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Community-Supported Sheltering

Memphis Animal Services is thrilled to announce new community assistance strategies to save more animals. This new model combines traditional animal control functions with community intervention and assistance programs to maximize lifesaving in Memphis. With reciprocal support both to and from the community, we can do more than ever before to help people and their pets, all without euthanizing healthy pets in the shelter.

Following guidance from every major national animal welfare organization and over 30 municipal shelters nationally, and utilizing techniques being piloted nationwide as part of the HASS model (Human Animal Support Services), MAS is focusing more of its programming than ever on keeping pets out of the shelter and with their families.

This includes a robust Pet Resource Center, funded by individual donations and grants. Pet owners can access a wide variety of resources at no cost, to help them keep their family pets rather than having to surrender them to the shelter due to lack of resources. The types of services MAS is offering include free spay/neuter, vaccines or medical care, pet food, housing assistance including pet deposits, rehoming guidance and assistance, and behavior modification.

The community-supported sheltering programming also includes a renewed commitment to helping families find their lost pets. MAS will work with citizens who find lost dogs in their neighborhoods to more effectively get those dogs back to their owners, or get them rehomed if reunification is not possible. This includes a comprehensive support program that provides finders with all the resources they need to foster the pet if they are able. Should all efforts at reunification or rehoming fail or should the finder be unable to foster, then MAS will accept the pet into the shelter system.

MAS will continue to prioritize all emergency calls related to public safety or when an animal needs immediate medical intervention, bringing those pets immediately to the shelter.

The time to reimagine traditional animal control and sheltering is now, and that’s why this model is being implemented all over the country in cities like Dallas, Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, Los Angeles, Oakland, and many more. Our hope is that by providing the community resources and asking citizens who own or find pets to actively participate in achieving a positive outcome for that pet, the community will come together and embrace this model so Memphis will never again be a city that euthanizes animals due to lack of space.

MAS offered three virtual Town Hall meetings for citizens interested in learning more:
• Thursday, Oct. 22, at 6:00 p.m. (Video available here)
• Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 12:00 p.m. (Video available here)
• Thursday, Oct. 29, at 6:00 p.m. (Video available here)