Drew animal issue mends
by Rory Doyle
Sep 26, 2012 | 1533 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The newly formed group known as SCARS — Second Chance Animal Rescue Shelter of North Mississippi — met Monday night at the Drew Public Library to discuss problems with the city's dog pound.

The committee hopes to start an animal shelter to control the city's overpopulation of dogs by using humane tactics.

SCARS is waiting for acceptance of its application as a non-profit entity to operate independently from the city.

President of SCARS and Drew resident Jim Dutton said a new shelter will significantly improve the dog problem, but will only be successful with support from city government.

"We are trying to work with the city — not against it," said Dutton. "We want to make a shelter where our animals are cared for, healthy and have the comforts of life.

"If the funds work out, we can hire an animal control person to take over for the city."

While Dutton seeks cooperation from local officials, he has had run-ins with city dogcatcher Floyd “Bob” Fredrick, who is paid to maintain the current pound.

Dutton said Fredrick has been neglecting captured dogs by not feeding them or providing them with a clean environment.

In effort to help the dogs, Dutton is bringing the issue to court, accusing Frederick of animal cruelty.

According to Dutton, the Sunflower County Justice Court in Indianola will begin the case in November.

"To me, he (Fredrick) is not capable of showing compassion to animals," said Dutton. "This has been an ongoing thing with him — not taking care of animals in cold weather, feeding them every other day or sometimes not even that.

"Hopefully we can remove Frederick from any jurisdiction to end the starving and dehydration of animals."

Kendrick attempted to charge Dutton with destroying city property and trespassing in July when Dutton cut locks at the shelter in an effort to provide food and water to suffering dogs.

Charges were dropped after Drew Municipal Judge Boyd Atkinson ruled Fredrick had no authority to charge him.

Kendrick was unavailable for comment on the issue.

While the back-and-forth continues, Dutton has gained support from members of the SCARS committee.

SCARS Secretary Myra Hughes and her husband Bryant have helped the cause by adopting one stray dog that would have gone to the pound, while Dutton and his wife Nikki have adopted 10.

"We just hope to make a huge difference of what's happening in this town," said Hughes. "We want to get the stray animals off the street and find better homes for them.

"I think a lot of us were unaware of some of the practices going on in this town for a while now. We want to change things to make it better for the animals."

The SCARS group will meet the last Monday of every month at 6 p.m. in the Drew Library.

Dutton said those willing to share new ideas are encouraged to attend.

"We don't have a shelter yet, but between two houses we are caring for 11 dogs with the hopes of finding families for them."