Local animal shelter plans to relocate thousands of animals for adoption

HATTIESBURG, MISS. – Southern Pines Animal Shelter plans to relocate thousands of animals, in an attempt to find them loving homes.

“Southern Pines takes in about seven-thousand dogs and cats every year from around the state of Mississippi,” Southern Pines Animal Shelter Director, Ginny Sims said.

However, taking in this many animals could cause a shelter to become over-crowded. “A lot of animals end up in homes through adoption, but that are so many in need of a place to go... So, we have found that through relocation efforts we can actually help those pets find homes in other states,” Sims explained. In order, to avoid being overcrowded this shelter looks to seek potential pets owners outside of the Mississippi state lines. The Southern Pines Animal Shelter partnered with the ASPCA to launch the WaterShed Animal Fund Rescue Ride, which is a relocation program that is already established in 18 states.

In the program's first year, January 2017, the program relocated more than 5,000 animals and beat their original goal of 2,000. “The most rewarding part for us is to see an animal come in, and know that animal is really just in need of a second chance, and being able to see that second chance happen... With an animal who might have been lost, sick, or afraid… to move into a happy and wonderful home, and begin it's brand new life,” Sims said. “Well the best part is that, you know you find these dogs and they all want a home to go to.... I see a lot of my old dog that passed away in him,” Joseph Baxter said, who recently adopted a dog from South Pines Animal Shelter. “But, he needed a home, and so it was just a natural way to go for me once I laid eyes on him.” However, not enough stories end on this positive note, such as Baxter and his new found best friend. For this reason, South Pines Animal Shelter will go beyond its current territory to find homes for these animals.

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