Supervisors updated on PRC SPCA efforts, needs

Published 1:37 pm Friday, August 19, 2022

An update on the operations at the Pearl River County SPCA was provided to the Board of Supervisors during Wednesday’s meeting.

PRC SPCA Treasurer Lauren Fitts said the shelter was run by the city of Picayune until about 1998 when the Friends of PRCSPCA was formed. Currently the shelter employs bout 19 people and has a starting wage of $10 per hour.  A recent pay increase to ensure qualified people are employed there also increased the shelter’s operation budget, now at about $750,000 annually, Fitts said. There are also 15 to 20 volunteers who help out around the shelter.

Some of the services the shelter offers other than pet adoptions include a pet food pantry, low cost spay and neuter program and an intake diversion program to help those who may consider surrendering their pet. The intake diversion program works to solve the issues people are having with caring for a pet. Most of the time pets are surrendered because of pet behavior or cost, said Shelter Director Elizabeth Treadaway.

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Through the pet food pantry, Fitts said that about 1,300 pounds of food have been provided to the community. The pet food pantry is offered twice a month on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon.

Renovations to the building next to the shelter, which was previously a satellite fire station, will create a clinic where a volunteer veterinarian can conduct pet care such as spay and neuter procedures.

The staff also holds a low cost wellness clinic twice yearly that offers heartworm testing, vaccinations and other pet care services. Fitts said the wellness clinic is always held the third weekend after the Picayune Main Street Inc. Street Festival.

Treadaway said the shelter typically spends about $200 per animal before it is adopted, averaging about $8 per day. That includes spaying/neutering, vaccinations and micro-chipping.

About 40 percent of all animals surrendered to the shelter come from residents who live in the county and not in a municipality. On average, 18 animals are surrendered to the shelter daily, Fitts said.

To help cover the costs of operating the shelter, a monthly yard sale is held at the shelter, which typically raises between $800 to $1,200.

Both representatives of the shelter said the facility needs all the help it can get to ensure it’s going in the right direction.