International Humane Group Targets Memphis Animal Services

In Defense of Animals (IDA), an organization with 85,000 members worldwide, has issued an "Action Alert" about Memphis Animal Services, also known as the Shelter. The alert urges recipients to put pressure on state and local officials to "clean up" the facility on Tchulahoma and states, "we are concerned about reports indicating that things have gotten worse, not better" since the Shelter was raided in 2009.

Among concerns cited are dogs being lifted by catchpoles to an elevated cage (shown here); multiple animals in the euthanasia room watching euthanasia of other animals, "a clear violation of American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines";  and no pre-euthanisia sedation given to the animals unless they are already agitated.

Being named in an "alert" means that IDA ranks the Shelter's problems among the most pressing on a national level.

IDA was founded in 1983 by veterinarian Elliott Katz, who was contacted by an animal-advocacy organization about abusive conditions at the University of California-Berkeley campus animal laboratories. According to IDA's website, Katz and a group of concerned citizens brought legal action against the USDA and the university, and "succeeded in bringing some semblance of responsibility" to the animal research department at UC-Berkeley.

Over the past three decades, IDA has helped rescue and give sanctuary to chimpanzee victims of Africa's bush meat trade; spayed and neutered thousands of street animals in Mumbai, India; fought against puppy mills; and advocated for America's wild horses — to name just a few of their efforts. The group also encourages members to contact legislatures and government officials on various issues that assist in getting legislation passed.

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