GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Humane Society of South Mississippi recently celebrated the inauguration of its very first shelter mascot, 7-year-old Labrador/Australian Shepard mix Trout.
Part of HSSM's annual fundraising event, Rock N' Roll Over, Trout will serve as an ambassador of the shelter and its 2016 mission. Laura and Ron Ladner of Pass Christian secured the honor for Trout, who was adopted in 2008 from Jackson Friends of Animals, after they were the highest bidder at the 2015 fundraising event.
"We're really excited to be a part of this amazing program," said Laura. "Ron and I have so much respect for HSSM and everything they do for the homeless dogs and cats in our community. Trout and his two sisters are rescues, and they're so full of love and have brought so much joy to our lives. Seeing how happy they are reinforces our commitment to helping organizations like HSSM. And Trout is loving being the center of attention."
As the HSSM mascot, Trout will receive a professional photo shoot, a feature on the cover of HSSM's calendar and a personalized theme song written by award-winning songwriter Jimmy Robins. In addition to being featured in the lobby of the shelter, Trout will also have a feature page on HSSM's website, a Facebook fan page, and will receive special invitations to HSSM and community events.
"We're honored to feature Trout as the face of HSSM for 2016," said Maren Slay, HSSM Marketing Specialist. "We could not have picked a truer representation of our mission. Ron and Laura are shining examples of responsible pet ownership, as well as advocates of pet rescue and pet adoption. We're so grateful for their participation and generous contribution to HSSM, which will help subsidize the care of animals in the shelter."
Mascot candidates do not have to have been adopted from HSSM to be eligible, but they must be spayed/neutered, micro-chipped and tagged. For more information about becoming HSSM's 2017 mascot, visit www.hssm.org/mascot.