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Dog Days at Memphis Animal Services

February 14, 2011

Every day at Memphis Animal Services might be a dog day, but it was clear Saturday it was also a new day at the shelter.

Memphis Animal Services Director Matthew Pepper donned a dog costume and spent the day in a kennel as part of an effort to get the 31 available dogs adopted.

He vowed to stay in the kennel until all the dogs were adopted, but by noon, 27 had already gone home to loving families and shelter employees were making more dogs available for adoption.

“More than 15,000 animals enter our facility each year and many need only a home,” Pepper said. “We also want to continue to raise awareness of responsible pet ownership — prevent your animal from coming to the shelter to begin with. [We also wanted] to show people that we operate a clean, humane facility.”

The whole atmosphere at the shelter was happy. Several citizens were waiting to adopt their new pet, and Pepper and other shelter employees were singing “Bow-wow-wow, yippy-yo, yippy-yay … ” and dancing.

When I stumbled upon the director sitting in his kennel, he was being kept company by a cute, little black dog.

By the end of the day, 46 dogs were adopted, and the shelter has a goal of getting 200 adopted by the end of February. In a typical month, they generally have 100 to 150 animals adopted.

“[200] gives us an achievable goal to start with and be a springboard to bigger things,” Pepper said. “If we can do it in the dead of winter, we can do it anytime. We are committed to being a better organization every day.”

For more, see stories in the CA, the Flyer, the Daily News, Fox 13, and Channel 24.

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