The number of dogs housed at the shelter has dropped from 114 at the start of the year to seven as of last week under the leadership of Director Julie Barrett.
Barrett was appointed director of the shelter by aldermen in late January following the shuttering of the non-profit Halfway Home Animal Shelter group that had previously operated the shelter due to serious health issues among their key staff members. Concerns were also raised at a board meeting by several citizens about the condition of animals at the facility.
Barrett said they’ve worked hard to improve the shelter and reduce the number of animals housed. She said they’ve been working closely with several rescue groups from across the country to transfer dogs from the shelter out of the area to shelters where there is a larger demand for animals and they can be adopted.
With a much smaller number of animals on hand, the individual attention available to the animals there has increased. All dogs are walked and get one-on-one play time daily.
Beth Greenway Geno with the Friends of the Booneville Animal Shelter group, a volunteer group that helps support the shelter, said it’s been phenomenal to see the progress made through Barrett’s dedication and hard work as well as the work of volunteers and others.
“She’s turned it around,” she said.
Mississippi State University also recently returned with its mobile spay/neuter unit which will visit once per month to spay or neuter all animals at the shelter. Every animal adopted out of the shelter will have been spayed or neutered before being adopted.
Barrett said she encourages people to come by and visit the shelter and especially encourages those who have volunteered in the past or may be interested in volunteering now to return. Volunteers are needed for a variety of activities including walking and playing with animals to help get them socialized and ready to go to their new homes.
Donations of money and supplies are also needed. The supply list includes bleach, lemon Pine-Sol, laundry detergent, towels for baths, paper towels, aluminum garbage cans, large dog food bowls, heat lamps, leashes, collars and toys for dogs.
The shelter is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday and from 7 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The address is 200 Townhouse Drive. The adoption fee is $25. Call 662-416-7080 for more information.