Starkville, Miss. (WCBI) – On Monday, the Oktibbeha County Humane Society joins more than 250 animal shelters in what organizers are calling the largest funded pet adoption event in the nation.
Oktibbeha County Humane Society staff say their kennels are almost always full.
“It’s two animals in a kennel, whereas right now about six of their runs have six to eight animals in them,” says animal care manager Camille Cotton.
And she says that’s just for their 27 kennels. Cotton says their 36 cat kennels have nearly two cats or two to four kittens in each one.
“If we’re full at the shelter, we try to place our animals in foster homes,” Cotton says. “We’ve even boarded some of our adoptable animals at the vet’s office.”
That’s why the Oktibbeha County Humane Society is part of the BISSELL Pet Foundation’s National “Empty the Shelters” adoption event.
Usually, the Starkville shelter charges $120 to adopt adult dogs, $170 to adopt a puppy, and $95 to adopt a cat.
But from July 11 to July 31, any of their animals could be adopted for as little as $25.
“That includes everything they normally get with an adoption,” Cotton says. “Animals are neutered and neutered before leaving, they are also microchipped.”
The BISSELL Foundation reimburses participating shelters so they can find homes for their animals quickly and without losing money. The program usually only lasts a week, but they decided to extend it due to the overcrowding crisis they say is facing shelters across the United States.
“We can’t necessarily give them as much attention as we would like because we have so many others to care for,” says Oktibbeha Humane Society staffer Sydney Parkman. “And so their yard time is much shorter, they don’t have as much space to run around.”
The BISSELL Foundation also reports that euthanasia of homeless dogs increased by 22% in the first three months of 2022.
“It’s really disheartening,” Parkman says. “You try to tell yourself that you’ve given them as much love as you can. It sucks, quite blatantly, you feel like you’ve let them down.
The hope is that “Empty the Shelters” can save the lives of animals in Mississippi and beyond.
The Oktibbeha County Humane Society is one of at least five shelters in the state participating in the adoption event.
Click here for more information on their adoption process.