Shelter pets need adoption now more than ever
The present situation emphasizes the urgency to finalize and adopt a comprehensive animal control ordinance in the City Of Natchez.
Unfortunately, for this crisis, the door was left open and the horses are out of the barn.
Activities of the Natchez feral cat program are sharply curtailed at a critical juncture, as we have entered the kitten season, in which the largest number of litters is expected.
The Natchez-Adams County Humane Society also sees a spike in the number of kittens born to socialized cats that are surrendered to the shelter.
Stray dogs, as well as those that are not restrained by their owners, are much more difficult to process if brought into the shelter at this time.
Business at the shelter is now limited to reservations and many more fosters are needed.
The need to maintain social distancing hampers the efforts of the current animal control personnel, as well as volunteers who would ordinarily be working to control the excessive population of animals, both dogs and cats.
Just as the environment is changing, so is a new approach to animal control necessary.
With pandemics such as this one, it becomes clear that residents in the city must limit the animals in their care, both by the initial numbers and by spaying and neutering them.
Cruelty and abuse are more difficult to address for reasons already discussed, and care is limited.
A more comprehensive ordinance, in which breeding animals is restricted by regulations, and enforcement of violations is standardized, will begin to alleviate the problems.
The current ordinance has many of the typical animal control elements, such as a leash law and requirements as to the treatment of animals. There simply is a need to bring some sections up to date. This will go a long way to benefiting both animals and residents.
ROBERT GREENE is member of the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society.