Photo by Sue Watson
Ann Snell, with Marshall County Humane Society, addresses the board of supervisors and shows a short PowerPoint set up by IDA director Justin Hall.
Humane Society seeks support
Ann Snell, with the Marshall County Humane Society, appeared before the board of supervisors recently to seek support and concern for animal control.
She said the Humane Society is enlisting help from companies who have shown interest.
The shelter, located on Eddie Lee Smith Drive in Holly Springs, has limited housing for dogs and cats. One of the Humane Society’s main interests is to decrease the feral dog and cat population by spay-neuter, an expense.
“It cuts down on overpopulation and mistreatment of animals,” she said.
Byhalia has no animal control, Holly Springs has short-term shelter for dogs only, and Marshall County has a pound for vicious dogs.
The “Dog Days of Summer” is the only fundraiser at the local Humane Society, Snell said.
The shelter has not been built out on the interior. Ceilings are needed for air control and energy efficiency, she said. A locked storage room for food is needed.
“We are appealing to local businesses, industry, friends and sponsors,” Snell said. “I wanted to let you know what’s going on and to ask you to talk this up to help us reach our goal.”
The facility’s improvement and expansion plan needs $80,000 and the Humane Society has $2,000 toward that goal.
“I am not asking for money, but will not turn down any,” said Snell, indicating a personal donation from supervisors would be acceptable as well.
Supervisor George Zinn III said he gets calls about stray dogs and cats from his constituents.
Snell said the shelter can house between 16 and 18 dogs and a dozen or so cats. It will take strays if there is room, she said.
There are also volunteers who will care for or foster a pet when there is no room. And the facility is staffed by volunteers who do the cleaning, feeding, and organizing of the facility without pay.
Snell said if the Humane Society had more foster parents for its stray pets, that would give the shelter more time to work the stray into a spay/neuter and vaccination regimen.
She said it takes money and the only real law is the sheriff’s department and requirement that animals be vaccinated and have a collar.
“It’s a community problem,” she said.
“It’s everybody’s problem,” supervisor Keith Taylor said. “It’s just like picking up trash on the side of the road. How much money do you want to put into it? There is a need, but I wish it would be a collective effort. I do know it’s all-volunteer out there.”
Snell said education of school children could help because they can train their parents.
“They can say, ‘Dad, you have to get this dog vaccinated and spayed/neutered.’ ”
Snell said some spay/neuter help is sometimes obtained in Memphis, Tenn.
“It’s up to us to get the word out,” she said.
“It would be nice if everybody would contribute,” said supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett.
“People won’t claim their animals when the sheriff’s animal control officer comes out on a call.”
Snell said people are used to letting their dogs run loose. She uses a “fence” that uses a radio frequency to keep her dogs in but other dogs can enter the “fence,” she said.
Taylor said people are using electronic fences but the county also has an ordinance that dogs must be kept within an enclosure or kept on a leash.
Snell said she had been told there were no ordinances.
“I tell people, if in doubt, call your supervisor, the chancery clerk or zoning (about ordinances),” Taylor said.