COLUMBIA, Miss. (WDAM) - Columbia city officials are assuring residents that homeless animals at the Columbia-Marion County Animal Shelter will be euthanized in a humane manner.
Six months ago, city officials confirmed that some homeless animals at the facility had been shot, rather than humanely euthanized.
But, Mayor Justin McKenzie says animals are no longer being put down that way.
“We want to assure people that that process has been changed, that it’s done in a humane way, if it has to be done, through a veterinarian. It is not done on site like it once was,” McKenzie said.
“Recognizing the outcry from the public and recognizing the need for the change, we’ve been able to change many policies, but the form of [euthanizing animals] is one of them."
Meanwhile, staff at the Columbia-Marion County Animal Shelter say fewer animals are being euthanized.
They say the shelter now has a 91 percent live release rate.
They’ve also established a new spay and neuter program with local veterinarians.
“The community is able to go and donate straight to the vets office towards the spay and neuter program instead of bringing us donations, so it just cuts out the leg work and the middle man,” said Danielle Barber, one of two part-time staff members who’ve been recently hired at the shelter.
Barber says the shelter has been able to save the lives of more pets by transporting some of them to adoption centers outside of the state.