Shelter sees animals abandoned, puppies stolen

Published 8:58 am Friday, February 3, 2017

A series of nighttime visits by people to the Vicksburg Warren-Humane Society on U.S. 61 South is forcing director Georgia Lynn to take action to catch the trespassers.
“In the month of January, we’ve had 12 animals tossed on our property overnight and four puppies stolen,” she said. “That’s just one month.”
The latest drop off, she said, was a Chihuahua less than a year old.
The dog was left in a small animal carrier that was pushed over a 7-foot gate at the entrance to one of the kennels on the property. The dog’s empty water dish and stand, dog bed and a bag of food were also left in the kennel next to the carrier holding the dog.
“That animal was dropped off like a piece of trash in the kennel,” Lynn said. “Somebody must have been in a big hurry to do that.”
She said the dog “is sweet, well-manned and loves people. I can’t see what could make someone so callous as to leave an animal like that, and to leave it without any water.”
Lynn said people who wish to drop off animals can come to the Humane Society office Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 11 to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is closed Wednesday and Sunday.
“People are welcome to bring their animals during those times,” she said.
She said people dropping off animals at the Humane Society shelter fill out one of two forms, an owner surrender form or a form if the animal is picked up by someone as a stray. The owner surrender form includes information about the dog’s age, its medical history and any other information the owner giving up the pet can provide.
The form for strays includes information where and when the dog was found and the circumstances involved with the discovery.
“We also ask for the person’s phone number in case we have any other questions,” Lynn said, adding the form for strays can help Humane Society officials get a missing animal back to its owners.
“When someone drops off an animal after hours or at night, we don’t have that information and it makes it the adoption process much harder,” she said. She said the dog dropped off in the kennel appeared to have some minor medical issues.
“I’m going to get its medical problems cleared up, and then we will get her adopted,” she said.
As for the trespassers, Lynn said she is having a sign placed on the property warning people to stay off the property after hours, and examining getting high resolution, low light cameras to aid in identifying people who come to the property late at night, and get their vehicle license numbers.
She has also asked the Vicksburg Police Department for extra patrols on the property at night.
Besides trespassing charges, she said people who leave animals, especially vulnerable animals like puppies or kittens, in dangerous conditions or without water could face criminal charges under state animal cruelty laws, which would result in a felony charge on the second offense.

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About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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