STONE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A South Mississippi animal shelter that sometimes has to turn away animals for lack of space is getting some relief. The Stone County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals received a donation to help expand its shelter.
Stone County SPCA volunteers say they run a no kill shelter, which means no animal is ever put down because of overcrowding.
"We strive to have the animals adopted out," said volunteer Nina Shaw. "We do all we can to fundraise to feed them and care for them and medicate them so they can find a good home."
Part of finding the animals good homes is keeping them healthy. To prevent the spread of illnesses among cats, the shelter keeps them in indoors and in three separate areas based on if the cats are sick, healthy or new to the shelter.
However, officials say limited space makes that difficult.
"When a cat comes in it can appear healthy, but it can be carrying something," said shelter director Katie Stonnington. "They're more susceptible to upper respiratory infections, and you don't want to mix a sick cat with a healthy cat."
The Gulf Coast Community Foundation awarded the shelter a $15,000 grant from the Jack and Trudy Wilson Animal Welfare Fund. The money will pay for an 800 square foot addition to the shelter.
"We're limited because of space of how many cats we can take in. We don't have enough space," said Stonnington. "What this will enable us to do is pull the healthy cats out of a small bedroom, put them in a much larger area."
Officials believe being less cramped will improve the look of the shelter and make it more inviting to the public, which will hopefully increase donations.
The Stone County SPCA says every year since the shelter opened, the number of animals coming in has increased by 20 percent. Last year, the shelter took in 1,000 animals.