(Memphis) There is a new controversy at Memphis Animal Services, this time involving a cat with severe injuries that was kept alive for five days.
According to MAS records, obtained by the Freedom Of Information Act, the cat was brought to MAS July fifth.
Records indicate the cat was not examined until July 6, at which time the veterinarian, Dr. Rebecca Coleman wrote, "large areas over the body that are degloved" and "Possible trauma due to being caught in a fan belt." She also noted there were multiple large wounds to the cat's head and other areas.
Degloving means the animal's skin was torn from its body.
Dr. Coleman continued, "animal is suffering. Euthanasia recommended. Cat is very stressed (not a social cat) but should be okay for holding period."
The holding period is 72 hours, in case an owner comes to claim an animal.
But the cat, which the vet said was suffering, was kept for five days rather than 72 hours, before being euthanized.
Animal Advocates, who obtained the MAS documents, are concerned there is no listing of pain medication having been given to the cat. Medications given are listed as Penicillin and Depo Medrol.
A local veterinarian told me the Penicillin will kill infection while the Depo Medrol is used to treat skin conditions and inflammation, but in her opinion would not be effective as a pain killer.
An email to MAS Director James Rogers was not answered.
After this story was posted Wednesday, Mayor Wharton's office replied saying the cat was not given pain medication. That's the opposite of what we were told by the same office Tuesday.
We were told the wounds were later determined to be superficial and "Our vet determined that much of the cat’s stress was due to being confined in a shelter. The cat was medically evaluated, and pain medications were not considered necessary."
We have requester further paperwork.
The other question has to do with a photo of the cat posted to a website used to adopt animals from MAS.
In the photo, large open wounds (as noted in the report) can clearly be seen. One animal advocate asked, "Why would someone post that photo? Who would see those severe wounds and want to adopt that cat?"
We are still waiting for more information from Memphis Animal Services and have requested to speak with Dr. Coleman.
Click HERE to adopt from MAS.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at Memphis Animal Services, please call (901) 362-5310 for more information or return a completed application to Memphis Animal Services, 2350 Appling City Cove, Memphis, TN 38133, Memphis TN 38118 or fax to (901) 362-6876.