‘Baming the shelter is no solution’: Reaction to mayor’s comments about Natchez animal shelter fast and passionate – Mississippi’s Best Community Newspaper

‘Baming the shelter is not a solution’: reaction to mayor’s comments on Natchez animal shelter fast and passionate

Published Thursday, September 15, 2022 at 12:25 p.m.

NATCHEZ – Reaction on social media has been swift and passionate to a story in The Natchez Democrat, which reported Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson’s comments about an issue with a lack of where the animal control officer of the city can take the animals he picks up while doing his job.

Speaking at the Board of Aldermen meeting on Tuesday, Gibson said that for the past three months, the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society shelter has turned away all animals that Animal Control Officer Nash Sanders had taken there.

Gibson said the city provides $25,000 a year to the shelter and he questioned that expense if the shelter doesn’t accept animals from the city’s animal control.

“For the past three months, they (Natchez-Adams County Humane Society) have refused to take a single animal brought to them by the city. What are we supposed to do when our Humane Society, which we help fund with taxpayer dollars, refuses to remove a single animal from animal control? asked Gibson.

Supporters of the shelter decried Gibson both for his comments and for what they perceived to be a lack of understanding of the role of the shelter.

“…But the thing is, we are a no-kill refuge. And we are at full capacity. Being quoted in the paper to denigrate the shelter is definitely not a solution,” Humane Society supporter Brandy Colbert responded in a comment on The Democrat’s Facebook page.

Jana Junkin, who said she is a board member of the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society, said she was “disgusted” by the story of The Natchez Democrat.

“Over the past three months, the shelter has taken in 62 animals from the city alone, including three from Animal Control Officer Nash (Sanders),” she said. “The shelter has taken in 115 animals over the past three months. There are currently 142 animals on the waiting list to enter the shelter. It costs an average of over $24,000 a month to run the shelter.

Junkin goes on to write that she is thrilled to see “so much passion for the issue and to encourage everyone to get involved and help support the shelter.

Charlie Speed, chairman of the board of the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society, said the mayor’s comments caught him off guard.

“I was a little surprised. We are such a great organization and doing great things in this community. I have already reached out to the mayor to try and set up a meeting to get more clarification on what was going on around his thoughts and see if this is something we can work on together,” Speed ​​said. .

Speed ​​said that although the Natchez shelter is relatively new, it is full most of the time. The society accepts pets from Natchez and Adams counties. And, members of the public often abandon animals at the shelter after hours.

“We stay full all the time. Money is always a problem. You can always use more. We can always use more space. I’ll have the exact numbers when I meet with the mayor, but the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society is doing great work for the community, providing great service, and we’re already well past the shelter,” Speed ​​said.

Educating the public about pet neutering is a big part of finding a solution to the overpopulation of unwanted animals here.

“We still need to educate the community on what they can do to help address this issue,” he said. “I hope to arrange a meeting very soon. The mayor is very passionate about Natchez and we like that he is passionate. We want to work with him and hope his passion extends to the Humane Society.

Junkin encouraged others to shop at the Paws for a Cause thrift store, which supports the shelter, or stop by the Nuts for Mutts Humane Society fundraiser to buy boiled peanuts or casserole, from from noon on Saturdays at the Corner Bar, corner of State and Canal Streets in Natchez.

Donations to the Humane Society can be mailed to PO Box 549, Natchez, she said. The Humane Society always needs bedding and toys, and the donation of time to walk the dogs at the shelter is needed.

Junkin urged others to have their pets spayed or neutered.

Richard Burke, the mayor’s aide, came to the mayor’s defense in a Facebook post about the story.

“The Natchez Adams County Humane Society has done incredible work for many years. Here in the city, we play catch-up. I think we have made positive progress in passing a new and much better prescription (with the help of the Humane Society). We are also in the process of hiring another full-time Certified Animal Control Officer.

“The mayor’s words may have been a bit too direct and, as always, it is impossible for the newspaper to print every word and provide exact context. But understand that this mayor and many of his staff, including me, are serious about doing our best to protect Natchez’s animals.

“The Humane Society has been an incredible partner and we look forward to working directly with them to do everything in our power to help as many animals as possible,” Burke wrote.

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