Animal Control needs help after spike in abandoned pets

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) – A dangerous trend across Northeast Arkansas has been overwhelming animal control officers in recent weeks.

On Wednesday, Sept. 21, officers with Jonesboro Animal Control responded to a call where multiple pets were left outside for hours, taking the life of a dog and a cat.

For Supervisor Larry Rodgers, that was the final straw, as he said the number of calls they received are through the roof.

“We have had a big influx of animals being surrendered, drop off, abandoned and it’s gotten to the point that just this past month we have taken in 200 dogs more than we did last year,” he said.

Rodgers said in these cases especially, it’s not fair to the animal for them to be treated like that and left in almost triple-digit temperatures.

“It was almost 100 degrees yesterday, and when animals die from the heat, it’s a very violent death for the animal,” he said.

Rodgers explained many people don’t realize there are consequences for their actions, including prison time.

“They don’t understand if they get caught, then that is a charge right there. That is animal cruelty here in the state of Arkansas, to abandon an animal in a location without providing care for it”, he said.

Animal cruelty comes with a fine and could be punishable by up to a year in prison.

At the end of the day, Rodgers said just know if you are ready to get a pet, they aren’t something you can stop caring about; it’s a lifelong commitment.

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