LOUISVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – When temperatures drop, animals are often forced to face the bitter cold alone.
Sometimes good samaritans will see that the stray dog or cat makes it to a nearby shelter, but sometimes there is no shelter to go to.
“Completely full… I could give you the numbers, but I haven’t even counted to see what I’m at,” said Louisville Animal Control kennel director Barbara Yarbrough.
Yarbrough has been working with Louisville Animal Control ever since they opened in 2006.
She said they tend to receive more animals during the winter months.
“I was scared, like I said, when I came in Monday morning. I was afraid I was gonna get those phone calls,” said Yarbrough.
As an animal control officer, one of the laws Yarbrough has to enforce is the city’s ban on chains.
“In the city limits, we don’t allow chains, and that’s where you get the most problem with because they don’t have a shelter, nothing they can get in to get out of the cold or the rain and in the Summertime, the hundred-degree heat,” said Yarbrough.
“That’s the worst thing you can do. He’ll get tangled up, he can’t get to a house, he can’t get under a house, he can’t get anywhere,” said Louisville Code Enforcement Officer Jody Fulton.
Fulton said animal control works a little differently in Louisville because the facility doubles as a shelter.
“We have animal control here in the City of Louisville. We also call it the animal shelter, which a lot of people refer to it as,” said Fulton.
That’s because there are no other shelters within the city… Or anywhere near it.
“To my knowledge, I don’t know of any shelter in the county,” said Fulton.
Even though the facility is half shelter, they still have to perform the duties of a normal animal control unit– duties like putting an animal down when the kennels get overpopulated.
“It hurts… It really hurts me. People don’t realize it. They think that it’s just something… no… it hurts me. I don’t like it,” said Yarbrough.
Yarbrough said animals hold a special place in her heart.
“When you get a dog, cat, or whatever kind of animal you have, it’s your responsibility to take care of it. It’s not just a dog. I hear that so many times…’ well it’s just a dog.’ No, it’s not just a dog,” said Yarbrough.
In 2006, Louisville Animal Control took in almost 800 animals. Over 500 were euthanized.
Last year, the center took in almost 500 animals, and only 42 were euthanized.