Humane Society hands out free shots, urges spaying, neutering

By DANZA JOHNSON / NEMS Daily Journal

MANTACHIE – Mississippi animal shelters put down more than 73,000 dogs and cats a year, and the Humane Society of the United States wants to decrease that number drastically.
The Humane Society of the United States teamed up with the Tupelo Spay and Neuter Clinic at Mantachie City Park on Saturday to administer free rabies shots and promote the importance of getting pets spayed and neutered.
HSUS spokeswoman Amanda Arrington said the national organization is really targeting their efforts in Mississippi and Louisiana because of the growing problem with cat and dog populations. Offering the free rabies shots for pets was a good way to reel people in for the bigger message of getting pets spayed and neutered.
“The Deep South has a much higher rate of euthanasia in animal shelters and a much lower number of pets being spayed and neutered,” explained Arrington. “That’s a lot of animals being killed every year because of overpopulation. And honestly, Mississippi doesn’t have humane societies in many places, so we actually don’t know how many animals are being killed because of overpopulation.
“Today is a way for us to get people the information they need about spaying and neutering pets and a way to help with the expensive cost of rabies shots.”
Dozens of people came by to get shots for their pets and many signed up to have them spayed or neutered. Michael Riley decided to get his dog neutered after Humane Society staff explained to him the importance of it.
“I came for the rabies shot, but they convinced me that getting Buster fixed would be a benefit to him and other dogs,” said Riley, who lives in Itawamba County. “There are so many strays running around that I guess if more dogs were neutered that wouldn’t be a problem. My dog got pregnant by a stray and we had to give the puppies away and take the rest to the shelter.”
Each person who attended got a free bag of pet food from freekibble.com.

Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.