Volunteers Care for Abandoned Dogs in Southern Illinois Counties

Volunteers Care for Abandoned Dogs in Southern Illinois Counties
By:  Amy Jacquin

Pulaski County, IL -- "

a lot of dogs being dumped
," states Pulaski County Sheriff Randy Kern.

Unwanted and abandoned pets are problems everywhere. But when a county does not have any animal control facilities or ordinances, it becomes the public's problem.

A group of people in Pulaski and Alexander counties are voluntarily accepting the challenge of caring for strays. Right now, they're the only effort around. But they hope the government comes through with some help, soon.

"Here are some treats for you," Monica Edwards says to two terrier dogs, as they bounce through a yard in Olmstead.

Edwards doesn't own the dogs, but she cares for them every day. They were house dogs until their owners moved and tossed them outside to fend for themselves.

Now their pictures hang in the Olmstead City Hall, looking for adopters.

"We really don't have a big problem with stray dogs," states Edwards. "We do have a problem with dog owners."

Meaning people who don't provide food or shelter, or who let their animals roam freely.

"If they're running loos and they're not spayed or neutered, they're compounding the problem of unwanted litters," she explains.

Edwards works at Olmstead City Hall, but is the president of a non-profit group called Southern Illinois Pet Society. Volunteers rescue strays, try to find new homes, and even help pay for spay or neuter surgeries.

"They do a good job, but they can't do it on their own," says Sheriff Randy Kern.

His department gets about a dozen stray complaints a month, but can't do anything about them.

"Until we get an ordinance set up for animal control, my hands are tied," he says.

Pulaski county is working on creating an animal control ordinance, and plans to put its kennels with the current Mound City pound.

"Our organization hopes to help them, because they're busy with other things and won't have the time to go and check-out possible new homes," says Edwards.

The Pulaski County facility will euthanize animals if no one claims or adopts them.

So Edwards just hopes more new homes are found, fast

The Southern Illinois Pet Society has about a dozen dogs up for adoption right now. Also, they need donations to help pay for food, medical care and alterations surgeries.

The group meets monthly, and new volunteers are always welcome. Also, if you know of a stray or need assistance affording a surgery, you may request their assistance.

You can get more information at SIPS.joshuasgarden.net or by calling Monica Edwards at 618-742-8216.