‘Home for the Holidays’ — PRCSPCA: The local shelter offers added incentive to help place adoptable pets into forever homes for the New Year — and beyond!

Published 11:30 pm Saturday, December 13, 2008

Their big soft eyes tell an often tragic story as they peer into your soul. They are society’s furry, forgotten residents. They are the animals of the local SPCA, and they desperately need homes — for the holidays and all year round.

The Pearl River County SPCA works very hard to provide healthy, adoptable pets to the community. All shelter pets come with their shots, they are all either spayed or neutered, they are microchipped and they each come with a 30 day money back guarantee, said local SPCA board president Maria Diamond.

Due possibly to current economic issues, the shelter is now more overrun with pets than ever and they are extremely short on space for them all. Although the shelter aspires to one day have a new facility to help with the influx of pets, they desperately need of foster homes, NOW!

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While providing homes for the homeless is one function of the shelter, another important aspect is education. They work tirelessly to help control the pet population by teaching the public the importance of spaying or neutering their own pets. No animal leaves the shelter that hasn’t undergone this harmless procedure.

Shelter employees and volunteers have gone into the local classrooms to teach students about animal health and safety as a way to help prevent future cases of animal cruelty through learning. Diamond said the first thing she likes to ask the students is to consider how they might feel being placed on a chain in all nature of inclement weather conditions, year round. This is how some “pets” spend their whole lives — it can often lead to madness.

Shelter staff members, like Debi Necaise who lends many years of experience to the job having worked for 10 years at the Gulf Coast shelter, are extremely important assets to the shelter. They come in and make sure the animals are kept in fresh bedding and clean cages. If given the opportunity, Necaise, who works with the cats, will often let the cats out of confinement to get some stretch and lap time.

Another invaluable asset to the shelter has been its website. Having pictures of the sweet baby faces online draws dog and cat lovers from around the country to come to the Pearl River County shelter to adopt. The tool has worked to save a lot of lives and aids in providing amazing homes for the pets.

For December, the shelter has added incentive for you to adopt your next pet from them: The “Home for the Holidays” program. Pets that have been at the shelter for more than three months, can be brought home for half price.

“These are wonderful, well-behaved pets,” said Diamond. She added that the shelter does not recommend giving the pet as a present for a young child on Christmas day because of the holiday hoopla, but she offers a suggestion: “Give the child a picture of the pet, and then come pick it up the next day.”

The PRCSPCA is located at 1700 Palestine Rd. in Picayune. To learn more about the shelter including: Future building plans, becoming a shelter volunteer, providing a foster home, or to learn how to adopt, call 601-798-8000 or visit www.prcspca.org.

After making the decision to open your heart and your home to a new four-legged family member, consider adopting your next pet from the local shelter. With literally a life-saving gesture, how can you go wrong?