Animal Advocates Present "Proof Of Shelter Abuse" To Waveland Officials - - The News for South Mississippi

Animal Advocates Present "Proof Of Shelter Abuse" To Waveland Officials

The national animal advocacy group "In Defense of Animals" wants the director and staff of the Waveland Animal Shelter fired.

As we first reported in January, the group says it has proof that the animals are not being properly cared for at the shelter. Tuesday night, group leaders presented their findings to the Waveland Board of Aldermen.

"I'd like to leave these photos with you. They came from your own shelter. And I would hope none of ya'll would want none of your animals to end up in some of these conditions," Debbie Young with "In Defense of Animals" said.

The photos show filthy animal cages, a dead puppy in the midst of an entire litter, and injured animals that group members say went days without any medical attention.

"That's the problem, it's consistent. We don't want somebody to get in trouble or something to happen, except that the minimum standards be met. That's all we're asking. These animals have been through enough, too. The pictures don't lie. They all came from your shelter and there is a problem there," Young said.

Two former shelter workers spoke out as well.

"You can't have animals living like this. Them animals that's in that shelter would be better off on the street, cause at least they could drink out the ditches and eat garbage out of garbage cans. They shouldn't have to live like this," former shelter director Valerie Viescas said.

"I love that shelter more then anybody who works there now. And I'm sorry to use names, but it just disgusts me to know that shelter has gone down... When me and Valerie and Thomas worked there, it was clean, dogs were fed water. We didn't have eight or nine puppies shoved in one cage together, feces everywhere. It's just unbelievable that ya'll would let this keep going on at the shelter," former shelter employee Rachael Steele said.

Mayor Tommy Longo said the shelter staff is dealing with some tough circumstances and the old building is one of them. But, he said, improvements are being made.

"So those are things we're going to work with Michelle, with her guidance, to try to address," Mayor Longo said.

The current shelter director, Renee Lick, was not at the meeting, but has said in the past that the animals were well cared for. She says she doesn't understand why the allegations of animal cruelty have surfaced.

by Al Showers

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