Opinion: City/county animal control – it’s time for action

Despite efforts to the contrary, it appears that a consolidation of the city and county animal control programs will not happen. As a result, a common, state-of-the-art shelter is no longer considered probable.

At the present time, animal control in our county is handled as follows: Since the county supervisors donate about $100,000 per year to the Vicksburg Warren Humane Society, the humane society has made a decision to serve only residents outside the city limits (even though city residents pay the bulk of county taxes).  The VWHS shelter is filled; most of its occupants will be killed. The city controls and shelters animals at its small facility off North Washington Street. At the present time the city shelter is filled to overflowing with kittens and dogs, most of which, despite the efforts of the shelter manager and Southern Paws Rescue, will be killed. An effective county-wide spay and neuter program is not in practice.

The city has indicated it will go forward with construction or purchase of another shelter, and will endorse a spay and neuter program for animals within the city limits. The VWHS plans to build a new shelter on its property on Highway 61S.

Opinion: It is reprehensible that a county-wide spay and neuter policy is not in place. Baring a last-minute agreement with the county board, it is time for the city to place the policy in force, and to build or buy a new or replacement shelter. The county board should likewise place a strong spay and neuter program in effect, and should remind the VWHS that city residents are county taxpayers, and deserve the same level of service given non-city residents.

Your opinions are invited.

Published in: on June 10, 2008 at 8:25 am  Comments (18)  

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  1. Many more animals will have to be killed because the public won’t spay or neuter their pets. With the cost of living getting higher each day, this means more people will skip adequate care and sterilization of their pets because it “costs too much”. The animals are the ones who pay the price of being born.

    A county wide spay/neuter program has long been needed.
    Other cities and counties have them. The humane society says they cannot afford to do it because they don’t have “enough money”, but they have almost $450,000. in their treasury waiting to build a new building while animals are being born and put to death. This does not sound “humane” to me. Why not save them from being born? If we had a low cost spay/neuter program through them along with fund raisers, they could save lives from being born AND build the new building.

    The county says they don’t have “enough money”, yet I read they give away $600,000. of “our” tax dollars to charities each year, which I also read is not legal. Feel free to correct me if this is inaccurate. I read this in the Vicksburg Post last year.

    The city wants to offer a low cost spay/neuter program which will help city people, but not the county residents. I commend Mayor Leyens for feeling that the animals are a responsibility of the city and county and that they need to be actively involved. The city residents pay county taxes and yet the humane society won’t service them. The county pays them $100,000 or maybe more because the Supervisors don’t want to be bothered with any animal problems.

    Am I the only person who sees something wrong with this picture? Take the time to go to the Humane Society or the City Pound and look at those baby kittens and puppies who are destined for death just because they were born! It’s easy to look the other way and not care when you don’t see them.


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    Minimum # of appointments required for all dates to have spay/neuter clinic. Anyone can apply…cost depends on income.

  3. If the county embraced the idea of spaying and neutering pets it would result in the Humane Society losing funding over a period of time.

    If those in the Humane Society (operated locally under contract with the county) truly had the welfare of the animals at heart they would embrace this ideology.

    They would not need a larger facility if they had a spay/neuter program in place. They would need a smaller budget.

    Another example of short sided thinking by the County Supervisors.

  4. JustSayin is right on! A county wide spay neuter program is long overdue.

  5. You would think they would embrace the idea of low cost spay, neuter. It is the only way to cut back on the thousands of animals euthanized in the city and county on a yearly basis.In the long run a low cost spay neuter program will save a lot of money, funding that could be used to other advantages for the animals.
    There are not enough homes for all of the animals born in this county or nationwide. Euthanasia will continue for a long time to come,but starting now to get some control will make a tremendous difference. Some shelters I work with have a mobile spay neuter unit which goes to the rural areas in their vicinity.
    People do not have a realistic picture of the numbers of shelters all across the country and the numbers of animals tht these places take in on a steady basis.
    Most sheters have on premisies a spay/neuter facility so any animal adopted will be altered before it leaves to go to the new home. We are behind the times.
    We are not trying to solve the problem but are adding to it. The city sheter needs to have a spay/neuter adoptin policy. the animlas leaving there, may or may not be getting alterd. If an owner reclaims a dog and it is back on the street. , tht is adding to the problem. Costing us taxpayers more in the long run and more animals will be euthanized becuase of over population. The fact of the matter is most shelters and pounds are POPULATION CONTROL facilities. 10 to 15% of the animals are adopted the others are euthanized. What are they suppose to do with all the unwanted animals and how humane is it to keep animals kenneled for months on end. Space is always a key factor.. I can say that many animals at the City Pound have gone to rescues or have found good homes in Warren County and some have gone to other states. But still the numbers are there with no where to go.. .
    If so many politics were not involved , there would be one shelter here with a spay/neuter clinic., it would be cost effecient, the animals would be better cared for during the stay.
    A few months agao I recieved a call from a man that saw a little dog tht had been hit by a car and it was laying in a culvery. We had bad weather, lots of rain and more coming. The dog( maltese mix) could not move, he would have drowned. I ask the man did he call the Humane society, he said he did call them, BUT even though the dog was a 1/4 of a mile from that facility, they would not go get the dog, the dog was just in the city limits. My partner who lives in that area went and picked up the dog and took him straight to the vet (Saturday after hours) He had orthopedic surgery on his leg, he had a fractured pelvis. he had 8 weeks of recovery time and will go to his new home this coming weekend.
    Even though we( city dwellers) pay county taxes there is a line drawn, City /County. This is the problem..it becomes not about the Humanity of helping our animals but other political agendas. It is wrong. Very wrong.
    There are no personal gains or glory when dealing with the animals, it is for a lot of us all volunteer,no pay, back breaking , 7 days a week, work. Correcting behavior problems, tending to the sick, running back and forth the the vets office, giving medication. bathing. housebreaking and dealing with dogs that have been severly neglected or abused. the only reward is when you get them well, place them in a screened home , you smile and you get ready for the bnext ones..There are always more.
    It takes more than a few people to really make a difference and we should certainly have a fiacitlity that can help in the process.

  6. Well said, Debbie. Without people like you, the number of abused and suffering animals would far higher. There’s a special place in heaven for you and your kind. There are many rescue groups around the country who are similarly doing their part for abandoned animals – we should all be doing our share by joining them and helping in whatever way we can.

  7. A city/county facility working together, funded equally, with a spay/neuter program will, in the long run, cut way down on the over population of animals in Warren County. There is nothing worse than looking at precious kittens and puppies and knowing they will be killed the next day because there are no homes for them. Go the City Pound and the Humane Society and look at them rather than thinking someone else will do it.

    Each of you on this forum have a chance to make a difference! Call your Supervisors now and let them know that this is what you want. The City is ready to do move forward with this, but to do it right, the County needs to be involved also. It is their responsibility just as much or more, since they cover a larger area, than the city.

    It is time we all work together to stop the killing of unwanted animals. Please do your part.

  8. The possibility of having one state of the art shelter may not be likely, so the City Shelter has to improve. Eldridge and his staff do a great job abd the animals there do have a good chance of getting out to a home or rescue. Most people think the City Shelter is just terrible. I can tell you for a fact it is far from terrible. The shelter does need improvement,an addition for adoptable well animals. , a bath tub, vaccine, wormer and other things that would help Eldridge to do his job better and be able to take care of the needs of the animals. I am talking about the “Basic” needs for the shelter.
    I have worked with many animal control officers in other shelters and states. I will tell you that Eldridge is right up there with some of the finest. Not all care about the animals because it is a lot easier to put them down or throw in a gas chamber than tend to them or hold them.
    The City Pound has worked with rescues as far away as Illinois and dog and cats alike have found homes through networking with rescues and petfinders.
    Kimberly Mansfield who is with Southern Paws Rescue has focused on getting the numerous labs or lab mixes to lab rescues with great success. Eldridge has been appreciative and very receptive to any help from rescues he can get. There has to be some balance to shelter life to stay in it. You have to help some because there are those you can not save. The job does have it emotional side.
    I as a tax payer would like to see the City improve the City Shelter, if having one shelter for the City and County can not be a realization.
    I will say this also, if one of my dogs were ever picked up, Thanks goodness I live in the CITY!!

  9. I don’t see why the city/county can’t work together & have a huge building for them all & have a spay/neuter program. My daughter lives in an apartment complex here & a pregnant cat has shown up there so naturally she’s feeding it. She can’t just ignore her. It breaks my heart to see neglected animals all over Vicksburg or anywhere for that matter. People should be hung for their neglect & abuse to animals!!

  10. Jenny,
    Your daughter can Call 1-866-901-7729. MS SPAN and get assistance in having the cat spayed. There are so many homeless cats and kittens at the City Pound. I hate to see any more born to die..

  11. The city and county need to work together but they do not. Of course you need to remember , we are talking about dogs and cats. I do not think all the supervisors really care about the benefit of the animals and what this would mean to our city and county if one shelter and spay netuer program was active. Do they even really care…

  12. They will care if enough people write or call them on the issue.

    The city is willing and from what I can gather a majority on the county board are willing. What they are not willing to do is work together for our benefit.

  13. Everyone needs to call and write the supervisors. yes the mayor is very willing !!!
    This subject has been going on for 7 long years and nothing has been accomplished!! My thought on the issue is if the county will not merge with the City then the City should move forward with improving the pound and giving Eldrridge what he needs to run it properluy. They need to have an adoption policy with a spay.neuter contract.
    As I said before it is politics and the people preventing this from happening and it may never happen..

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