GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Humane Society of South Mississippi needs your help to save the lives of 2,300 animals, and win $125,000 in the process.
The shelter is competing with 49 others nationwide in the ASPCA Challenge. Our Humane Society in Gulfport finished the first round of the competition in first place. And workers and volunteers have an ambitious plan to end the contest with the grand prize.
"Last year, we accepted 12,300 animals; 5440 of those animals did not have a positive outcome," said Jode Braxton Hignight, with the Humane Society of South Mississippi. "We're very transparent about that because, one, we don't want to hide anything. And two, we want our community to understand the importance of spaying and neutering their pets."
For three months, beginning in August, the shelter will focus on bringing those numbers down with special adoption programs. They'll need to place 22 animals in new homes every day in order to meet their goal. And on August 6, the Humane Society will try to set a Guinness World record for the most adoptions in a single day. Meeting that goal alone would help 400 animals.
So, how can you help the cause?
"We're looking for sponsors in the community to sponsor a life, sponsor one of the 2,300 lives that we are hoping to save, and that equates to $26.80," Braxton Hignight said.
Let's look into the future. On December 1, what happens if the Humane Society of South Mississippi wins the $100,000 prize, plus the $25,000 Community Engagement Award?
"It will go strictly to live saving programs. The ASPCA has restricted it to that purpose," said shelter worker Krystyna Szczechowski. "It's going to help us improve our adoptions program. It's going to help us send more animals out on Love Train, and those animals that need it the most: large dogs and adult cats."
And taking home one of the beautiful animals waiting to be adopted will not only help improve the shelter's chances of winning, it might just also improve your own life.
Visit http://challenge.aspcapro.org/shelter/profile/humane-society-south-mississippi to learn more about the ASPCA Challenge and how you can help. Remember, the contest officially starts August 1 and lasts until October 31.