MS Animal Rescue League calls on pet owners for help after reaching critical capacity earlier this month

Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 6:54 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Tuesday, 3 On Your Side checked in with the Mississippi Animal Rescue League after the shelter asked the public to hold off on bringing in animals earlier this month.

That’s because, at the time, there wasn’t a single cage available.

“We were just at a standstill. There was no place to put new incoming stray animals and no available cages for owner give ups that were coming in,” MARL’s communications coordinator Debra Boswell said.

Thankfully, that was no longer the case Tuesday. In fact, a number of the facility’s cages sat empty after a lot of people adopted pets over the weekend.

However, that could change again any day now because MARL’s numbers constantly ebb and flow.

In fact, Boswell says there weren’t nearly as many empty cages last week, and MARL was forced to make the difficult decision to euthanize a number of animals. That included 15 that were taken there by Jackson animal control officers.

As Boswell explained, MARL has always and continues to act as an open-intake shelter as opposed to limited-intake.

The difference is MARL euthanizes animals when they have nowhere else to go. The organization prefers to put animals down humanely rather than leave their fate in the hands of the owner.

“So many of the animals that we get in already are brought in by people who have found boxes of kittens on the side of the road or puppies dumped in their front yard,” Boswell said. “That is no life for an animal because they’re out on the street suffering and hungry, getting attacked by other animals, getting hit by a car, or starving to death.”

Boswell says it would certainly help ease the burden if the state’s largest city had a functioning shelter, but even still, MARL would still be taking in over 8,000 animals per year.

Boswell says what would help them out more than anything is if pet owners would spay and neuter their animals.

“If we weren’t getting in litter after litter all the time, then perhaps more of our animals would have a chance,” she said.

Spaying and neutering your animals is the main way you, as a pet owner, can help keep MARL’s cages empty, according to Boswell.

Right now, MARL is taking animals from people in Alabama, Louisiana, the Jackson metro, and nearly 40 communities outside the Metro.

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