Ocean Springs Group Rescues Forgotten Pets

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - For as long as she can remember, Tammy Tarazano has loved dogs. Helping the sick ones comes naturally to her. She's been saving them her whole life.

"I've always been drawn to the runt of the litter, so to speak," Tarazano said.

Now she is taking her love for special needs animals to a new level.  She's opening a new dog rescue, called Gulf Coast Canine Rescue and Rehab that will save the pets that regular shelters might have to euthenize. The project aims to give dogs the extra attention they need and then place them in permanent homes, instead of throwing them away.

"I don't think we have the right to put them down because they're in the wrong place at the wrong time," she said.

Cindy Culpepper is a local veterinarian who is helping out. She has a clear picture of what she wants the rescue to be.

"We want this to be an area where we rescue and rehabilitate animals that need that second chance," Culpepper said. "We're not just going to be a drop off place. It's going to be where we can actually help animals that need it."

She said the animals they have brought in so far have desperately needed the help they had to offer.

"I'm afraid some of them would need to be put to sleep or just be completely neglected," Culpepper said. "It's not necessarily because no one cares, it's because a lot of people don't have the money or the resources to know where to go."

To help out animals with urgent or unusual medical needs, Tarazano is starting the Hope Fund, named after one of their first rescue dogs.  The fund will go toward paying for expensive procedures for dogs with dire medical needs.

Stephanie Frierson volunteers with Gulf Coast Canine Rescue and Rehab, and she is amazed at the work they are already doing. She thinks the rescue will teach people how to care for their pets.

"So if they know there's somewhere for them to turn, hopefully it will educate the community on what to do with their animals and give them a second chance," Frierson said.

They are in the process of moving into their first location, on Government Street in Ocean Springs.  For more information about volunteering or donating, call 228-243-6999 or visit their website.