DeSoto County sees alarming rise in number of abandoned pets

By Chip Washington - bio | email

HERNANDO, MS (WMC-TV) - DeSoto County animal rescue shelters are nearly overflowing with animals of all kinds.  Monday, officials said the rate of residents abandoning their pets has risen to levels unseen in recent memory, as the economy takes its toll on both people and animals.

"I see it everyday," said Larry Houston, Director of DeSoto County's Animal Control. "I just did the bank deposit, and last week we had more intakes on surrenders because of the economy than adoptions."

According to Houston, there have been 251 surrenders of dogs and cats in DeSoto County since last October.  Compare that to the last fiscal year, when only 24 surrenders were reported.

Houston said he is quickly running out of room.  

"I can hold 200 animals, and I have about 170 to 175 canines and felines, but it's getting to be a problem," he said.

Ruth Ann Hale, a volunteer with the DeSoto Animal Rescue Society, is urging people to open their homes for either long or short-term care to the homeless pets.

"You are out no money," she said. "Our animal rescue group pays for food, shelter and medical care, so its basically giving your home and your love."

The DeSoto County Animal Rescue Society is not a shelter, receives no taxpayer funds, and operates solely on donations and fundraisers.   If you want more information on how you can adopt pet, click here.

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