COVID-19 pandemic effects on animal control and animal shelters

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing an increase in animal control calls, which is impacting animal shelters.
Updated: Jul. 10, 2020 at 6:44 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - The COVID-19 pandemic is causing an increase in animal control calls, which is impacting animal shelters.

With unemployment rates skyrocketing, the cost of taking care of a pet is becoming too much for some owners, and with the pandemic causing some shelters to close its doors to visitors, animal control workers are finding themselves even busier.

“They were not allowing the public to come into the shelters or anything,” said City of Wiggins Animal Control Melanie Roe. “They had them closed down for quite a while and only animal control was bringing the animals in.”

Since some people cannot drop off unwanted pets to shelters, the Wiggins Police Department is reminding residents to give them a call.

“If somebody has a dog or an animal that they do not want, don’t just cut it loose,” said City of Wiggins Police Chief Matt Barnett. “Call the local SPCA if you’re in Stone County. If it’s in the city, call us. We’ll try to work with you to get that animal in a good safe environment.”

Southern Pines Animal Shelter in Hattiesburg also has its hands full.

“Nationwide, the summer is a time when we generally see more kittens and puppies coming in,” said Southern Pines Executive Director Ginny Sims.

With summer in full swing, Southern Pines is doing all it can to get pets into their forever home.

“Everyone that we have here for adoption will be available with no adoption fee,” said Sims.

With about 60 animals available to adopt, Southern Pines says there is a furry companion for everyone.

“We have dogs that love to go for a run. We have dogs that love to cuddle on the couch and watch Netflix. We have playful kittens, we have cuddly cats you know and so depending on what your lifestyle is and what you’re looking for in a new best friend, you know, you can find that in a shelter pet,” Sims said.

The Southern Pines adoptions special is running Friday, July 10th through Sunday, July 12th from 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.

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