New resident finds lack of care for animals troubling

Published 12:08 am Friday, October 5, 2018

Leann Fitzsimmons has rescued six animals from the streets since she moved from Indiana to Covington County in March, and said she is disgusted by the way Covington County residents treat their animals.

“The people of Covington County need to be responsible for the pets that they take in,” Fitzsimmons said. “They aren’t taking care of their animals and it is a shame.”

Fitzsimmons recently drove a litter of kittens back to Indiana because the Andalusia Humane Society would not accept them.

“They told me that they don’t take kittens,” Fitzsimmons said. “They said that there are too many feral cats in the county and they don’t want to contribute to that. If that is the case then people need to fix their cats.”

But Andalusia Humane Society President Debra Evans said the local organization is not an animal control shelter, and has limited facilities.

“We are not an animal control organization, and always direct people who wish to turn in strays – or surrenders – to the Andalusia Animal Shelter.

“We are an all-volunteer, limited intake rescue with eight dog kennels, and can care for four or five cats or kittens at a time. When we have an opening, we turn to the Andalusia Animal Shelter or Dr. Walker who houses the strays from Opp Animal Control. If people are willing to care for strays at home, we offer any assistance we can, including our low-cost spay/neuter program.”

Fitzsimmons said that in Indiana she helped with several fundraisers with her local biker group, and that she is more than willing to start one here to help.

“In Indiana we had a fundraiser called Paws and Claws,” Fitzsimmons said. “And all the money would go to the humane society for these animals. If we do that here then the humane society here can afford to fix their cats or get a bigger area for them.”

Fitzsimmons also commended the work of Andrew Nichols, the new veterinarian in Andalusia.

“Dr. Nichols waived the office fee and has been absolutely amazing every single time I have seen him,” she said.

Fitzsimmons also tried taking the kittens and other animals she has rescued to other humane societies in different counties, but was turned away because she was not from that county.

“I mean it is ridiculous that people are not willing to take these animals in,” Fitzsimmons said. “I try to take them here in Covington County and I can’t so when I try to take them somewhere else, I’m not allowed to do that either because I said that I lived in Covington County.”

Fitzsimmons recently took in a small beagle puppy with a broken leg and has been trying to figure out what to do with it. The puppy’s leg was caught in its cage, she said.

Fitzsimmons wants to help put a fundraiser into motion to help the animals of Covington County.

“I just moved here, but I am willing to help this county out,” Fitzsimmons said. “We need to get a fundraiser going on for the humane society and we need to get a fundraiser going so there can be a fund set aside for people that can’t pay the full veterinary price, and I honestly believe that the fund should go straight to Dr. Nichols’ practice. He has helped me all along the way and has been so pleasant.”