GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - The Jackson County animal shelter is filled with more than 150 homeless cats and dogs, but a group of citizens is helping change that by finding the unwanted animals permanent, loving homes.
"Unfortunately, we are filled to capacity right now," Shelter Director Bill Richmond said. "We are not even taking in animals today, if we can help it."
Many of the animals are unwanted and abandoned.
"The economy has been bad; people are having a hard time taking care of their animals. It is a sad thing, but where they end up is here."
The Friends of Jackson County Animal Shelter Pets group has teamed up with the shelter to help the animals who haven't been adopted.
"It is not the animal's fault. It is not the shelter staff's fault, and they get a bad rap sometimes. The community needs to be educated and be more proactive," Group President Judy Parsley said.
Her volunteers sponsor different community events for the four legged friends. The group also takes photos of the pets to highlight on Facebook. Check out the group's page here: http://on.fb.me/16D0kVg
"Just on our Facebook page alone we have had 80,000 hits last week and other out-of-state rescues use our page. So, we are able to network animals through that page," Parsley said.
In the last month, Parsley said more homeless animals found new, loving homes thanks to lots of teamwork.
"About 110 dogs out of Jackson County Animal Shelter. That is through their adoptions, through all the rescues and our adoptions."
Parsley feels more still needs to be done.
"The very most important thing you can do is spay and neuter your pets. If everyone started to spay and neuter their pets today, probably within five years we wouldn't have this over population problem," Parsley said.
Until that happens, the volunteer group will be dedicated to helping spare these homeless animals' lives.
The Friends of Jackson County Animal Shelter Pets is holding a bowling event Sunday afternoon at Spanish Trial Lanes in Gautier from 1pm to 4pm. All the proceeds will benefit the shelter animals. For more information about the fundraiser, call (228) 327-5063.