GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Every year more than nine million animals are euthanized in the United States. But one local organization is doing its best to keep animals alive.
It's called 'SMARTER' which stands for 'South Mississippi Animal Rescue Team and Refuge.' Saturday, they took over part of the Hoods parking lot in Gulfport to raise money and awareness.
"We do not kill. We are a hundred percent against euthanization," said Jonean Crowle with SMARTER.
The non-profit organization serves as a rescue and refuge for animals all over the coast.
"We generally have two to 400 animals depending on the influx, and they are fed and given medicine on a daily basis," Crowle said.
That's why they are spending part of their weekend washing cars, not only to raise money, but to educate the public in hopes of saving another animal.
"We're fearless. We go in and rescue the animals. And then we go in and take care of them and all of their physical and medical, whatever they need," Crowle said.
The Cuevas Family knows firsthand that housing animals can get costly, that's why they support SMARTER.
"Animals have feelings, too, and you just really have to care for them," said Ashlie Cuevas.
Cuevas has two adopted pets.
"Sometimes it takes a little bit for the right person to find the right dog," Cuevas said.
She found the right dog and the right cat, and she's hoping South Mississippians will follow her lead in supporting organizations that will do what it takes to help animals live long, healthy lives.
If you want to support SMARTER, you can call 228-254-6063. You can also donate food or supplies at Hoods during regular business hours.
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