Waveland Animal Shelter Under Investigation

The Waveland Animal Shelter is under investigation. The advocacy group "In Defense of Animals" out of Grenada is looking into allegations of alleged animal abuse at the facility.

The group's chief investigator made a surprise visit to the Waveland Animal Shelter to investigate complaints that dogs and cats here are being neglected. The group says one dog with a head injury and another one with a serious hip injury have spent days at the Waveland Animal Shelter without medical care.

"How many days have these dogs and cats been here that need to go to the vet? Why didn't you have somebody take it to the vet before now?" asked Chief Investigator Doll Stanley.

The shelter director didn't have an answer.

"If it got tended to right away, then if there is an infection or something it wouldn't be as big of a problem. Do you mind if I take a look at them?" Stanley asked.

"Yes, but I want this shut off," Shelter Director Renee Lick said, pointing to our cameras. "And I want to call my supervisors cause you're getting the media involved."

Lick didn't want to be videotaped, ironically, because she says part of her job is to investigate animal cruelty cases in the community.

Doll Stanley also has concerns about clerical issues at the shelter.

"When you put them in a cage, do you not document right away that they came in that morning? When I first came, you had 36 animals and you guys thought there were 18. If somebody calls right now, you don't even know where these animals came from to tell the person. You know what I'm saying? It makes it difficult for reuniting, which is one of the purposes of the shelter," Stanley said.

Lick admits after the storm some of the paperwork was put on the back burner.

"Trying to get things straight, trying to get it back organized, trying to get the shelter back to running like we were before. Not making excuses, my personal life, trying to get my life straight, plus trying to work with this. Things are settling down to where we can get back organized and get back to the way we were."

In Defense of Animals launched its investigation after receiving nine letters from volunteers who worked at the shelter right after the storm.

"From what I gather from their letters, they were just appalled and felt like the staff was playing cards and smoking, leaving early and stuff," Stanley said.

"It's stopped, it's stopped. We've got work to do," Lick said.

Lick took her first step to get things back on track at the Waveland Animal Shelter by calling in a vet to care for the injured animals.

State laws give In Defense of Animals the authority to shutdown shelters not properly caring for animals. However, the investigator says she things the problems at the Waveland shelter can be corrected.

by Al Showers