Stray animals becoming problem in Jones County

An influx of stray animals is stressing one county.
Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 9:30 PM CST
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - An influx of stray animals is stressing one county.

Jones County Sheriff Joe Berlin is asking the Board of Supervisors to come up with a piece of legislation that would hold animal owners accountable for their pets.

“There’s no local legislation to help prevent this by, you know, possibly issuing a fine to the animal’s owner,” Berlin said. “You know to get some I guess you would say get their attention to take care of their animal.”

He says the sheriff’s department receives 15 to 20 calls a day about stray cats and dogs, something they aren’t equipped to deal with.

“Somebody has to be responsible for that is somebody has to be responsible for these animals,” Berlin said. “And we can’t be. We don’t have the means to transport these animals, we don’t have the means to store them... We are not animal control... the citizens of Jones County call the sheriff’s department to deal with animals and we have no way to deal with them.”

Berlin says people report different issues across the board regarding those animals.

“We respond to calls of vicious dogs attacking people or packs of dogs walking across people’s property, tearing up people’s garbage, and when we ask the people whose dogs they are, if they tell us the owner and we go to the owners to try and speak to them, and usually what that does is... they say that’s not their dog,” Berlin said.

In addition to new legislation, local veterinarians say spaying and neutering cats and dogs help prevent some of these issues.

“In females, they can also develop what’s called pyometra which is just an infection in the uterus,” said Dr. John Mayfield, Animal Medical Center. “That’s avoidable if they’re spayed... You get into the male side of things like neutering... They like to wander, they get in fights when they wander, they get run over when they wander, they get picked up and never come back home. And so, all of those things are just avoidable.”

Mayfield says while age varies for different breeds, he typically recommends having small dogs spayed or neutered around four to five months of age, and recommends larger dogs be spayed or neutered when they are around a year to a year and a half old.

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