The Humane Society of South Mississippi operates a wonderful facility in Gulfport. But it has its limits. Designed to shelter 289 animals, it housed 401 on Wednesday.
The number of animals at the shelter increased dramatically this week when a Tylertown man surrendered 104 dogs and puppies to HSSM. He has since been charged with animal cruelty.
To make room for the dogs, HSSM sent out a desperate plea for the adoption of kittens it was sheltering.
“Here at HSSM and in animal shelters across the nation, we are in the midst of what we call Kitten Season,” said Tara High, HSSM executive director. “But now we are adding this emergency situation on top of Kitten Season and we desperately need help from our community to save every life possible at this time.”
Remarkably, the community responded by taking more than 50 kittens, said Krystyna Szczechowski, HSSM marketing specialist.
Szczechowski said it will be a week or longer before any of the dogs taken from Tylertown – mostly Boston terriers, dachshunds, Yorkshire terriers and Chihuahua – are ready for placement. But HSSM has hundreds more animals immediately available.
An effective spay/neuter program must also be part of the solution.
“There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding and misconceptions about how old a pet has to be to be fixed, how early they can go into heat or become sexually mature, and the ability for litter mates to produce litters of their own,” said Szczechowski.
“We will be doing a special spay/neuter fee of $20 for dogs and cats under 6 months during June,” she said.
So if you have a young dog or cat, take advantage of the June discount. Or if you would like a dog or cat, young or old, take advantage of the ample supply now available at 2615 25th Ave. (U.S. 49 just north of Pass Road).
Sun Herald, Biloxi/Gulfport