CARUTHERSVILLE, MO (KAIT) – Authorities in southeast Missouri have been working to save as many animals as possible over the last few months, and they're having to treat more animals for injuries, according to the Caruthersville Humane Society.
So far this year, the humane society has reported taking in 811 animals since January 1. Of those animals, more than 350 animals have been euthanized.
"The last year or so I'd say. We're seeing a lot more owners surrender. They just can't afford them," said Erma Page, Administrator of the Caruthersville Humane Society. "We have 14 inside kennels. (We have) four outside kennels and then we have stainless that we can, and black kennels that we can stack."
Page said she's especially concerned with the next few months. She said when winter arrives; many animals that have been abandoned have a difficult time finding food.
"They can't afford to buy their food and I tell them, I'll give you food if it'll mean you can keep them. Some of them do, and some of them say they can't do it," said Page.
Page said it's important to spay and neuter pets to control the animal population, which Page believes has been booming.
"Right now, we can only accept animals from the city limits of Caruthersville because that's keeping us busy and full. I've had in the last month, 75 animal calls wanting to bring those 75 animals from outside city limits," said Page.
More than a week ago, a seven week old pit bull puppy was brought into the shelter. It had severe chemical burns on his face and head and some spots on his body.
"He came in about a week ago and somebody actually found him on the street here in Caruthersville and called and the humane officer went and picked him up," said Page. "He's really fattened up since we've had him and we've put him on antibiotics and his skin is getting a lot better now."
Authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding the puppy, now named Clay.
However, the puppy is a small example of a larger problem.
"Usually is around 100, I believe last month was 108 (animals taken in last month.) Either was picked up off the streets or people brought and surrendered to us," said Page.
Page said the financial problems across the country have also impacted animal shelters in other areas.
"We have to foster them (horses) out and some of our fosters, economic times are hitting them, and they're no longer able to foster," said Page. "It just gets to you. You know you can't save them all, but you try to save what you can and it just don't seem like it's enough, ever."
Page, who has been working at the shelter for nine years, said it's hard to go to work some days. She said she does it to benefit the animals.
"Before this job I would have never imagined all the animals that are surrendered or put to sleep. It's just horrific," said Page.
For more information on the Caruthersville Humane Society, visit their web-site by clicking here.