HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The following is a press release from Southern Pines Animal Shelter.
Southern Pines Animal Shelter saved a total of 5,997 animals in 2016 and achieved no-kill status for the second year in a row with a 97.9% Placement Rate. This is a milestone in the 65 year history of the organization, making Southern Pines the largest open admission animal shelter to reach no-kill status in the state of Mississippi.
“We are so excited to be able to share this great news with our community,” said Ginny Sims, Director for Southern Pines Animal Shelter. “This accomplishment comes as a result of the ongoing support and dedication of a caring and compassionate community of donors, volunteers, partners, and supporters. It is only through their support that we will continue our mission and grow to accomplish more.”
Southern Pines is an open-admission shelter, meaning that the doors are always open for animals entering the program regardless of their age, health, or perceived adoptability. Since 2015, more than 12,000 dogs and cats have received the shelter and medical care they needed to find homes and families of their own.
This accomplishment comes through progressive shelter programs and services as well as the dedicated work of volunteers, fosters, community supporters, staff, and board of directors. Adoption programs designed to welcome adopters, create opportunities for support, and provide resources for pet care have helped the shelter to maintain high adoption rates. Innovative programs such as the Barn Cat and Healing Heart programs have also helped at-risk animals find homes through adoption.
Southern Pines has also established a transport program which helps pets move out of overcrowded shelters and into adoptive homes in other states. The program has been successful in drastically reducing euthanasia of at-risk animals, and Southern Pines now partners with 15 shelters and rescues across the state of Mississippi to help them place dogs and cats through the Southern Pines Transport Program. During 2016, more than 3,200 dogs and cats benefited from this program.
“Together, we have worked so hard over the last several years to really save more lives than we ever have before. We are proud to be a resource for communities around the state of Mississippi, and we have so many ideas and hopes for how to save more lives in the future,” said Sims.
Achieving no-kill status does not mean that animals are never humanely euthanized, but that euthanasia decisions are reserved for animals suffering from illness, injury, or extreme aggression which severely hinders their quality of life and the safety of the public. A 90% or higher placement rate is the nationally accepted no-kill standard, and Southern Pines has exceeded this qualification since December of 2014.