Animal Shelter Takes Precautions Against Isidore

The Humane Society of South Mississippi closed early on Tuesday so workers could go home and make any preparations necessary. Before that, they got the shelter ready. Sandbags will help protect the animals at the shelter the rising water Isidore may bring.

If the storm gets bad enough, shelter workers may have to evacuate all the animals. However, one of the biggest problems they face is when people evacuate, many want to leave their pets at the Humane Society. That is not an option.

"The main concerns are overcrowding," said Assistant Director Robin Bush. "We have 232 animals in right now. We don't have room to house the community's personal animals, say, if they go out of town."

Evacuation shelters and many hotels do not allow pets. So the Humane Society says the better choice is private kennels.

Cat owner Art Deborger plans to take his pet to a kennel.

"She needs food, water," said Deborger. "She likes attention, and I wouldn't want to leave her in the house by herself in case something where to happen. If a window where to break I hate to see her have to get outside in the storm."

The staff at Butler's Pets has fielded a steady stream of phone calls from people concerned about their pet's safety and whether there's kennel space available. Many pet owners are planning ahead.

Lisa Lowery, a dog owner, said "I know a lot of things are already getting booked up as far as hotel reservations and someone told me the gas stations are just packed with people in line. I just wanted to come ahead and get him assured a slot here."

The Humane Society officials say if people do leave their homes they shouldn't leave their animals tied up. Bush says animals may become frightened and then drown or be choked to death because they can't get loose.