With kennels constantly filling up and space running out, Memphis Animal Services has been forced to get creative with outreach in an effort to get more animals adopted or fostered. The organization also needs volunteers to help run the shelter.
MAS is the municipal animal control and housing agency for the city of Memphis. Any pet picked up and brought to the organization will stay for a limited time before being transferred, fostered, adopted or euthanized – although MAS aims to become a non-euthanasia shelter.
Katie Pemberton, community engagement specialist for Memphis Animal Services, says they try to be creative when it comes to promoting foster homes and adoptions in an effort to attract more people.
MAS has 76 kennels for adoptable dogs, and about 50 more for dogs in other stages, such as quarantined dogs. Pemberton says they are almost always at capacity or over capacity with adult dogs and need help.
“Making our fostering and adoption promotions creative and fun attracts new people who may not have interacted with us before,” Pemberton said. “And, people are the answer. We have to have people or we will never achieve our goal of saving every healthy, adoptable pet.
Pemberton pointed out that the dog space situation is dire right now. There are issues that come with full kennels for periods of time in shelters.
“Our staff continue to push themselves, which sometimes leads to burnout, and many dogs are deteriorating mentally to such an extent that they can no longer be adopted,” she explained.
To help prevent this from happening, Memphis Animal Services spends a lot of time trying to bring attention to the animals in their care and the need for adopters and foster families. Recently, they promoted an adoption special that offered free adoptions to anyone wearing Memphis Tiger apparel the day after a Tiger basketball win.
In December, they held an adoption event called the 12 Hours of Christmas, where they were open for extended hours with a reduced adoption fee of $12 as well as a $50 PetSmart gift card with each adoption. . Currently, they offer same-day adoptions for $20 for dogs that are already spayed or spayed and ready to go.
Adopting an animal from MAS is not the only way to help. Pemberton pointed out that they also need volunteers to help with the dogs and cats. She said there were also marketing and digital programs they needed help with. Another way to help is to donate. Memphis Animal Services has an Amazon Wish List as well as wish lists from local retailers, like Superlo Foods and Hollywood Feed, to let people know what they need.
“The number one gift that is most sought after and also the easiest to find is Pup-Peroni treats,” Pemberton said. “The Pup-Peronis are like dollar bills here. They are available everywhere, including Amazon and Superlo, but also Target, Walmart, Kroger, etc.
Of course, not everyone is ready to own a dog over time. Housing and financial constraints can be a challenge for pet owners, especially college students. However, by promoting, volunteering, donating, or simply sharing Memphis Animal Services posts on social media, anyone can help the animals in their care.