Pets need to be fixed
As needed as an animal shelter is in our county, the even greater need is to try to encourage the citizens of Simpson County to spay and neuter their pets. Building another shelter or rescue is like sticking band-aids on the cracks of a dam, trying to hold back the flood of unwanted animals in our county and in the South in general. We need to attack the problem at its roots and the solution for that is to pass an animal ordinance that requires spaying and neutering of dogs and cats in Simpson County.
Pet owners should be required to spay and neuter their dogs and cats to end the over population problem we have in the South. It is a health hazard, an economic drain on shelters, rescues, local governments, etc., not to mention the cruelty to the animals that are dumped, starved and abused. One way to encourage the spaying and neutering of pets is to require residents to register their animals. If you have a dog or cat that is already spayed and neutered then the registration would be $5.00 per animal. If the animal is NOT spayed and neutered then the registration would be $150.00 per animal. There are low cost spay and neuter clinics in Hattiesburg and Pearl where residents of Simpson County could have their pets altered for a reasonable rate, plus there are vouchers available for lower income families that can be used for reduced cost spays/neuters with participating veterinarians.
I grew up in Simpson County and moved away for many years. When I moved back to take care of my elderly parents twenty years ago I was stunned by the number of neglected and abused animals I saw on a daily basis. It is why I started fostering and rescuing. I would love to never rescue another abandoned litter of puppies. I would love to never have to nurse back to health a neglected, abused animal. I love animals, but I would love even more to NEVER rescue another one again. I have fostered hundreds of puppies and dogs that were sent to the northeast United States to be adopted into good homes. Do you know why the northern states are able to take so may of our southern strays? Because they have put into effect animal control ordinances encouraging pet owners to spay and neuter their dogs and cats and therefore don’t have a problem with animal overpopulation like we do in the South. It is past time for our local government to pass an animal ordinance that will actually reduce the number of unwanted animals in our county. Don’t wait on the State of Mississippi to do the right thing and pass laws and ordinances. Set an example Simpson County by doing the right thing, first.
Cindy Mullins Austin