So much so that she created Praying for Paws, a nonprofit organization that concentrates on helping homeless dogs in Henry County.
During this time of year, when many people are gifted with dogs for presents, Kelly said she sees a general trend.
“We see a few more [homeless] dogs,” said Kelly. “However, we see a lot of them all the time. The problem is that the local government doesn’t really understand the scope of the problem.”
The overpopulation of animals is a huge problem, she said, one that needs to be combated with stricter laws and ordinances, ones that Henry County in particular does not have in place.
“It’s a problem that has run amuck,” said Kelly. “It is a never-ending situation.”
It is a problem that Kelly thinks that many are going about the wrong way.
“I don’t think that euthanizing should be a method of birth control,” she said. “If we could do some changes in the way things are written as far as the ordinances over time, year by year fewer and fewer dogs would be impounded.”
In the meantime, Kelly offered several pointers and suggestions for both dog owners and residents who witness the issue of overpopulation of animals.
One, all dog owners should spay and neuter their pets. Not only does it lessen the degree that a pet will contribute to the issue of overpopulation, but spaying and neutering has health benefits.
“Unneutered dogs will most likely contract prostrate cancer in their later years,” said Kelly. “The dogs that die the most and have the shortest life span are male, unneutered dogs.”
Another tip is having a proper fence so that the animal can be contained properly.
Kelly added that owners should never chain their dogs and should not neglect pets once they are outside.
“Once they are outside, don’t forget about them,” she said. “Dogs can become destructive once they are bored.”
Building a relationship with your dog is another crucial element Kelley advised.
“Do have a relationship with your dog,” she said. “Dogs are considered companion animals.”
To learn more about Praying for Paws or to become a volunteer, visit www.prayingforpaws.com.