JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - June was a tough month for the Jackson County Animal Shelter.
Adoption coordinator Maridee Mallette says they had to put down more dogs and cats in June than they've had to all year. But, Mallette says the shelter still maintains a 73 percent live-release rate.
"It breaks my heart. It hurts me to the core. It's sad, there's so many animals," said volunteer Jeanene Martin. "When we have an adoption event, people think we made room so they take their animal in....it's every day."
Overcrowding has become a serious issue for the shelter.
"With all the spaying and neutering we do and rescues and adoptions, they just keep coming in. People think we're saving them all, so I guess they think they can bring their pet to the shelter. Which, of course, we will take them. But we run out of cages."
Of course the first plan of action is for shelter employees and volunteers to temporarily take in or foster the surplus pets. But, all of them are currently at their limits.
According to shelter director Joe Barlow, 578 animals came into the shelter last month. Around 300 pets were adopted.
"We are not a high-kill shelter. We are a county-run municipality which means we take in every animal from the county and surrounding cities. So, we don't turn anybody away. When we run out of cages, where do we put the animals? So we have to euthanize," said Mallette.
There are two ways the community can help.
"Spay and neuter your animals. Foster, please foster," said Martin. "We always need more fosters. You don't keep them forever, you try to network them on Facebook, Twitter, wherever you can and try to get them a home," said Mallette.
There are several specials going on, including no adoption fees. All adopted pets are spayed or neutered for free.