Shelter euthanizes record number of animals over weekend

TUPELO – If more people don’t get their pets spayed and neutered, last weekend’s euthanization of more than 100 animals at the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society could become a routine occurrence.
With the shelter well over capacity and with more requests for animals to be taken in, Director Debbie Hood and her staff had no choice but put down 39 dogs and 64 cats. Most of the animals were healthy.
“It was a very hard holiday for our staff,” Hood said Thursday. “That was the most animals I’d had to euthanize at one time since I’ve been here. We all took it very hard. Everyone works here does it because we love animals, so to have to go through that was very difficult.”
Even after euthanizing 102 animals, the shelter was still full with 220 others.
Hood said it is not unusual for the shelter to be full this time of year because the animals mate in the spring. Cats, she said, are especially abundant because after they have one litter of kittens they usually have another litter immediately.
In June the shelter took in 943 animals and 635 had to be euthanized.
That’s why Hood stresses adoption, educating the public and, most important, getting animals spayed and neutered.
“We don’t want to have another weekend like the one we just had,” said Hood. “That’s why we want people to get their pets taken care of. It is best for the community and for the pets. My goal is to turn the shelter into a zero kill facility and all these things can help towards that goal.”
About 72 percent of the animals taken in at the shelter are euthanized, a number Hood said she hopes to drop to 30 percent within the next two years and 10 percent within four.
One bright spot, she said, is that adoptions are up so far this year.

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

Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal