Nearly 400 animals housed at HSSM, a growing concern for staff

Little to no capacity for additional pet intake
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 10:10 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Animal shelters continue to experience a high number of pet surrenders across the Coast. With many people saying their pet needs a new home because they’re just too expensive.

Some shelters are offering financial assistance programs to help cover costs for your pets.

Black wire crates line the hallway at the Humane Society of South Mississippi.

Wednesday morning, 10 dogs were surrendered, bringing the total to 395 animals.

Yes, you read that correctly.

“Just in the past week, we’ve taken in 77 stray animals in the shelter since Sept. 1,” said development director Katie King.

King is concerned the steady trend of surrenders won’t stop anytime soon.

“It’s overwhelming for the staff and it’s also overwhelming for the animals. It’s not ideal to house the animals in black wire crates, but when all of our kennel spaces and kennel rooms are full, there are no other options,” she said.

There are several reason why families can no longer care for their four-legged friends.

For many, financial hardships make it challenging to foot the bill, especially with rising costs due to inflation.

Right now, a bag of adult dog food costs around $30 alone.

Before you make a gut-wrenching decision, consider this alternative.

“We can assist them with pet deposits, supplies, shelter, pet food, vaccines, spay and neuter surgeries, wellness exams, whatever is it they need assistance with,” King said.

There’s no more room left. King said the Humane Society is backed up until Dec. 15 to accept dogs, and Nov. 23 for cats.

Here’s her plea to the public:

“Pets are a lifetime commitment. It’s just not something you can get and return or let loose and people don’t come back and look for them,” King said.

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