While we are waiting for the excruciatingly slow count of the ballots, I thought I would share this article submitted by Anne Vaughn with the Natchez Adams County Humane Society.
In recent months, the Natchez Democrat has published a series of articles regarding animal neglect and abuse in the Natchez-Vidalia area. The Natchez-Adams County Humane Society deals with these issues every day, and it can be overwhelming.
The one thing that would have a proven positive impact on animal welfare would be for pet owners to spay and neuter their dogs and cats. There are simply not enough homes to accommodate the massive numbers of animals being born. Unless you are a professional breeder of pedigreed animals, there is simply no good reason to allow your pets to reproduce. Even one litter is one too many.
Just in the first two weeks of July, we received 69 cats and kittens and 39 dogs and puppies. How much better it would have been if these litters had been prevented instead of ending up at our shelter!
In the three-month period between April 1st and June 30th, 2007, NACHS took in 334 cats and kittens, and 380 dogs and puppies. Due to lack of space and funds to care for them all, we were forced to euthanize 74 percent of them.Our shelter staff and volunteers are animal lovers all, and it kills our souls to have to put down so many beautiful, healthy pets.
In that same three-month period, only 27 felines and 61 canines were adopted from the shelter, and 21 dogs were reclaimed by their owners. On any given day, there are hundreds of animals at our shelter that are waiting and hoping for a home. We invite everyone to come see the selection of fine pets we have to offer. Our shelter at 392 Liberty Road in Natchez is open Monday through Friday, 2-5 p.m.
NACHS charges a modest adoption fee ($45 for canines, $35 for felines) that includes the cost of spaying and neutering. We lose money on every animal adopted, but much prefer that to having to euthanize them. Incredibly, some people choose not to have their adopted pets altered, even though they have already paid for the operation, and often the adopted pet is returned to our shelter accompanied by an unwanted litter.
In addition to the financial burden we bear to feed, shelter, medicate and care for all of these dogs and cats, we have recently been alerted to half a dozen neglected and starving horses in the Natchez-Adams County area. We were able to rescue several of them that were in dire straits – two of them near death and unable to stand on their own. One of these has recovered through the daily care given her by NACHS volunteers, but the other is still at the veterinary clinic, creating an ever-mounting expense for the Humane Society.
It takes on average $8,500 per month to operate our shelter in normal circumstances. We currently receive only $1,250 monthly from the City of Natchez and $1,000 from Adams County. Anyone who cares about animals and understands the huge service NACHS provides our community should contact their supervisors and aldermen and let them know how important their funding of NACHS is to the health and welfare of Natchez and Adams County. Just imagine the chaos hundreds of animals would cause if they were left to roam freely in our small community!
NACHS recently mailed our members a plea for donations. Anyone who is not a member and would like to contribute to our cause can send their check to NACHS, Post Office Box 549, Natchez, MS 39121. Donations of any size would be most gratefully received.