Puppy Population Booms Post Katrina

Normally the South Mississippi Humane Society receives about 80 puppies each month. Now after the storm, since fences have been knocked down and animals are freely roaming, they're getting about 250 dogs a month.

This is a huge problem that animal advocates say you can help to alleviate.

Collen Nygen came to South Mississippi during her Christmas vacation to do some volunteer work with Hands On USA. She had no idea she would get her hands on "Biloxi."

"We have already named him Loxi. His first name Bill and his middle name is Loxi so he will be Bill Loxi," Nygen.

Nygen has been here for one week. Sunday, she will return to her home in Lincoln, Nebraska with something extra in the back of her caravan.

"We live on 80 acres we have two dogs and two cats and 20 chickens, so one more little guy... he will fit right in," Nygen.

That little dog was lucky, but the South Mississippi Humane Society currently houses hundreds of animals that are begging to find a home. The sad truth is that when kennels are unable to take care of these animals, they are put to sleep.

Tara High, the executive director of the Humane Society, says she does not welcome that option.

"Its got to be something that our entire community accepts. To say that it is no longer acceptable to kill to control, there is a better way," said High.

One way is to get your animals spayed or neutered.

Through the generosity of pet smart and other organizations, the Humane Society has received grants to offer free neutering to pet owners.

"We know that everybody has had their own issues to deal with and we are trying to extend a helping hand for those who have pets and care for them, but just can't afford it now," said High.

This is a simple solution that High hopes many South Mississippians will take advantage of.

The number to call to have your pet spayed or neutered is 868-8610. And if you would like to become a foster parent you can call the South Mississippi Humane Society at 863-3354.

by Keitha Nelson