Alleged animal hoarder turns herself in, surrenders animals

Shirley Gai
Shirley Gai

STONE COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The woman accused of hoarding more than 100 dogs in Stone County has turned herself into authorities.

Sheriff's officials said they plan to charge Shirley Gai with misdemeanor animal cruelty and 117 counts of animal neglect which are also misdemeanors.

Gai is now at the Stone County Correctional Facility where she has agreed to surrender the animals seized on Tuesday.

Officials with the Humane Society of the United States are waiting on Gai to sign a surrender form, and once signed she will be booked.

Two shelters and two animal clinics are now caring for the animals. Shelter officials said this is the worst case of hoarding they've ever seen.

As pitiful as they looked, the 70 rescue dogs at Southern Pines Animal Shelter can count themselves lucky. Shelter officials said what they found at a Stone County home was shocking.

"After we got the live animals out, we began doing a more thorough investigation," said Operations Manager Katherine Sammons. "We found dozens and dozens of black garbage bags stacked up beside the home and once we started opening those bags, unfortunately, we did find dozens of dead dogs."

The Hattiesburg shelter spent Wednesday getting the surviving dogs ready for in-depth health evaluations, but many of their problems were clearly visible.

If you'd like to make a donation to the groups treating the animals, you can reach them by phone or online:

Southern Pines Animal Shelter
(601) 544-6632

Stone County SPCA
(601) 270-7048

All Animal Clinic

(601) 639-2343

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