By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The Tupelo-Lee Humane Society issued a plea for volunteers this week as it struggles to keep pace with record numbers amid a staff shortage.
The nonprofit agency needs people to fill a variety of roles related to the care of animals. Jobs include feeding and bathing animals, walking dogs, washing towels, cleaning food bowls and separating newspapers that line the cages.
“It’s high intake season, and we have a lot of animals that need to be taken care of,” said TLHS coordinator Emily Morris. “We are so full.”
Late spring ushers in droves of unwanted puppies and kittens conceived during peak mating season. They quickly have overwhelmed the cramped facility, located at 2400 S. Gloster St.
Mewling kittens – as many as six per cage – crowd an entire room. Others share space in a makeshift area typically reserved for sick animals.
Puppies also pose a problem. Because the shelter lacks enough space for them all, some dogs must live in cages lining the hallway. Others are packed into large tubs on the floor.
More animals means more work – more cleaning, more feeding, more washing, more walking – yet the agency just lost two employees, adding further strain to the system.
The situation became so dire that, on Thursday, the shelter closed to the public just to catch up on all the work.
“It’s ongoing,” said Betsy Brown, a former TLHS board member and longtime volunteer who spent Monday washing loads of towels at the shelter. “We need help all the time, but especially now.”
Brown said many volunteers enjoy interacting with the animals. But for those who do not, she said the agency has plenty of other opportunities. It even needs someone to cut grass and prune shrubs.
Children also are welcome. Those under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Fourteen and up can volunteer unattended, said Director Debbie Hood.
THE TUPELO-LEE HUMANE SOCIETY needs volunteers to help care for animals and perform other tasks. Everyone is welcome, including children. Those under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
FOR MORE INFO, call (662) 841-6500 or visit www.tupeloleehumane.org