HPD says there's other options than abandoning pets

Updated Friday, Sept. 24:

We checked back in with the Hannibal Animal Control officers about the dog in the video attached to this story.

While KHQA was riding with the officer, he stopped to check on the dog because there had been two calls from neighbors worried the dog was being neglected.

The dog had water and shelter, but no food when the officer checked on it.

The officer told us he believed the dog was not in any danger.


Original Story Wednesday, Sept. 22:

The number dogs picked up by animal control officers in Hannibal jumped last month.

Earlier this week (9/20) those officers rescued three dogs left in an abandoned house.

The dogs had no food or water, and power had been shut off to the house.

Two people face animal cruelty charges.

KHQA's Jarod Wells went to America's Hometown to see if cases like this are a recurring problem.

HPD Lt. Kathy Davis said, "Basically abuse and neglect are significant problems, more than we'd like to see"

Having said that, Davis says it is unusual for animals to be abandoned inside a home. She told Jarod that only happens several times a year in Hannibal. But more and more people seem to be dumping their animals around town.

Davis said, "A large amount of the animals that run at large are animals that used to belong to somebody and they just turn them loose."

Jarod rode along with one of Hannibal's two animal control officers Wednesday, September 22nd.

In a normal month animal control officers will pick up about 50 dogs and 50 cats, most of which are just running loose. Last month though, 99 dogs were picked up.

The good news is between 30 and 40 percent of the animals picked up will be reclaimed by their owners. But there are options available for people who just can't take care of their animals.

Davis said, "Definitely there's the option of the humane. They can go out there and turn them over to the humane society. There is also the option of, if they live inside the city limits of Hannibal, they can call the animal control officers and they will take in a dog that's going to be left and just allowed to run the streets."

Officers will take cats as well. While Jarod was riding along Wednesday a call actually came in that an owner was going to surrender a cat and kitten.

Davis said, "Basically people need to be responsible for the care of their animals. If they can no longer take care of them they either need to turn them over to the humane society or make other arrangements for them."