As News 25 first told you, animal dumping is an ongoing problem along the Coast. The illegal activity is at its worst during hunting season, but is an issue that many say happens all year long. Hunters have been dumping their kills at a popular fishing area off of Old River Road Loop in Vancleave. Danny Jalanivich, a resident, says, "People dump these carcasses about once every other week." Former Ocean Springs Alderman, Jalanivich, drives past the area every day, and says he and his neighbors have had enough. Jalanivich also says, "When you have little kids out here fishing, even adults out here fishing, it’s a health hazard. This isn’t a place to dump animal carcasses."
The carcasses were ironically dumped in front of a no dumping sign, and Jackson County officials say the problem is identifying the people responsible. John McKay, Jackson County Supervisor for District 5, says, "Accountability is real difficult because it’s like littering, you have to catch the person dumping that animal in the act." Peggy Hoffman, the Manager for Jackson County Animal Control, says, "If we're in the area, we'll pick up a dog or cat if it’s in the road. Deer carcasses: that’s not our department. We don't deal with wildlife. It shouldn't be happening anyway because that is against the law." Jackson County Animal Control is based at the animal shelter in Gautier, where representatives say the animal pick-up is not part of their duty. Hoffman also says, "We don't have a specific branch for that, to pick up carcasses, and so we hope in the future, hunters will be more responsible and take care of it themselves."
Neighbors say owners of the Vancleave site posted signs after the dumping began, and though the recent carcasses have been removed, bones of the illegally dumped animals remain, alongside feathers from buzzards that flew overhead. Jackson County officials urge the public to report any dumping so that those responsible can be prosecuted.