JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - On this busy Saturday in downtown Ocean Springs, Jackson County Animal Shelter Adoption Coordinator Maridee Mallette and several volunteers were out in the area working to get these shelter dogs and cats forever homes.
"People are out here in Ocean Springs shopping and buying clothes and things, and when they come out here and see these animals that need homes, they adopt them to save their lives. It is a great opportunity for these animals to get into the public," Mallette said.
In one week, more than 70 strays and surrenders were dropped off to the shelter, so this adoption day was a must.
"We are short staffed, so it is a lot more work for everybody. That is why we are looking for volunteers to help us. It is stressful, because we love animals, and we want to see them in good homes," Mallette said.
The call for help was heard by at least 10 families who took home pets. Tracey Pratt and her granddaughter are the proud owners of this adorable 3-year-old beagle, Champ.
"He was sponsored, so we didn't have to pay anything for him, but we paid it forward, sponsored another dog, Dusty, because we couldn't decide what we wanted. I love his floppy ears, his color and his temperament. He is going to fit in great," Pratt said.
Mallette said that's the happy ending she wants for every shelter pet. The plan is to host more adoption events like this one in hopes of saving the unwanted animals' lives.
"Some people don't like to come to the shelter, because they think it is sad and it is really not. We bring them out here and it is great, because it is kind of like a field trip. It gets the animals out in the sun and people come and adopt them and see them in their own environment," Mallette said.
More pet adopters, volunteers and fosters are still needed. If you would like to help the shelter, please call (228) 497-6350.