27 cats, dogs to get home care


SUBMITTED PHOTO This is among 40 cats and dogs at the Humane Society of South Missisippi with a cold and still in need of a foster family to help him recover.

SUBMITTED PHOTO This cat seems unfazed to be among 40 animals at the Humane Society of South Mississippi with a cold that still need a foster family to help it recover.

Volunteer foster families around the Coast committed Wednesday to take home 27 of the cats and dogs with colds at the Humane Society of South Mississippi in Gulfport.

Among the first to get fostered were Erin the dog and Mooey the cat, whose photos appeared Wednesday with a Sun Herald story about the crisis.

Still, about 40 animals remain quarantined, including several new cases that sprang up, said Jeneane Wendling, HSSM volunteer and foster manager.

“It’s an airborne disease,” Wendling said of the problematic cold. “We’ve got to get them out of here so we can eradicate it.”

HSSM issued an urgent plea this week for volunteers to foster the sick animals.

Medication is provided and the animals can be returned after a two-week treatment.

The alternative is to euthanize them, Wendling said.

On average, about 1,200 animals each month are surrendered, she said. Some are sick, but many are ready for adoption. Animals are held for five days before they can go up for adoption. That holding area is where the cold germ is rampant.

The decision this week, Wendling said, becomes whether to euthanize the new animals or the sick ones that have been on treatment only a couple of days.

Anyone who can help by providing a foster home is asked to call Wendling at 822-3816.

By PAM FIRMIN – pfirmin@sunherald.com

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