 5 months old
232719 - OBV 28 - gold - gold retr/cho - male - 4 yr old
233324 - OBV9 - white - samoyed mix - male - 10 yr old
232335 - OBV29 - lab - male - 2 yr old
232602 - OBV10 - brown - shep/chow mix - male - 3 yrs old
232425 - OBV30 - tan - pit bull - female - 1 yr old
233383 - OBV 12 - tan/white - shepherd mix - female - 1 year old
232214 - OBV31 - shepherd - female - 6 mo old
232353 - OBV13 - black/gray - scottish terrier/lab - male - 3 yrs old.
233373 - OBV32 - brown/white - rott/pit bull - male - 4 months old
323089 - OBV15 - brown - chow mix - male - 1 yr old
233371 - OBV32 - brown/white - rott/pit bull - female - 4 months old
232826 - OBV16 - tan/white - shepherd - female - 3 months old
233372 - OBV32 - brown - rott/pit bull - female - 4 months old
230246 - OBV18 - brown/white - pit bull - female - 7 months
233535 - OBV34 - tricolor - shtlnd sheepdog mix - Neutered male - 6 months old
233790 - OBV19 - black/brown - shepherd - Neutered male - 2 yrs old
233156 - OBV42 - white - pit bull - male - 10 months old
231117 - OBV 21 - tan/white - lab mix - female - 1 yr old
233186 - OBV43 - black - shepherd - male - 7 months old
232614 - OBV22 - black - lab - male - 2 yr old
233191 - OBV44 - tan/white - lab mix - female - 6 months old
232907 - OBV 24 - tan/white - Jack Russell terrier - female - 5 yr old
233421 - OBV46 - brown - shepherd mix - female - 3 yr old
233043 - OBV25 - black/white - lab mix - female - 1 yr old
232310 - OBV48 - brown/black - boxer/shep - male - 3 yr old
233484 - OBV26 - black/white - shepherd - female - 1 yr old
233488 - OBV51 - black/brown - pug mix - male - 8 months old
Tracy Dunlap, Sr. Animal Care Technician
Memphis Animal Services
3456 Tchulahoma Rd.
Memphis, TN 38118
I have one request for anyone who just read this wonderful article. Please treat your dogs with respect and as a member of your family. They are caring animals with feelings and a lot of intelligence, as evidenced by the great work that "one homeless pup wandering the streets of Olive Branch" can accomplish. For those of you who have fallen on hard times and have to move, take your dogs with you. Don't leave them chained up with no food or water to fend for themselves. For those of you who are considering adopting a puppy, DO YOUR HOMEWORK first and find out as much as you can about that particular breed. Invest time in training them. The reward you will receive is unconditional love all the days of your life. God bless Linda Suthpin at Dogs 2nd Chance for giving Dixee a chance at proving to the world what a great dog she truly is and thanks to the Memphis Police Department for adding Dixee to their staff. I hope this establishes a precedent with other law enforcement agencies around the Tri-State area!
By Hannah Sayle, Chris Herrington, Chris Shaw, Louis Goggans, Greg Akers, Bruce VanWyngarden, Jackson Baker and John Branston
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