Animal Advocates Meet With Waveland Mayor

The advocacy group, "In Defense of Animals" met with Mayor Tommy Longo about concerns with the Waveland Animal Shelter Wednesday.

You may recall two weeks ago, a representatives from the group visited the shelter to check out reports of sick and injured animals being denied medical care.

Waveland Mayor Tommy Longo met with "In Defense of Animals" representatives behind closed doors. After 90 minutes, both sides said the discussion was productive.

"We're trying to do the best job we can for our community and combine our resources, and they have resources they can offer and help they can offer. And that's what we're trying to do, get on the same page" Longo said.

"He did listen to us and agreed to look into it," Debbie Young said.

The big question animal advocates want answered is why some injured animals did not receive immediate medical attention. They say one puppy sat in the shelter for a week before anyone called a vet.

"The biggest concern that we have is the lack of care that is provided for the animals that come in," Young said.

"No dog was suffering the hound was outside playing with another dog," Shelter Director Renee Lick said.

Lick wasn't invited to the meeting with the mayor. She asked us not to show her face on camera because she investigates animal cruelty cases.

"I have no reason to abuse or neglect an animal. I'm an animal person that's why I have this job," Lick said.

Though Lick says she's made changes to her job to address some of the concerns, like better record keeping, In defense of animals says the problems run deep.

"They have no records, grants are available for these shelters that have been through this disaster, how can you apply for a grant when you have no statistics. You can't say how many animals you're taking in how many are being euthanize where they've gone that is a complete irresponsibility," said Doll Stanley, an investigator for In Defense of Animals.

"I do a good job and I have plenty more people, besides this group, to back me up that I have turned this shelter around. Instead of people listening to what they hear on TV, come down and see. Come down and see what we do," Lick said.

The advocacy group promises to do just that, and offered Mayor Longo help to make changes at the shelter.

In Defense of Animals began investigating the Waveland Animal Shelter after receiving nine complaint letters from volunteers from across the nation who worked at the shelter after Hurricane Katrina struck.

by Al Showers