Memphis Animal Services participates in ‘No Kill’ day

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- For one day only, June 11, Memphis Animal Services agreed not to euthanize any animals in its shelter.

It's part of a national movement called “Just One Day."

Memphis Animal Services was one of hundreds of shelters that participated.

It’s the third year in a row Memphis Animal Services participated in "Just One Day."

“Coordinators are asking all the shelters across United States to put down their needle and pick up their cameras and to take photos of all the animals that are up for adoption,” said Jan Courtney with Save Our Shelter Memphis.

It comes just days after Memphis Mayor AC Wharton reversed a controversial ban at MAS.

The director banned animal advocates from taking pictures of animals in ‘healthy hold’ since the animals there weren’t technically available for adoption yet.

The mayor reversed that ban, hoping to give animals more of a chance of finding a home.

“We can go to the healthy hold. We can go to the adoptable area. We cannot go into the stray area. Those are hidden away from the public,” said Courtney.

Courtney says she wants to see even more access at MAS.

She says the more people can market the homeless animals, the more chance they can be linked up with an adopter.

As for MAS participating in a No Kill Day, Courtney doesn’t want to see animals killed there ever, “Let’s make it 365 days a year campaign at Memphis Animal Services.”

The director tells WREG that's just not possible. The shelter takes in about 80 animals every day and not all of them, he says, are adoptable.

James Rogers says Wednesday,  no animals will be killed, but Thursday, it will be back to business as usual.


  • Sylvia Cox

    As Ms. Hall noted during the newscast, MAS kills on average app. 40 animals per working day – that is an average of over 4 animals for every working hour.

    While the Mayor should be thanked for rescinding the briefly enforced ‘no photos’ policy, there are strays at MAS that are held in a non-public area and are never seen by the public. Why? They get NO chance at being rescued – all they got today was one extra day of life in hiding.

    Too many strays are being killed ON the morning of their due out date (when their holding period is over) before the shelter opens to the public, even when someone communicates their intent to adopt. Why?


    40 animals destroyed each day. . . absolutely tragic and unnecessary. Allowing rescuers to photograph animals in the stray area is one way to more effectively network these animals and help to get more adopted out of the shelter and into homes. Unfortunately the director and employees of MAS have no interested in saving the lives of animals. I certainly wish we had a mayor who actually cared. Sadly, we do not.

  • Sheila

    So reassuring to know that tomorrow things go back to business as usual in the killing department. As a tax paying, voting citizen, I want my money spent for administration and staff who have been hired because of their skill and interest in animal welfare public programming. Simply capturing and killing is barbaric. We could work out public spay/neuter low-cost programs, we could fully utilize the loving and energetic volunteers in the rescue community, we could hold public events regularly to acquaint the public with the ever-changing variety of animals available for adoption, we could have a community intervention program to assist people so not as many animals would be owner-surrendered (see Downtown Dog Rescue in Los Angeles…if it works in LA, it could work here). But, sadly, administration of the shelter is not held accountable for any of this. As a tax paying, voting citizen, I want changes that make the shelter a part of the solution in ways other than simply capturing and killing.

  • Sheila

    And who is served well by holding animals in “stray” and refusing to allow photos to be published of these animals? If these animals are kept in secret and killed on the morning of their last day in holding, how does the public know they could be available? How would a potential adopter know to request the adoption of an animal not publicly shown in any way? Certainly we can’t expect people to leave their jobs and personally go to the shelter every day to look at the animals in person. If you want adopters who can afford good care of the dogs, the people have to be working and we need ways for them to access the available or soon-to-be-available dogs from their computer…I.e., pictures of ALL animals, good quality pictures, full information, and a reliable way to communicate with the shelter.

  • Linda Tomasik

    I think the MAS should be run by animal lovers who actually care about them and would fight to give them a chance at life, not hinder them from getting that chance. I bet most animal lovers would actually volunteer to work there free just to save more animals. I say make it a point to give all the animals there a chance, especially the strays.

  • Beth

    I’ve asked about the stray area and why no one is allowed to see them many times. No one will answer my questions. What happened to the security cameras? Rogers responded to my email yesterday, per Janet Hooks’ orders and didn’t answer my questions, but gave me info I already had. Enough excuses. Clean house, hire people who care about animals. Other cities have done this and now it’s our turn. So many reports of abuse and neglect, and nothing is done. Why was the employee who kicked a dog for no reason in the break room PROMOTED instead of terminated?

  • Pads For Paws (@padsforpaws)

    Observing the “Just One Day” movement is just a marketing ploy for MAS. There has been no real attempt at positive change, just a lot of BS. Adoptable animals are sentenced to certain death by being placed in stray hold with no rhyme or reason. Since they are never seen by the public, these animals are just waiting their turn for the kill room. There is no “positive outcome” for these poor animals. The policies at MAS continue to be outdated and backward so forget about throwing us a bone for this one day. Mr. Rogers, we know better.

    • Beth

      EXACTLY. And who’s to say they won’t euthanize twice as many the next day? “About 80 animals every day” is around 2,500 per day, and intake for May was 1,181. That is a huge difference. I thought record keeping and numbers were supposed to be James Rogers’ strong points!

  • Selma Graves

    I can’t thank channel 3 enough for the news coverage on this issue! Thanks a million! There is obviously a serious problem with the administration. Unexceptionable mistakes are made daily. Innocent animals are dying. Citizens pets are disappearing. The doors keep closing on the public. The list goes on. There are so many experienced, qualified people that could run this facility. Please continue to air this subject so that the public who pays for everything can be informed. Again thanks a million!

  • Brenda

    I’m with the ‘let’s make it 365 days a year’. 80 animals come in every day. People need to wise up and spayed/neuter their pets!!!!!!

  • Annemarie

    Ok, let’s address the stray hold. These are quite possibly people’s lost pet and they won’t let anyone in to photograph them? The more exposure, the more pets go to their original homes or get adopted.

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