Jackson County

Inundated shelter to hold much-needed adoption event in Ocean Springs

The Jackson County Animal Shelter is trying to keep its adoption numbers up by holding an event Saturday at Kwitzky's Dugout on Government Street in Ocean Springs. Maridee Mallette, a shelter employee, shows a dog that is available for adoption at the shelter on U.S. 90 in Gautier.
The Jackson County Animal Shelter is trying to keep its adoption numbers up by holding an event Saturday at Kwitzky's Dugout on Government Street in Ocean Springs. Maridee Mallette, a shelter employee, shows a dog that is available for adoption at the shelter on U.S. 90 in Gautier.

Supporters are hoping the Furry Lives Matter Too! adoption event this weekend will help make room at the Jackson County Animal Shelter, which has recently been overwhelmed by drop-offs and strays.

Even though shelter director Joe Barlow recently released numbers that show the shelter is euthanizing fewer animals this year, there’s still a great need for adoptions and fosters, shelter officials say, because the number of animals being dropped off has grown by more than 700.

“The boat is taking on more water,” Barlow said recently. “We’re just doing a better job of bailing.”

Saturday’s adoption event will be at Kwitzky’s Dugout bar, 1025 Government St., from 5 to 8 p.m. Most of the pets will be available for an adoption fee of $25.

On Friday, the Friends of the Jackson County Animal Shelter Pets will hold a fundraiser for shelter animals at LaundroMutt dog wash at 2201 Government St. It will feature food, T-shirts to buy and dog washing, all to raise money for the care and transportation of animals at the shelter.

The adoption event “is important because we keep getting an influx of animals and we keep getting a lot of neglected dogs,” shelter employee Maridee Mallette told the Sun Herald. “We’re desperate to get some adoptions and fosters.”

She said Tuesday was rough at the shelter, because despite euthanasia being down, in the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, the shelter has taken in 4,818 animals so far, 783 more than last fiscal year. And this fiscal year doesn’t end until Sept. 30, she said.

The good news is the county’s shelter has euthanized significantly fewer animals. The current rate is 37 percent, which is in line with the national average.

The credit goes to an energetic staff holding adoption events; an active rescue group pulling more than 400 animals this year; a fostering program; a curious community; and the chance to send animals to other states for adoption.

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