Great News - My Favorite Thing!!

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Animals are important to me. Everyone who knows me knows that. When I moved to Mississippi in the 90s I was shocked at the number of animals killed in shelters here.

I've been on a crusade for years to get people to adopt shelter animals rather than buy pets (which only encourages more breeding).

After the huge numbers of pets left homeless by Katrina, changes were made to the So. Mississippi Humane Society Shelter. It was rebuilt bigger and better - people got involved and adoptions began to rise.

I learned today that in 2012 not one single healthy animal was put to sleep at that shelter...not one!

Ten years ago only about 1 in 5 shelter pets found a home and the rest were euthanized. Now it's 4 in 5 and that is progress!

Animals who are brought in with serious injuries or illnesses that can't be quickly treated are still put to sleep but a new wing is being built to nurse as many back to health as possible so they, too, can find forever homes.

  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    That is great news.

    The only thing I mildly disagree with is not to ever buy pets from breeders. I believe it's important to support QUALITY breeders as they keep the characteristics of breeds alive. QUALITY breeders also breed for intelligence, disposition and health. And IMO, it's very important to keep good DNA in the pet gene pool.

    Often, it's much cheaper to buy a dog from a QUALITY breeder for $1000 that has been bred for health, than it is to pay vet bills down the road because a pet dog has some type of health problems due to poor breeding. Not to mention, the emotional pain of having a dog that has health problems.

    So IMO, either get a pet from the shelter or support QUALTIY, caring breeders.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Kurt - I don't disagree about reputable breeders. What I'm totally against is buying from pet shops because those animals come from puppy mills.

      It's amazing the number of purebreds you find in shelters, too - owners who bought a dog, didn't know or care enough to train it -they drop it off at the shelter as a "bad dog".

      There will always be pet owners who prefer a certain breed or lineage - and going to a breeder with a good rep is their best option.
      Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world will change forever for that one dog.

      You should always be yourself...unless you can be a Unicorn. Then you should always be a Unicorn.
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  • Profile picture of the author Patrician
    That really is something to celebrate, Kay!

    We have a commercial all the time from some national humane org and the pictures and music are just heart-breaking - showing abused and neglected dogs, cats, horses, baby seals and even cows - and it shows the expression on their faces and they look so depressed- as if their feelings are really hurt on top of whatever their physical problems are.

    'is somebody going to feed me today'?
    'am i going to die today'?

    I will tell you it is just gut wrenching to watch - but it really makes you aware that your $18 a month or whatever they are asking could save one of these precious little beings.

    I wish I had 10 of them - well even 1 of them would do.

    Keep up the good work!
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    • Profile picture of the author AprilCT
      My family has gotten quite a few shelter pets over the years, all dogs except for one cat. We have really loved these animals and it is heartbreaking to take only one home. I get emails all the time from the shelters, but our home and wallet are a bit small for two pets at the same time.

      Honestly, if there were quality vet care at reasonable prices, I think more people would adopt a second pet; otherwise, it gets prohibitively expensive.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
    That's terrific. Very glad to hear the numbers are reversing.

    We're a rescue-only family. We have two right now. I'd have four or five, but I don't really have the space or the inclination to spend half my day with a pooper scooper in hand.

    If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes.

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  • Profile picture of the author DJL

    That is wonderful news!

    Perhaps pet mortality rate finally provides something in which Mississippi doesn't rank fiftieth of the fifty states.

    Just kidding. I have enjoyed visiting beautiful Mississippi many times, except one January many years ago when I got stranded in a motel by a blizzard.

    I love my two dogs to distraction. One we adopted from the local shelter; the other showed up one day as a bedraggled stray at our front gate. The love and pleasure they give us far outweighs the cost of maintaining them.

    At various times, our household has included as many as six dogs at once. Three of those passed away from natural causes at ages ranging from twelve to fifteen years. For a couple of them we found other homes, as there were personality conflicts that sometimes led to furious encounters.

    My heart goes out to the many neglected and abused dogs that are all around us. I simply cannot fathom how anybody could be so cruel to these lovely creatures. I do what I can to redress the balance.

    I hope all Warriors will read this thread and take action to address the issue in their communities.

    None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
    --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities (1809)

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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    That is great news. I have not looked into this for a while, but where I live it seems all shelters in the region could work together towards that kind of record. They'd have to rework some policies and local regulations...

    Also strongly encourage people to do breed research before they buy or adopt.

    Example: I love Huskys, but they need to run (the Iditiarod is a 110 mile per day pace), can be escape artists, howlers when left alone, very stubborn, and fighters... They tend to end up in shelters at around one year old because the owners did not know of their tendencies and that they do require special handling.


    My vet is so anti-kill that she rescued four ten month old large, large mix, unsocialized dogs that animal control had two counties away and they were going to put them all down. She got them trained and socialized and adopted. In the process, one escaped and was wild in the woods for a few days before she spotted it. She was able to tranquilize it, but it did not lay down for a couple of miles.

    So here is this 105 pound woman going a couple of miles in the snow after this 110 lbs Pyrenees mix, and carrying it back to her truck. All ended well.

    "If you think you're the smartest person in the room, then you're probably in the wrong room."

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  • The face says it all...
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  • Profile picture of the author waterotter
    3m - That's a great pic and reminds me of what our firefighters now do here in Canada.

    When our firefighters are called upon, they now have the equipment to help save animals - oxygen which is vital if they are to survive and the firefighters are now equipped with special animal-sized oxygen masks.

    It's amazing to see news stories about animals that have been saved - kudos to our firefighters. They don't give up - I recall one story about a family dog that was given oxygen for well over 30 minutes. That dog survived thanks to them.

    I hope this is now common practice everywhere, or soon to be.
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