Shocking Indianola Animal Shelter Failing Animals in Mississippi

In Defense of Animals has unearthed shocking evidence of gross negligence and extreme suffering of dogs and cats at a municipal pound in Mississippi. Impounded animals are hosed down in cold concrete cells, left out in freezing weather, forgotten about over weekends, and the poor souls who aren't collected or adopted are stabbed in the heart. Act now to stop this house of horrors.

At Indianola Animal Shelter in Mississippi, impounded dogs huddle in the corners of their bare cement kennels as staff hose them down with cold water. Excrement splatters onto water containers, fencing, and the cinder block walls. Drains are caked with excrement and food. Bedding and crates donated to keep the dogs off the cement floors have inexplicably been removed. Poor food leaves the dogs suffering constant diarrhea. Sometimes the impounded animals are simply forgotten about on weekends.

The dogs' ill digestive health can reportedly be traced directly to the Indianola Mayor, who decided that dogs can eat the contents of broken bag foods donated by a local store instead of using government money set aside for appropriate dog food.

Seven dogs were left outside the shelter during a recent "hard freeze" warning. If it weren't for a good Samaritan who climbed the fence and spread a tarp around them, who knows what would have happened to the dogs during the freezing weather.

It gets worse. Reportedly, the standard method of killing the shelters animals who don't get adopted is the "heart stick" method, where a large needle is forced through the chest wall into the heart as an avenue for the fatal fluids to be injected. This is done without any prior sedation and is extremely painful for the animal. While many veterinarians use heart stick euthanasia for severely ill or injured animals, it is only done with prior sedation so that the animal feels no pain.

Mississippi shelters have ready access to Guidelines for the Care of Dogs and Cats in Mississippi Shelters a publication produced by Mississippi State University (MSU), the Mississippi Animal Board of Health, HSUS, and other contributors.

In past years, the Indianola Animal Shelter benefitted from active and caring volunteers and MSU's mobile spay and neuter clinic provided free surgeries that prevented the unwanted birth of hundreds of puppies and kittens who would then go on to have a futures full of suffering and premature death. What happened?

Volunteers with the best interests of the animals at heart, and the viability of the shelter in mind have left in frustration or have been asked to leave. MSU's free veterinary services were reportedly rejected since they were perceived to pose a threat to a regional veterinary practice. However, MSU's policy is to only partner with shelters with support from veterinarians within the region.

The shelter director is clearly failing the animals in her charge.

Instead of improving the health and comfort of impounded animals while working to rehome or reunite them with their families, Indianola Animal Shelter has lost sight of its mission to shelter and protect animals. We must act now to remind the Shelter of its duty to the animals!

What you can do:



It's time to write Mayor Steve Rosenthal and let him know that conditions at this shelter must be immediately addressed. Please act on behalf of the animals subjected to these reported conditions by signing our letter to Mayor Steve Rosenthal.

Personalize and submit the letter below to email your comments to:
  • Indianola Mayor Steve Rosenthal




Please Act Urgently for Dogs Suffering in Indianola Animal Shelter

Dear [Decision Maker],

Yours in anticipation,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]


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