Combine VWHS and the City pound – is now the time?

The nearly $50,000 donation just received by the Vicksburg-Warren Humane Society “couldn’t have come at a better time” in the words of VWHS President Georgia Lynn. We agree. The society is now just $147,500 short of its monetary goal for the construction of a new facility.

 

Much has been said on this site regarding the type of facility that could be built if the hardheads in city and county government could just come to terms on the construction of a new city-county facility that could be the best in this state, one that we could all be proud of. But it will not happen unless pressure comes to bear on our leaders. With county elections less than a month away, now may be the time to act.

 

If the public and particularly the leaders and members of the local shelter and rescue organizations demand in enough numbers that such a facility be built, it will happen. It’s up to you.

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Published in: on October 11, 2007 at 10:05 am  Comments (51)  

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  1. I was on the Board of Directors during the time that Robert Cox was involved with the Humane Society and he was a wonderful, caring man. When we had no shelter and no money for cages or supplies, except out of our own pockets and a few donations, Mr. Cox would take old air conditioner shells and put doors on them so we would have cages for animals. We have come a long way since then.

    I don’t understand why this community doesn’t rally behind the Humane Society as other cities do and I certainly don’t understand our City and County leaders not cooperating to make our shelter the best it can be!

    When I checked several months ago, there were only like 199 members out of the entire county of over 40,000 people. I wrote a Letter to the Editor stating how shocked I was that there was no more support for the Humane Society than 199 members. Geogia (Lynn) called to thank and tell me that the letter did get a few more members in, but it isn’t enough. We should all be members and support the ongoing battle to care for and find homes for abused and unwanted animals. This just isn’t dogs and cats, it is horses, goats, cows or whatever else is involved in a cruelty case, such as starvation. How can anyone not join an organization that is trying to stop cruelty to animals?

    All members need to attend Humane Society meetings and pay attention to the issues and let our voices be heard. Members of an organization have the right to vote on how an organization is run and a “good community” gets active with programs involving volunteers. It isn’t just up to the Board of Directors or the President. You have a say in matters if you join and let your voices be heard. General meetings are now only held once a year and that isn’t enough, but people won’t come to meetings once a year! This community leaves the entire responsibility of running the Humane Society up to to only 5 or 6 people on the Board and the President. That is completely irresponsible.

    We need to bombard City and County officials with phone calls and letters to encourage them to combine funds to build one of the best shelters in this state. The Humane Society, at the very least, needs a full time Manager and a licensed Veterinarian Technician who can properly give vaccinations and conduct proper test and worming procedures. If the City and County would merge, we might be able to have a full time Veterinarian on staff as well as a full time Manager. Programs could be set up for schools to teach children early on about caring for animals and not tolerating cruelty, volunteers could be active in adoptions, or just come down and walk dogs, fold towels and all kinds of tasks. It is OUR Humane Society! Together, we can make it something we can all be proud of.

  2. I am in favor of the approach used by the Paws Rescue. They take in the abandoned animals, give them the necessary veterinary care and then find homes for them. No animal is ever put to sleep.

    They make an inspection of the prospective foster home for the animal before the animal is ever placed. When a permanent home is found the animal is then permanently placed.

    If my tax dollars are to be spent on any type of animal facility I prefer this one over one that considers putting animals to sleep.

    You can find out more about them by visiting their web site:

    http://www.pawsrescuepets.org/

  3. David, my group Spouthern Paws Rescue does the very same thing. We are no kill, and check out the adopter , no matter what state they live in and do a home inspection and check Vet references We are no kill and treat the animals for any illness and spay /neuter. vaccinate and rehabilitate many so they can be placed.
    The shelters combining would be a wonderful thing for the ANIMALS. But will never happen, too much power and control are at stake if this would occur.. The animals always pay the ultimate price.
    There are 2 rescues here in Vicksburg and I have to tell you Paws Rescue does a wonderful job also.
    The City Pound has been caling us for help and we have helped every dog they have called us about. I have to Give Eldridge Skinner and big Kudos because he obvioulsy cares and wants to help those he can. The Humane Society will not work with local Rescue. Southern Paws has pulled over 100 animals from there and some went to other breed resuces, some we treated and placed in good screened homes..

    So go figure, the shelters merging, will not happen unless people step up to change things. Yes things need to change to help the animals.. This is suppose to be about the animals Right???
    I would think everyone should become a member and go to the Jan. meeting and voice your opinion and ask why animals are not leaving there that have a place in rescue and why they have been denied rescue.!! Makes no sense. It is a shame we pull from other shelters in other states and we can not help those in our own Humane Society.

  4. David and Debbie, I agree wholehearted with both of you. The perfect world is not to have to put any animals to sleep, but realistically we cannot save them all. All you have to do is look at the figures of how many are taken in and how few are adopted out.

    David, what I said originally and what Debbie is also saying, is if we all get memberships in the Humane Society and get involved, go to the meetings, change the way things are handled where dogs and cats can be sent out to breed rescues so they don’t have to be euthanized (that means Southern Paws and Paws if they can and will accept them) and still adopt out at the shelter locally, PLUS have a community effort to educate the public on spay/neuter programs, anti-cruelty education in schools, then we can have the best of both worlds. We can save many more lives AND educate the public. The public is responsible for the over population of animals and until we make them aware, there will always have to be euthanasia.

    I’ve been involved in rescue my entire life and so has Debbie and so has Leigh with Paws. We have all worked together. You have to have been there and walked the talk to know how much more is involved besides hard work and time, not to mention emotions, than most people are remotely aware of. We can do this only if we can work together and turn things around. There are animals being put to sleep now that don’t need to be. Some are dying for lack of medical care and attention that could be better cared for. Are you willing to deny them that?

    If the city and county officials would just agree to both fund the Humane Society and build an up to date facility and hire professional vet techs and a full time manager, think what we would have. You are the eternal optimist on this forum, David. You are always writing about supporting this community. What happened to you and your community spirit? Your tax dollars don’t fund Paws Rescue or Southern Paw Rescue. Your donations do. By all means, please keep giving them donations because they need it!

    Right now Paws needs cat chow badly and they need money for medical bills. Southern Paws needs dog food and money for vet bills. In the meantime, let’s get your tax dollars working on the Humane Society and your expertise working on the city and county officials to agree to fund the Humane Society and save more animals!

  5. What we all need to do – and we need to DO it – is call, write, email all the county supervisors and the three city leaders and DEMAND that they cooperate with each other and build a first-class joint facility. NOW is the time, folks, prior to county elections. I’m going to either call or personally visit with the supervisors ( not the three imperials – that would just harm the cause) and do just that. If everybody who reads this blog will pledge to do the same, we just may get it done.

  6. Betty I remain optimistic that our community will continue to improve. I have always been impressed with the quality of individual in Vicksburg and the above posts serve only to improve that opinion. This forum is one way for all the ideas available to be expressed.

    To save the patient we must first properly diagnose the problem. Perhaps all can come together in a neutral setting to reach the common goal. I would think the best outcome of such a meeting would be a joint effort from the four main groups(city, county and both rescues) to join forces. For that to happen the welfare of the animals must be the first priority. Also no one in that meeting, or in any of the current groups, should be considered for the head of this organization. That should go to someone from the outside with organizational and executive experience. This approach would remove any power plays and keep the main focus and solution the priority. Organizationally I would suggest an executive director with a four person board, one from each group to lead the program. Each person, including the E.D. would have a vote and meet at least monthly. The board will seldom agree and no one person will ever have all the answers. The animals however will have the most caring and qualified group of people available to look out for their best interest.

    Someone of stature in the community should take on the E.D. position. A Judge Vollar, Judge Price, Gertrude Young, Betty Tolliver, Kim Pace, Patty Mecus, Tom Pharr or any of the literlly hundreds of people in Vicksburg with a good heart and a proven track record of achieving goals.

    As has been mentioned above the problem is multi-faceted and each part must be addressed. The primary part, in my opinion is to decrease the birth rate. This involves community education, active efforts to find the pockets of animal population increase and positive recognition for community members who step up to the plate. This will encourage others to become involved.

    While efforts are being made to decrease the population a joint effort to find available and free or low cost veterinary care can occur. Perhaps getting our local hotels, restaurants and retailers to sponsor rooms, meals and amenities for visiting veterinarians is a possibility.

    For the animals currently in shelter I am perplexed to find a more reasonable or rapid solution.

    Admittedly I am looking in from the outside and I hope you understand my naive suggestions are made with the best of intent. I also look forward to an exchange of ideas and dream of Vicksburg being the national model of how to address animal overpopulation.

  7. I agree with most of what you say David. if everyone could sit and talk come to an agreement and move forward and progress!!
    Spay and neuter is a big issuce and certainly needs to be addressed. I know that New England does nto have the over poplutaion of animals and many dogs from the South are placed in homes there.
    Rescues have a vast network and do many wonderful things for unwanted animals. We have team work. The only goal is to help the animals. Does not matter who does what as long as it gets done. Rescuers are in this together.
    One of the supervisors has been addressed about hte issues at hand. and I am not sure any of them will touch it in an election year. But we can certainly try.
    There is not one good reason why the VWHS wants to hold dogs when they can get out to rescue. Not one!!! With animals entering the shelter daily, when one leaves it opens space for the next one. Space is always an issue.
    But the problem is that we have a control problem over each and every animal that is housed in the VWHS. You have to wonder exactly what that is all about. !!
    Rescue can not take them but Jo Blow off the street who decides they want to adopt a dog can just go to the shter and pay the money and get it. End of story. With rescue we will run you thru the mill. Each animal is placed in a home according to the animals needs.. After a dog has been in rescue , vetted and evaluated then they are put up for adoption. not before. If the home does nto work out. WE take the animal back.!!! ..
    We need to join forces and get the merge , a new facility and a trained manager or retired vet or vet tech. A spay neuter facillity would be ideal. Vicksburg does need to move forward as far as the animals are concerned. We must get away from the dictatorship!! I have to wonder what that control issue is all about.
    If a dog leaves the sheter, it is not costing them a penny. to house the animal for months on end is costly… yes months on end..

  8. David, now you are talking sense. You have just repeated, maybe more eloquently than I, what I said in my former post. We need to combine city and county to build and run a professional Humane Society with at least vet techs and a professional manager.

    We already know the problem…we just need the solution. Those of us in rescue keep butting heads against power hungry people who care more about themselves than they do the animals. THAT IS THE PROBLEM! We don’t care who gets recognition. We don’t want our pictures in the newspaper or our names in print. We don’t want to run things…we just want to take of and save the lives of animals. That is our only goal. We are willing to work with anyone who will work with us to accomplish that goal. So, if you and everyone else can join with us, become members of the Humane Society so we can have enough voices at meetings to make some changes, then we can proceed with your ideas of an executive director and board with all the heads of each organization. But, we have to start somewhere.

    • I agree with both of you I dont want recognition I just want to help any animal that needs my help like puppies that need to be bottle fed

  9. That is the solution, I agree with Betty.Help us help the animals. There needs to be a director who is pro animal and willing to work to save the ones that can be helped. The ego and control mentality must go when the animals are paying the price. I think those of us in rescue are realistic in our goals and what we can do and can not do!!
    The VWHS is not a rescue and will never be. it is a population control facility. as most shelters are in the USA. It is a high kill shelter and no way to get around it. . More animals are euthanized than adopted. .I am not saying that euthanasia is not neccessary , at this point IT IS..But the euthanasia rate can be reduced if things change and a new direction takes place.
    The shelter should not be about a person but the animals, their welfare and care.
    This is a huge problem in our community and we need to change the mentalitly of people and over population of homeless animals.

  10. Should you wish to email our local leaders regarding the animal shelter, following are their email addresses:

    Mayor Leyens:
    mayorleyens@vicksburg.org

    Alderman Mayfield:
    aldermanmayfield@vicksburg.org

    Alderman Beauman:
    sbeauman@vicksburg.org

    Supvr. Flanders:
    cflanders@co.warren.us.ms or
    carlflanders@yahoo.com

    Supvr. Selmon:
    cselmon@co.warren.ms.us

    Supvr. George:
    rgeorge@co.warren.ms.us

    Supvr. McDonald:
    dmcdonald@co.warren.ms.us

    Supvr. Banks:
    wbanks@co.warren.ms.us

  11. Thank you for the email addresses. I hope that all of you who read messages on this forum will participate in emailing input to the city and county officials concerning both governments joining forces to fund a new shelter and hire adequate,professional staff. Then please join the Humane Society and attend meetings so we can get the whole community involved in saving animals.

    I would feel encouraged if more of the regulars who usually post messages on this forum were involved in this topic. Unfortunately, it appears that this subject is not a “hot topic” for them and I’m afraid the same indifference that this community has shown in the past will continue. Please people, make me wrong!

  12. I agree with Betty.. We are a throw away society, out of site out of mind mentality.

  13. I am a regular who posts on Vicksburg Speaks, but my husband has just spent the last ten days in St. Dominic’s and just got home yesterday afternoon, so this is the first time I have even been on this site in as many days.
    Animals are my passion. Anyone who knows me, knows that I will do anything for the little critters! I am feeding numerous Paws Rescue cats, plus others that I have accumulated along the way. In fact, someone dumped a very pregnant cat at our house recently, something I do NOT need, but am I going to call anyone to get her? Nope, she is welcome to eat the food and sleep in a basket by my back door. We’ll figure out what to do when the babies come. I cannot keep them, but hopefully, I can find good homes for them. But that will be several weeks away, just in time for Christmas!
    I don’t know what can be done to get everyone to work together. Do the “powers that be” really care about the animals? I would hope so, but I know that it is not their priority. And yes, there are people who really just think of animals as property, not sweet little babies who need our love. Until that changes, I am afraid that nothing will be done to insure the safety and non-killing of homeless pets. In fact, since I have been at the hospital for 10 days, one of my rescued cats, Scruffy, hasn’t shown up. I am terrified that animal control has picked him up and taken him away, even though he is the sweetest, calmest, most laid back cat you could ever want to meet. Personally, I wish animal control would just “go away” and only the rescue services were involved. Maybe he will get the message that I am back home and come to see me tonight!
    I hope this post makes sense – my brain is kind of overwhelmed at the moment. I just wanted to put in my two cents worth today, since this is such an important issue, at least to me.

  14. Oh, and for the record, I did have someone come to my house everyday to feed and check on the animals. Scruffy just shows up once a day to eat, gets a little cuddlin’from me, and then off he goes, to who knows where. I just wanted to clarify that before some holier than thou person decides that I am a negligent pet owner. And you know SOMEBODY would say something, that is just the nature of these boards. People feel that they have the right to insult anyone for anything, because they are anonymous. Not in the mood for that today.

  15. Tricia, I’m not anonymous and I certainly won’t insult you. I am thankful you care so much for your own cats and any others that show up on your doorstep.

    Scruffy is probably just out scouting around. I doubt animal control has picked him up. I don’t think they pick up too many cats unless someone complained about him. But, to be certain, call the city animal shelter in the morning at 601-636-6982. I think Doris still works there, but if not, ask for Eldridge Skinner. He is wonderful about helping animals and people and he can tell you if Scruffy is there. I bet Scruffy will be home before then though. He will realize you are there.

    If you aren’t a member of the Humane Society, please join because we need your help and please encourage all others to also join and get involved. And as Malcolm said, please email our city and county leaders and encourage them to work together to fund a new bigger and better, well managed Humane Society for the sake of saving more animal’s lives.

  16. Tricia, you are caring and responsible. If more people were , we would not have the problem. Betty is correct that we need a bigger, well managed rescue friendly facility for the animals. The POUND is rescue freindly and we have been pulling dogs from there. The VWHS on the other hand is not! No dogs are leaving for rescue NONE. The adoption rate at any high kill facility is 10 to 15% so you can do the math..

  17. I’ve emailed the following to the eight city/county leaders:

    With VWHS receiving another $50,000 toward building a new animal shelter, and the City of Vicksburg considering building a new shelter of its own, now is a most auspicious time to combine city and county funds and build a world-class animal control/animal rescue facility of which residents of Vicksburg and Warren County can be proud.

    The breakdown in cooperation between the humane society and the rescue organizations can be solved. The needless euthanizing and suffering of hundreds of dogs and cats may be abated by a common adoption and rescue program. A full-time manager and a licensed veterinarian may be hired who together can tend to the needs of the animals and oversee a spay/neuter program. Most of all, the hundreds of animal lovers in our community can come together under the sponsorship of one organization to provide for the needs of all of our abandoned animals.

    Please consider the construction of a new combined city-county animal shelter here in Warren County one of your TOP priorities during the coming year.

    Malcolm Allred

    I hope each of you has called or written these folks, or are considering doing same right away.

  18. I’ve received a reply from the mayor, who says he has been trying to combine the shelters for 6 years. It looks like the supervisors are the folks you need to work on.

  19. Scruffy has yet to show up at the house, Betty, so tomorrow I am going to call the shelters. The bad thing is, if something happened to him while we were at St. Dominic, we wouldn’t know! I know you animal lovers understand how I feel. Everyone else is like, “he’s a cat, you have others,” or they just roll their eyes! It will make me very sad if he doesn’t come home, but what can I do? So, all of you pet lovers out there, wish me luck that he will show up soon! And hopefully I will be able to report, very soon, that he is back on my deck!! Thanks!

  20. A further email from the mayor indicates that he is reasonably sure the aldermen will agree to the combination. So, folks, if you want it to happen, start pounding on your supervisors. Ask your friends and neighbors as well to call or write their supervisors, voicing support for the combined city-county shelter. Numbers count. And just before the election is the perfect time to make them commit to it.

  21. I will be calling David McDonald this morning. I think Carl Flanders would be willing to help if he gets re-elected…and I certainly hope he does.

    We can’t sit back and wait. Like Malcolm said, this is the most opportune time to get something done, especially since Mayor Leyens has indicated he and the aldermen would be willing. That’s half of the battle right there.

  22. I am writing them all today.. Please everyone join in and do this!!!!!!!

  23. Supervisor Flanders has indicated his agreement. Perhaps you’ll want to consider that on election day.

  24. Following is a copy of the Email I have sent Mr. Banks, Mr. Selmon and Mr. George:

    Mr. Supervisor,

    I wanted to know your opinion on combining the Warren County Animal shelter with the City Pound and the other two local rescues.

    As I am sure you are aware a donation of $50,000 towards a new facility recently occurred. This has made the long awaited dream of a new shelter a real possibility in the near future.

    To overcome the control/political issues associated with city and county in this issue I would suggest a Board of Directors to oversee the facility. The Board could consist of one member from each of the four animal rescues and an Executive Director who is not affiliated with any of them to oversee the board.

    I look forward to hearing your views on this and discussing how to come together for the benefit of the animals in Warren County.

    With best regards

    I hope everyone in this forum will communicate with these three remaining hold outs on this issue. This is what motivates government to action – action by the voters.

  25. Alderman Beauman has indicated his support for the combination. At this point you have the mayor, Alderman Beauman, Supvr. Flanders, and probably Alderman Mayfield in favor of the joint facility. Need two more supervisors…

  26. I have sent letter to all the officials

  27. Alderman Beauman did respond to my letter about the merge, he is certainly for it!!
    I am wondering if a meeting of the minds could be discussed once again. I know that all parties have met on this issue and nothing has been done.
    I also would like to know if the membership of the VWHS has any vote in the matter???
    It seeems that the responses have been all positive for the merge. Hope it happens.

  28. I have written David McDonald but I don’t have a reply yet. I will wait to see what he says before I go further. He is my supervisor.

    The rescues would not be combined with the humane society. They are run by individuals separately. They would work along with the humane society in order to get dogs out and placed in breed rescues to adopt out in other parts of the country or sometimes here, thereby giving us a larger field to adopt out to and save more lives. The shelter/humane society here would work mostly with locals and surrounding towns to adopt out. However, I am sure they would be willing to serve on the Board to help run the humane society.

  29. Tricia, has Scruffy come home yet? I do hope he is okay. If he makes it home, you need to sit down and have a serious with that fellow. Is he neutered? If not, that would help.

  30. No, Betty, Scruffy has not shown up yet. We called Animal Control and they don’t have him, nor have they trapped in this area lately. And yes, he is neutered, vaccinated, and is just being a bad little boy! I have driven up and down the streets looking for him, but, nothing. My husband said he probably just went a few blocks farther away, and will eventually get back here, but I am afraid that he may have been hit by a car or something, and we just wouldn’t know because we weren’t here for over a week. I keep checking outside to see if he is sitting there, waiting for his canned cat food, but, again, nothing. I keep hoping his cute little face will be looking at me when I walk out the door.
    He was a stray, but a very tame stray, so I tried to bring him inside at night after I had him fixed, but he certainly didn’t like that one bit. He would sleep on the deck and just “travel” a little during the day, but would always come back. He did this for several months. Then he decided to reverse that, and my husband says that he used our house to rest up, recover from being in fights, and now is healthy and doesn’t see the need to stay! I guess that is true – when he came his fur was coarse, he had cuts and scratches on him, he had rashes. I doctored him up, and now his fur is smooth and soft, his cuts have healed, and he is just a little doll.
    Well, I didn’t mean to write so much, but when it comes to Scruffy, well, you can tell he has me in the pad of his paw!!! I hope I will letting you know soon that he has come home. Thanks, so much, for asking!!

  31. Scruffy is very friendly and will let you pet him on the first meeting. However if I were another cat I think my time on earth would have already ended at Scruffy’s paw.

    I hope he comes to see Mama soon.

  32. Good news!!! Scruffy is living up the street with a family that has a teenage boy!! I went searching again, and then there he was, I stopped, and it turns out that the boy is the grandson of my good next door neighbor!!! What a small world, or at least, a small neighborhood! I loved on Scruffy, brought him home, but he was anxious to get back to the boy, so I took him back, kissed and hugged him, and sent him on his merry way. I have no doubt he will continue to visit me,when he feels like a little stroll, but if he is with a loving family, well, then, what more can I ask? I love him dearly, and do wish he would stay here, but he is happy, so I will be happy, too!!!
    I can breathe a sigh of relief now, though!!!!!

  33. We can breathe a sigh of relief right along with you, Tricia! I am so glad to know he is alright. He will most likely travel from your house to the young boy’s house from now on.

    My daughter has a cat called DooLilly who does the same thing. He was a tomcat until recently and he was neutered. He just travels back and forth from the two houses to either be petted or to be fed. He has the best of both worlds..loved and fed at both houses. So will it be for Scruffy!

  34. You know, wouldn’t it be great if we could do that, too? You know, go somewhere for a pat on the head and a meal?!!
    And I love the name “DooLilly”! Where on earth did your daughter come up with that? Although I named one of the strays “Yvonne”, not the normal name for a cat!!
    I appreciate your sigh of relief, also. It helps!!

  35. WTG Scruffy.
    WTG Trish.

  36. Stacey & her family come up with all kinds of crazy names. They have about 15 cats and love them all. The rest of the names are Bubblelicious, CindyLooHoo, Diva, Tipsy, LittleLou, Izzy, Shopkitty, LittleUg, BigHeadEd,
    Nieger, Pumba, Schnickerdoodle, Scooterina, and Peanut.
    It’s a good thing we live in the country!

  37. Okay, here is a weird thing that has happened in the cat world at my house. You know the “pregnant” cat that I mentioned? Well, we thought “she” was going into labor yesterday, especially since we thought we saw half of a kitten hanging out. I called the Animal Medical Clinic and talked to them about what to do, the kitten just wouldn’t be born. They told me what to do, but we wanted to give nature a chance to do the right thing. So, we get back, and it is the same way, so my brave son-in-law who is visiting this weekend, put on some latex gloves to pull the kitten out. I held the cat by the shoulders and he looks, and it is not a kitten, the cat was a male and these were his testicles, swollen beyond belief! Now, this cat had an extremely distended stomach, looking just like a pregnancy, and since I saw it in a basket most of the time, I didn’t see it from behind, it looked pregnant! And I have seen lots of pregnant cats! We just freaked out, needless to say, he ate a little bit, and then hunkered down by the azalea bushes. This morning, he was gone, didn’t come for food, nothing. Late this afternoon, I caught a whiff of something not so pleasant and found him dead in the azalea bushes. He apparently was very sick. I am worried MY cats will get whatever he had, but he was here about three to four weeks, and at least spent the end of his life with plenty of food and water, a warm basket to sleep in, and a pat on the head and a kind word every day. I can feel good about that, even though I am sad that a kitty died.
    Anyway, that is my sad tale, but he was suffering, so he crossed over the Rainbow Bridge into a better place.

  38. Mr. Richard George, President of the Board of Supervisors, called me to suggest a meeting to discuss my request (by email) that the city and county consider combining efforts to improve animal control/rescue operations. As a result, we had a very satisfying conversation of over an hour’s length. During this time I found Mr. George to be quite open to the subject, though he enumerated the many differences between the situations faced by city and county that will make a totally homogeneous approach difficult.

    The most significant thing to come from the meeting was our discussion about forming an “advisory council” to study the possibility of combining as much of the city-county functions and facilities as possible. He feels the other supervisors will be willing to allow such a committee to be formed, and will likely listen to and consider its recommendations. He does want to wait until after the election to proceed, perhaps even after the first of the year. He suggests the council be made up of 3-5 interested people, but worries that passions and emotions could stymy progress. The membership, therefore, should be composed of solid, sincere, experienced, and dependable people who can carefully consider the pros and cons of each aspect of the consolidation without becoming inflamed during the discussion.

    The city has indicated its support for a combined approach, but the formation of an “advisory council” to study same has not been broached with them. I will contact them and hope that they will concur with this direction.

    Should the “advisory council” be formed, the leaders of the city and county, and perhaps the VWHS and the rescue groups, will want to involve themselves with the selection of its members. Your recommendations for its membership would certainly be considered as well.

    I sincerely hope that members of the VWHS, the rescue groups, other interested parties, and representatives of the city and county agree with this approach to bettering the treatment of our abandoned animals (along with the possibility of saving some tax dollars). However, if any of you wish to offer a different approach or idea, feel free to do so.

  39. Malcolm, that is outstanding news. You just might get my vote for man of the year for:

    1.)Creating a site where the free exchange of ideas can occur.

    2.)Keeping the animal rescue issue a hot topic.

    3.)Getting a response from the Board of Supervisors.

    Way to go Malcolm!! Keep the positive energy flowing and hopefully it will be contagious. You are the man.

  40. Something that just occurred to me…The Ceres Plantation building seems large enough to house a proper facility for the animals, and enough land to walk them. The money already raised could be used to create the offices and facilities inside the structure. Add in the Sherrif Joe idea of allowing inmates to staff some of the positions. Use the ‘advisory council’ to oversee it and there you go.

  41. The old Animal Medical Clinic is for sale or last I heard. This building needs to be looked at. There is also room for expansion and the location is good. Exam room, surgical room etc. The kennels in the back can house about 50 dogs, it is very nice. There is a fenced in area the dogs could be walked in or allowed to run one at the time.
    The key would be to start a low cost spay/neuter program to the public to cut back on the population. Over population is the main factor, this needs to be addressed. Louisiana has the BIG FIX RIG that goes around the state offering low cost spay and neuter.
    The advisroy board has to consist of people who are knowledgeable of all facets of a shelter, rescue and otherwise.

  42. Debbie I agree that the advisory board has to consist of people who are knowledgeable of all facets of a shelter, add in someone who is impartial to oversee the board. This would eliminate someone from one of the groups taking the top spot and pushing their agenda only. The ‘executive’ could also provide professional level support for the budgeting and functionality of the group.

  43. I have to say I would really appreciate it if the city or the VWHS would help the elderly with a cheaper spay/neuter program. I have called around and found a program that gives out vouchers for 1/2 price spay/neuter for animals but that is still extremely difficult for the elderly that is on a fixed budget.

    I think that an advisory committee is an excellent idea as well as getting the inmates a chance to work with the animals at the shelter. Their work would be free and that would help save some money that the shelter would have to pay out.

  44. According to an article in the Clarion Ledger dated October 9, the Humane Society of the United States gave a grant to the Vicksburg Warren Humane Society for a low cost spay/neuter program to be used in our area:

    http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071009/NEWS/71009002

    In the Vicksburg Post, Georgia Lynn, President of the VWHS was quoted as saying the HSUS gave $15,000. toward the building fund. If this is the same grant money, it should be going toward helping citizens of Warren County, such as “boredstiff” get animals spayed/neutered, which would cut down the over population problem enormously. Over population is the number one cause that we have to have shelters in the first place.

    If the HSUS gave that grant money for a spay/neuter program, then that is what that money should be used for. Did the Vicksburg Post report this erroneously or has the Board of Directors of the Humane Society decided to deny the citizens of Warren County the low cost spay/neuter program that HSUS gave for that purpose?

  45. Unless you own your own business, or are independently wealthy (I think the Prize Patrol can’t find my street!), aren’t we ALL on a “fixed” income? We cannot willy-nilly raise our pay, nor can we “dip” into a reserve to take care of things like the cost of frivilous things like a vet bill, hospital bills, groceries, etc.! It would be great to have a low cost spay/neuter program for everybody! And then you are right, Betty, there wouldn’t be the dire need that we have now for shelters. And it’s turned cold – little babies need a warm place to sleep! That is why I have cat beds on my deck, so they can treat my house like a bed and breakfast, whenever they need it, just like that poor little kitty who just passed away.
    And if the money is for the low cost program, that is what it should go to, not the building fund, or whatever else, unless they were told it was for anything that was needed.

  46. The grant money the HSUS gave the VWHS is not for a building fund. It is specifically for low cost spay/neuter for those who cannot afford to have this service done. Hattiesburg shelter got the same grant. The money has to be expertly accounted for and reported back to the HSUS. It was donated for the sole purpose to help with the overpopulation of animals by spay/neuter. Not a building fund.
    I have not seen any promotion of this low cost spay/neuter funding by the VWHS. Do you all realize how many animals could be spayed and neutered with 15,000.00? And what an impact it would have on the over population problem in our community.
    Building a new facility is wonderful, merging of the city and the county would be great. But to have a real impact we have to start with the problem and that is over population.
    I also need to tell you that the low cost spay and neuter mobile unit had ask if they could come to Vicksburg and this was DECLINED!!!!!
    The only way we are going to make a difference is to start being realistic and responsible. Spay and neuter is the long-term answer to the problem. If there are fewer animals the cost of providing, housing, care and euthanasia will be reduced. The numbers of animals dying needlessly will be less. This is a solution to the problem.

  47. […] made in combining efforts of VWHS, city & county The previous topic on this subject (Combine VWHS and the City pound – is now the time?) has become too long for convenient posting; a new topic concerned with the same subject is offered […]

  48. In reading through the posts, I had several questions regarding the release of animals to rescue. If someone relinquishes a purebred animal to the Humane Soc. Shelter, would that animal not be released to one of the breed rescues? What is the reason given for not allowing a rescue to obtain an animal from the shelter? In adopting some kittens recently from the Hum.Soc.Shelter, I found they were filled with fleas, ear mites, and parasites according to the vet’s office. Another one of their litter mates taken to the vet’s office was so ill, it was not expected to survive. Are the animals not checked/treated at all by the shelter before adopting them out? For what reason was the offer of the low-cost mobile surgical unit declined and by whom? Vet care costs have increased so sharply that with multiple animals, it is very difficult for anyone to cover the costs. What kind of power struggle is everyone referring to that is standing in the way of doing what is needed for the welfare of the animals? I am not privy to the goings on of any of these groups so I apologize in advance for all of the questions. Thank you.

  49. Nonner, your questions are the same issues that we have been discussing on this forum. These are the reasons we feel it would benefit this community for the city and county to merge and build and staff a much larger, new facility with a professional manager and vet techs. Animals would be cared for properly and would never be adopted out in the conditions you mentioned above. There is simply no reason why those kittens should have had fleas, ear mites and parasites. To be honest, that is total neglect of the staff members of the shelter and you should have reported it to Georgia Lynn, the President of the Humane Society or one of the members of the Board.

    Animals should be thorougly inspected and treated on intake and followed up on daily. From what I understand from the staff, Georgia nor the Board members rarely go to the Humane Society unless VIPs are expected there. When I was on the Board, I was there three or four times weekly and Board members should be. How else will they know what is happening?

    Unfortunately, this community does not have enough people interested in animals to join and support the humane society. Out of over 40,000+ residents of this city and county, only about 200 of those people are members of the VWHS. Everyone wants the animals taken care of, but very few anti-up. The county pays the VWHS $125,000. each year to handle animal control. That is simply not enough money to properly house and care for as many animals that come and go through the shelter. However, there is no excuse for neglect of medical care. A Humane Society is supposed to take care of animals first and foremost.

    As for not working with local rescues, I don’t know the answer to that. It makes no sense to me that they would rather put an animal to sleep than let it go to a rescue that could get it in a good home. Rescues network with other breed rescues nationwide and there is a support system that only those of us who are in it can understand. I am the National Chair of the Otterhound Club of America Rescue and right now I am working with Border Collie Rescue in Washington State about a possible otterhound in Seattle. Often times, breed rescues will even take in a dog or cat that is a mixed breed and place it. It is not humane to deny an animal a chance of a good home. Neither is it humane to keep an animals caged for months.

    I hope this answers some of your questions. The other answers may have to come from Georgia Lynn, President of the Humane Society. However, she may tell you only what she wants you to know. She is pretty good at that.

  50. Everyone involved with the animals should work together. Each local rescue has its own purpose but the same goal – helping the animals. There is really no power or control to it, just a lot of time and work for free, but the rewards are great.

    The control began to be an issue by Georgia Lynn, the President of the Vicksburg Warren Humane Society. The policy on rescue was changed. Rescuers had to be AKC affiliated, which means you belong to a breed club, you show or breed and you pay the money to join the American Kennel Club. Most rescue organizations are not AKC affiliated because they do not breed or show dogs. They just rescue them.

    The VWHS Board, directed by Ms. Lynn, voted that no mixed breed dogs can go to rescue because they may end up in a research lab. Rescues organizations do not send dogs to research labs!! Class B dealers do this. They breed dogs and sell them to research. Reputable rescues have a list of every Class A and B dealers with names and locations and they never sell to research labs. Ms. Lynn gave incorrect information to her Board.

    Rescue organizations take in purebred and mixed breed dogs everyday and they are kept in foster home until they are placed. Those dogs are doomed in shelters unless rescue services get them out. They do not have a chance of getting help unless they are adopted locally and there are not enough homes locally. Actually, animals are better off in rescue organizations than shelters because they are kept in foster homes until placed, the rescues take applications, check references, do home checks, check veterinarians and after the animals are placed, they do follow up checks to make certain the animals are well cared for and happy. Shelters cannot do this.

    If rescue transports a dog to another breed specific rescue, the transport is monitored every step of the way to ensure the dog has arrived safely to the destination

    .

    My partners and I had asked for a meeting with the Board of Directors of VWHS to discuss our rescue, Southern Paws Rescue, however, we were never shown the courtesy of a reply, much less an invitation. The Board, in my opinion, is absolutely clueless about Rescue Organizations and what all it entails. They only know what the President, Georgia Lynn, tells them.

    The VWHS took in over 2000 animals in 2006. The national average for adoption is 15 to 20%. The rest are euthanized. Please understand that I am not saying that we can save all of the animals. We can not. But we “can” save a lot of them. We do save them from other shelters, but not the one here in Vicksburg, because they won’t let us.

    It is a disgrace that people have to have that kind of power and control over animal’s lives. It is the animals who ultimately pay the price. The humane society is supposed to be about taking care of and saving animals, not caging them for months and then euthanizing them for lack of homes when they could be allowing them to find homes elsewhere by cooperating with local rescues.


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