"Dog Beds" at New Shelter Already Showing Signs of Wear

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Dogs at the new Memphis Animal Services facility don't have the comfort of the hammock-like cots that were used in the old facility. Instead, raised, slotted kennel decks serve as the only place dogs can lie down that's guaranteed to be free of urine.

The raised PVC-coated grill floors are already showing signs of wear and tear, and the new building on Appling Cove has only been open for a few weeks. This picture, first featured on the "Yes Biscuit" blog, shows blue PVC paint chipping away from the new decks. The photo was submitted to "Yes Biscuit" by an anonymous blog reader.

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A spokesperson for Mayor A C Wharton's office confirmed that 21 of the kennel decks are showing signs of chipping paint. Shor-line, the company that installed the beds, is replacing the damaged ones. Damage was caused by dogs chewing and gnawing on the beds. Some animal advocates worry that chipped paint could be toxic to dogs, but Shor-line's website claims the PVC coating is non-toxic.

Some commenters on "Yes, Biscuit" have complained that dogs need softer beds.

"It's not a bed. They still need soft bedding, whether they give them blankets or the Kuranda beds they had at the old shelter. But for physical and emotional comfort, it's essential that they have the soft bedding," said Shirley Thistlewaite, the South Carolina-based animal advocate who runs the "Yes, Biscuit" blog.

Kuranda beds, a type of durable, washable cot, were used inside kennels at the former shelter on Tchulahoma. But the mayor's spokesperson said the Shor-line product was chosen over the Kuranda beds because it doesn't absorb bodily fluids, which may reduce the possibility of disease. Also, the Kuranda beds are more expensive and costlier to replace.

In other shelter news, the shelter has remained at or near capacity since its grand opening earlier this month. But MAS is working with pet placement partners to transfer out as many animals as possible.

On January 14th, they're hosting an animal behavior training course to assist new pet owners, in the hopes that they can reduce the number of owner pet surrenders by teaching people how to prevent dogs from chewing on furniture, jumping on people, and using the bathroom indoors.

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