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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Reader Comments:
Jul 5, 2011 05:38 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Thank you for this. One day we will get justice for the animals in the Memphis pound. I pray it is soon.

Jul 6, 2011 07:07 am
 Posted by  Spaygirl

It is so very sad that Memphis city leaders won't hold the employees accountable. Why? Is it because they don't want the Second Chance Program to fail, since they embrace it so much and the city hires the offenders at the shelter? It is OK to give people a second chance, but now all employees have free rein at the shelter and are protected by the city. Recently,someone with Memphis Animal Shelter stole Kapone, an 11 year old family pet who happens to be a Pit. He disappeared after he was put in the animal control officer's truck with 2 witnesses observing! How brave is that? They are out of control! According to the kennel statistics in 2010, 155 animals were "Missing". In Jan, 2011, there were 40 animals reported in the "Missing" category. When the missing animals were brought up at a Memphis Advisory Board Meeting, the category of animals "Missing" was eliminated from the Kennel Statistics report. I wonder how other city depatments are operated?

Jul 6, 2011 05:17 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

MAS is capable of being a horror story for every animal unfortunate enough to end up there. For most of spells the end! Dogs are lost, mishandled, abused, neglected and hidden from the public. A rule that has been instituted since Matthew Pepper became director. This makes it impossible for these dogs to be made available for adoption or for a potential adopters to be able to choose one from this, so called, "stray area." It is amazing that a city that has a wonderful, beautiful, absolutely great zoo, full of exotic animals, allow, with a blind eye, the neglect, abuse, & CRUELTIES to man's best friend! Common are dogs and cats....dogs the most helpless and dependent of all God's creatures and and yet, citizens of Memphis have not had their fill of the blight called MAS. If the "loss" of Kapone does not create an uprising of all animal lovers, I don't know what will....CHANGE MAS..get rid of the second chancers.....they have had enough chances...get rid any employee that cannot show care and compassion, get rid of any director that has no control over the emloyees...What happened to Mayor Wharton's promise...FROM THE WORST TO THE FIRST....JUST HOLLOW WORDS....HE DIDN'T MEAN A THING HE SAID! Get rid of the Mayor if he cannot stand behind his own promise...and he has not!

Jul 6, 2011 07:48 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

IDA has named it correctly, the Memphis "shelter" is one of the worst.

Hundreds of animals disappearing, most recently a beloved family dog named Kapone who was put in a kennel and then disappeared.

Animals abused by uncaring and undisciplined workers.

A city administration that ignores the cruelty and inhumanity, seemingly oblivious to the stain the Memphis animal "services" puts on the city's reputation.

A city administration that wasted taxpayers' hard-earned dollars sabre rattling at a blogger who keeps showing the abuses in the Memphis "shelter", rather than taking direct action, cleaning house at the shelter and implementing humane treatment of the voiceless and defenseless.

Sordid and disgusting springs to mind when I think of the City of Memphis because of the cruelty at Memphis Animal "services".

Jul 18, 2011 08:02 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Ms Demetria Hogan is the one responsible for Kapone. Others at the "shelter" are responsible for covering up for her as well as even warning her not to return to the shelter when Memphis Police were there for her arrest! While avoiding police she allowed an injured dog to die in her truck because she was on the run with the dog instead of returning for necessary care at the "shelter."

On top of having a convicted fellon working with speachless & helpless lives to be taken advantage of, they pay her while she's NOT working awaiting charges of cruelty.

The many abuses of animals, public tax money & authority at MAS starts & ends at the top. Why doesn't anything change? Everyone is covering everyone elses butt & cousin. Until it becomes a no-kill shelter there will always be abuse of the defenseless.

Aug 2, 2011 01:13 pm
 Posted by  blake

leadership "mempho-style"
you get what you voted for here & you wonder why they want those video cameras out in Ding-a-ling city USA. the mayors time is better spent if he refrained running to a news camera to get his picture taken. proves another mempho thing, expensive suits is no different from limburger cheese, what's inside the wrapper still stinks.

Blake Barnett

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