Humane Society of South MS celebrates milestone - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Humane Society of South MS celebrates milestone yet pushes forward

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

The Humane Society of South Mississippi is celebrating a huge milestone, but they are not about to rest on its laurels. In 2012, not a single healthy adopted animal was euthanized for lack of space. That's a first time accomplishment for the shelter.

Some potential dog and cat owners said it's important that new additions to a family come from an animal shelter.

Anna Cofer, a pet Owner, said, "There's so many out there that need to be adopted and these are animals that either people had to give up or were found on the street and just need somebody."

The Humane Society of South Mississippi spared the lives of all healthy adoptable animals last year by finding a lot of people that love animals.

"Now we have this great facility for years. It's beautiful. It's colorful. It's friendly," said Krystyna Szczechowski, shelter spokesperson. "But our live release rate back at the old shelter was 20 percent to 25 percent. What it means to us not to have euthanized any healthy adoptable pet is it's the first time we're living up to this beautiful facade that we have."

Along with getting adoptions numbers up another goal is to reduce the number of animals that end up at the shelter. Awareness campaigns encourage pet owners to tag and microchip their pets to easily reunite them if lost. The shelter also became more aggressive in its spay and neuter program, especially important to reducing kittens born to feral cats.

"Getting those cats fixed because every spring we will see what we call kitten season," said Szczechowski. "Kittens of the same age essentially flood the shelter, and it becomes the most frantic time of the year for us."

Now the Humane Society is focusing on its next priority, nursing sick animals back to health so they can be adopted.

Szczechowski said, "The missing piece is isolation space. So what we're trying to do is build a second chance ward because that hospital building will allow us to isolate and treat those animals who are not getting their second chances yet."

The Humane Society said their live release rate was 67 percent for 2012.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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