Intake of more than 2 dozen animals puts MAS at crisis level

MAS at crisis level after women surrender 30 animals

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis Animal Services is at crisis level after unexpectedly taking in more than two dozen animals Tuesday morning. It’s the second time in almost a month that MAS has been put in this position.

On Tuesday morning the MAS staff found dogs and cats in desperate need of attention. The 30 animals surrendered this morning came from two Jackson, Tennessee women. Sadly, not all survived.

Staff are desperately working to clear space in the kennels before it’s too late. The pressure on MAS comes after two women showed up to the shelter Tuesday before it was open to the public to surrender two U-Haul trucks filled with animals.

“They came here and said that had just been evicted from their home in Jackson, Tennessee, that they were moving to Memphis and their house had fallen through so they needed to surrender all their animals to us,” said Alexis Pugh, director of Memphis Animal Services.

Staff made an exception to its policy of only accepting animals from the community after seeing the animals.

“When we opened the van we could tell that the conditions were horrible. They were inhumane. The heat poured out of the van as we opened you could smell the feces and the urine and you could see the condition these animals were in,” said Pugh.

MAS tells us two puppies and two kittens did not survive. Two other kittens and a puppy are in critical condition and receiving emergency treatment.

“The challenge this poses is that we were already full. We were full to the brim yesterday. We were begging rescue groups and the public to adopt yesterday because every kennel was full,” said Pugh.

Pugh calls the dogs surrendered Tuesday an adoptable breed. But their intake now puts larger-breed dogs already at the shelter at risk of euthanasia.

“We took those animals. We couldn’t turn them away. But now we said yes so we need the community to say yes," she said.

In June, a seizure of 40 German Shepherds put the shelter in crisis mode, but animal lovers show up to help clear the kennels.

Pugh needs that help again.

Memphis police tell us this is an ongoing investigation. At this point there are no charges filed. The cost of adoption is $10 this month. MAS is open for adoptions daily from noon to 4 p.m. and until 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. The shelter is closed Wednesday, July 10, for staff training.

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