Pearl River County SPCA plans for donation revealed

Published 11:34 pm Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Pearl River County SPCA celebrated their recent receipt of $20,000 from Maddie’s Fund and disclosed future plans for the organization and a new animal shelter.

Among new things to be implemented willl be a rabies clinic, pet food assisstance and a larger animal shelter to be built in the county.

Pearl River County SPCA Special Project Director Carla Gerrad a pet therapy program also is planned so specially trained pets can tour assissted living homes, hospitals and other places animals can help people feel better, Gerrard said.

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To help reduce the number of euthanisia cases of unwanted pets, a transport program is planned to relocate dogs and cats from Pearl River County to areas where they are needed. She said large breed dogs are popular in the northeast and unwanted animals found here could be transported there.

Another program, The Pet Food Pantry, can help families on restricted incomes feed their animals. Gerrard said a condition to participate in the program could be that the animlas be spayed or neutered. If qualified, free, at or below cost, cat and dog food could be provided. Gerrard said she still has cat food leftover from the Hurricane Katrina recovery response that she distributes to those who need it. She hopes to get the program started in full swing by the first of the year.

“It helps low income, no income, families feed their babies,” Gerrard said.

Community education could be done with the implementation of a publication called “Living with Animals.” Gerrard hopes that the advertising in the small magazine will help it become self sufficient.

Gerrad said the SPCA is working on building a new animal shelter in the county. The move from the city limits of Picayune into the county will better suit the growth patterns the county has witnessed.

Five acres of land will be needed to build the new 10,000 square foot building.

In the plans on display at the current animal shelter in Picayune is a dog run area, a park like courtyard, a meeting room and a sun porch for the cats. The extra land around the proposed shelter will allow potential pet owners to become acquainted with their new animals as they take them for walks. Also planned for the new shelter is a rabies clinic that will cater to Poplarville residents in the Fall and the Picayune residents in the Spring.

To get the money for the new facility, Gerrard said they will implement fund raisers and talk to foundations about donations.

“I’m kinda hoping if we get euthanisia numbers down, maybe one of these foundations will give us a look,” Gerrard said.