At Southern Pines Animal Shelter, we know that enrichment is important for our shelter dogs, and we try to find new and exciting ways to help our four-legged friends stay mentally and physically happy and healthy. Today, several of our dogs got out of their kennels for some fun in a homemade ball pit. While some of the pups enjoyed jetting in and out of the ball pit chasing their buddies, others liked to swipe the balls and run around the yard, and others even enjoyed solo play time digging around in search of treats inside the pool. Regardless of how they chose to play, all of the pups had a great time, and we were lucky enough to capture a few of them on film. If you would like to help support our enrichment programs here at Southern Pines, please check out our wishlist to help keep us stocked with treats and toys. From old classical music CD's to empty paper towel tubes to peanut butter to toys - even the smallest donation of enrichment items can make a big difference for dogs and cats waiting for their new forever homes! If you are interested in finding out more about adopting any of the playful and happy pups featured in these pictures, please contact Southern Pines at 601-544-6632 for more information!
Southern Pines assisted in the rescue of 40 cats and kittens this weekend after their caretaker passed away. His family remembers him as a compassionate man who took care of any animal that happened to cross his path. From deer to snakes to rodents to cats, he always made sure they had what he could give, even it meant taking a little less for himself. Taking one step onto this quaint property tucked into the woods and off the road, it was evident that the 40 cats and kittens living there never went hungry, always had a warm place to sleep, and even found their way inside from time to time.
When their caretaker passed away, 40 cats and kittens lost a dependable source of food, they lost a way of life they were accustomed to, and they lost a friend. Now your donations can help give them a second chance. $1,200 can save 40 lives. Can you help us to help them?
Many of these cats were part of a colony that began when strays were tossed out in the rural area surrounding the country home. They were not house pets or the cuddliest of kittens, but they would come running when they'd hear the familiar sound of their caretaker singing as he filled their bowls of food. As the colony grew he did the best he could to take care of the cats even though many would never be quite trusting enough to be picked up. When their caretaker passed away, the cats lost a dependable source of food, they lost a way of life they were accustomed to, and they lost a friend. Left alone, and with some still trapped inside, some of the cats declined, and began to get sick. They needed a new start and a second chance, and thankfully the caretakers family called for help.
Southern Pines is proud to have strong partnerships with shelters, rescues, and animal welfare groups throughout the state, and when the State Director for the Humane Society of the United States reached out for assistance with this case, Southern Pines was happy to help honor a man who cared for each animal he encountered by caring for those he left behind. Tucked into the countryside, McCall Creek is a small community whose closest neighbors are our friends at the Brookhaven Animal Rescue League. This wonderful group only had the capacity to care for six of the cats, and they needed help to make sure those in need weren't left behind. Over the last few days, 34 cats made their way back to Southern Pines where they received medical exams, vaccinations, flea treatment, and spay/neuter surgery. Some of the cats are quite social, while others would prefer to love humans from a safe distance.
The cost to provide treatment to all of these cats will be just over $1,200, as some will need antibiotics, testing, and all will be spayed and neutered. They have lost the person who cared most for them, and we are committed to helping these cats find a new place to call home. Many of the kittens will be able to enter our regular adoption program, but the adults would prefer to go into barn cat or outdoor homes. If you can help us to give these cats a second chance, please consider making a donation here. All of the cats will be available for adoption, and if you are interested in giving one of the outdoor barn cats a home, please visit our Barn Cat Buddies Page and fill out the online form or give the shelter a call at 601-544-6632. Thank you for helping us to give these cats a second chance. Together we truly are saving more lives than ever before.
While the temperatures say otherwise, summer is drawing to a close. For Southern Pines this means that we have almost made it through our most challenging time of year. Summer brings dangerous temperatures, an influx of puppies and kittens looking for homes, and a higher number of lost and stray animals. With them comes the most crowded months for our shelter. We are once again reminded how important spay and neuter is to reducing our area's pet overpopulation, and the overcrowding in Mississippi shelters is a visual reminder that we still have so far to go. Just since June 1st, Southern Pines has taken in 1,643 cats and dogs. Many of them have been young, a few have had special medical or behavioral needs, and an unfortunately high number have been heartworm positive. But this year, summer has been a challenge we were eager to meet, and I am so proud to share with each of you our summer live release rate for Southern Pines of 93.86%!
Of course none of this is possible without the dedication, generosity, hard work, and support of so many people. People just like you. For the first time, we are treating heartworms through our Healing Hearts Program, which allows community members to make a gift to heal the heart of a dog in need. And that's not all, this summer we have treated diseases and conditions like ringworm, scabies, parvo, tick paralysis, and broken bones, that in previous years would have put these pets at risk for euthanasia. Your support and generous gifts have helped us to dream big, and for these homeless pets, it has made all the difference.
Thanks to the support of adopters, fosters, and volunteers more pets than ever before have found the time, care, and love they needed to begin the next chapter of their lives. Since June, 749 pets have been adopted into loving homes. This is a phenomenal accomplishment, and it would not have been possible with out you.
This summer has also allowed us to build fantastic partnerships with other shelters and rescues in our state and beyond. These relationships have truly allowed us to make the biggest impact for the most homeless pets in the state by working together. Since June, we have taken in 377 dogs and cats from surrounding facilities to be placed in adoptive homes, and our shelter and partner groups have helped us to place more than 50 of our own special needs pets who would have been most at-risk for euthanasia in our shelter. We are proud to be part of a strong community of shelters and rescues all working towards one goal, and together, we truly are making a difference.
Partnerships are a vital part of our success at Southern Pines, and our partnership with PetSmart Charities and the Rescue Waggin' Program have brought stories of hope, love, and second chances to so many homeless dogs and cats this summer. This unique and beneficial transport partnership has saved more than 700 lives since June 1st, and more than 1,500 lives in 2015 so far! We are constantly amazed by the opportunities this partnership brings to animals in need. And the support we receive from PetSmart Charities in the form of knowledge sharing and program-growing grants continues to save lives for our shelter pets every day.
We have so much to celebrate, and this truly has been a summer like no other. We are so grateful for the support of our community, the growing of friendships in the shelter community, and the dedication of our volunteers and fosters. Our work is not done, but as we look towards a cooler time of year, we are rejuvenated and refocused on the mission at hand. We are setting out to save more lives than ever before, and we are excited about what the rest of this year will bring as we work to all come together to meet this goal. Thank you for being a part of that journey whether you are an adopter, a donor, a volunteer, a foster, a Facebook post sharer, a rescuer, a shelter, a neighbor, a law enforcement officer, or just a friend. Together, we truly are saving more lives than ever before!
Southern Pines Animal Shelter
Blog articles are written by staff and volunteers of Southern Pines Animal Shelter.