Man’s — and woman’s best friends need help

Published 10:20 am Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Dogs, cats, puppies and kittens are in need your help.

The Vicksburg Animal Shelter, located at 100 Mill Road, is expected to be underwater during the upcoming Mississippi River crest, which will displace the 40 to 50 animals living onsite, shelter secretary Constance Lenoir said.

Paws Rescue — a private rescue organization operating in Warren County — is helping in the efforts to evacuate the animals, but if they are not able to place all of the animals, Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said a backup plan is being worked out now.

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Flaggs said city officials are exploring options, and will have a concrete plan in place by the high water committee meeting Wednesday at 9 a.m.

“In 2011, they said it took eight days to move them all,” Lenoir said. “We got a good advance warning, so we’re on top of it this time.”

Lenoir said the shelter has experienced a spike in adoptions.

“We’ve been getting adoptions like crazy,” she said. “That’s good; it’s great.”

Paws president Leigh Conerly said the organization is currently trying to pull however many animals they can get into foster care.

Paws Rescue does not have an animal shelter. Rather, the group seeks foster families for animals in need and work to get animals adopted.

“When there’s a crisis situation, we’re going to get them out of there,” she said. “It’s not if, it’s when.”

Conerly said in 2011 the river got to 57 feet and the pound was under water.

“They will all be out of there this week,” she said. “That’s the plan.”

Conerly said they have been in contact with the National Humane Society’s disaster team.

“We’re working with them right now to see what they can help us with,” she said. “We’re trying to pull what we can. We pulled eight cats out this morning.”

Currently, Conerly said Paws is looking for foster families.

“We have a temporary foster application that we have for people who want to temporarily foster or foster until a home is found,” she said. “We’re always looking for foster homes because that’s the only way we can save as many animals as we can.”

When an animal enters Paws’ foster program, the organization pays all medical costs prior to that animal going into someone’s home, Conerly said.

“If we can find homes for them while they’re out, that’s what we’re going to do,” she said.

“Nothing will be put down, I can tell you that.”

Anyone interested in volunteering with Paws Rescue to foster or adopt animals can visit or call 601-529-1535.

To adopt animals directly from the shelter, individuals need to pay a $20 fee to the police department, which includes spay/neuter, a rabies and bordetella vaccines.

For more information about the Vicksburg Animal Shelter, call 601-636-6982.