More South Miss animal hoarding cases; awareness cited

By The Associated Press

BILOXI — In the past three months, authorities confiscated nearly 300 animals from alleged hoarders in South Mississippi.

A Humane Society of South Mississippi spokeswoman tells The Sun Herald she doesn’t think pet hoarding is more rampant. Krystyna Szczechowski (shuh-HOW-skee) says greater awareness is probably the reason for greater numbers of such cases in the area over the past several years.

This month in Kiln, Sharon Merritt and Todd Klibert were arrested on animal cruelty charges and 182 animals confiscated. Authorities said 100 dogs, rabbits, chickens, turkeys, ducks and quail were quickly adopted but all 82 cats were euthanized because of illness.

In March, 117 dogs were found at a vacant home in Stone County. Owner Shirley Gai was booked on one charge of animal cruelty and 117 of animal neglect.