Humane Society offers dogs, cats loving owners

Published 12:42 am Wednesday, December 16, 2009

NATCHEZ — Every year, the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society has a year-long mission to grant wishes to those who can’t tell Santa what they want for Christmas.

And for the hundreds of cats and dogs at the animal shelter located on Liberty Road, those wishes are for loving owners and safe homes.

“We work with the city and the county in housing and rescuing abandoned and surrendered animals. And in addition to that, we get called in when there are allegations of abuse and neglect,” Humane Society Board Member Nan Garrison said.

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The organization also travels to schools to teach students how to care for their animals.

The programs presented at the schools also stress the importance of spaying and neutering pets.

Garrison said the current project the organization is focusing on — other than rescuing and finding homes for county animals — is financing a new facility that will better serve the needs of the kennel’s occupants.

One fundraising effort that is in the works is a cookbook the organization has put together and is selling for $20 a book.

“Doggone Purrfectly Good Eats” has been on sale since October.

To purchase a copy of the book and help out the fundraising efforts of the Humane Society, call Lori Isbell at 601-431-1987.

Garrison said fundraising efforts have been successful for the organization, but there is still a lot of work to do.

“We have not quite reached the amount of money we need yet, but we’ve got a good start,” Garrison said.

In addition to cookbook sales, the Humane Society hosts two big events a year — in May and December — and proceeds are used to maintain the existing facility and care for the animals residing in the kennel.

Garrison said this year’s December fundraiser was a success, and she estimated approximately 150 people participated in the get-together.

Garrison said each month the organization is involved in smaller fundraising activities, as well.

And with temperatures dropping and the cost of utilities at the shelter, every penny that is brought in at the fundraisers helps keep rescued animals safe until homes are found for them.

But as temperatures drop, Garrison said she is seeing the number of adoptions rise.

“We are having some significant adoptions now, and part of that has to do with the holidays,” Garrison said.

The Humane Society’s shelter is open Monday through Friday from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.

Garrison she considers taking care of the abandoned and abused animals a calling she could never refuse.

“I feel I have to do (for the animals.) I don’t feel like I have a choice, and I’ve always felt that way,” Garrison said.

Garrison said one of the most rewarding parts of being involved with the rescue and relocation of mistreated animals is the feeling that comes with knowing an animal has been taken to a loving home.

“That is a good feeling. When they call us, and they say we’ve had five adopted today, we are absolutely thrilled by that,” Garrison said.

However, the animals still need to be taken care of while waiting for their turn to find a new home.

Garrison said about 200 animals remain without homes, and the cost of feeding and caring for them gets expensive.

“We have great people who have been benefactors of the Humane Society for years and they bring paper towels, cleaning supplies, mops, brooms, cat food and dog food,” Garrison said. “But we have a need list.”

Garrison said the best way to offer support for the Humane Society is to adopt and provide materials listed on the shelter’s Web site:

The organization requests that any dog food donated to the shelter not contain red dye.

Garrison said monetary donations, whether they are for the building fund or to help pay for the current shelter’s utility expenses, are also welcome because with the expenses of taking care of the animals and providing a warm or cool environment for them to be housed, every dollar counts.

“We have huge gas bills at this time of the year,” Garrison said.