Abandoned Dogs A Problem In One Gautier Neighborhood - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

08/22/05

Abandoned Dogs A Problem In One Gautier Neighborhood

Dog abandonment is becoming a serious problem in one Gautier neighborhood.

Residents in College Park say numerous dogs walk the streets daily. They're left behind when their owners move away.

Animal control officials say it's a problem that plagues all municipalities and counties.

Velma Packer lives on Woodside Drive. One dog in particular is such a regular sight, the neighborhood children decided to name him. "Little Snoofy," as they call him, was most likely abandoned.

"He's a sweet dog and he'll sit there and play with you. I just don't understand how someone can leave him like that," Packer says.

But Snoofy's not alone. He has other orphaned friends to play with.

"I've seen those two. I've seen three around the corner. It's two hand fulls," resident Sylvia Graham says.

The dog that once lived in a nearby house was also left behind.

"They said they were leaving town. They got their stuff. The next day, the dog was still in the yard. They never came back," Packer says.

The neighbors are getting aggravated.

"If you're going to get a dog, take care of it and take it with you. Why leave it? That's your responsibility. Would you leave a child?" Graham asks.

"It happens all of the time," Jackson County Animal Shelter Director Bill Richmond says.

Richmond says half of the animals at the shelter were left behind at homes or dumped on the side of the road.

He believes owners fear their pet will be euthanized if they bring it to the shelter. But Richmond says the animals are better off there than on the streets.

"That animal is subjected to being hit by a car, getting sick, wild animals getting ahold of it, especially cats. The best thing to do is bring it to the shelter and let us do the best we can to find a home for it," Richmond says.

Luckily for Little Snoofy, the neighbors take care of him. But not all abandoned animals are so fortunate.

By Jaimee Goad

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