Place to call home: Local group seeking permanent homes for animals

Published 7:00 am Saturday, July 25, 2015

love: AAS founder Evelyn Agnelly shares a special moment with her dog Rufus.  Photo by Cassandra Favre

love: AAS founder Evelyn Agnelly shares a special moment with her dog Rufus.
Photo by Cassandra Favre

“Never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” –– Martin Luther King Jr.

As a child, Poplarville resident Evelyn Agnelly would bring home stray cats and dogs. As she grew into adulthood, so did her love for animals.
That’s why in 1994; Agnelly started the non-profit Animal Adoption Society, Inc. in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana.
“I felt there was a need to foster and adopt these homeless animals,” Agnelly said. “Prior to creating the society, I was working with the animal shelter in St. Bernard and I wanted to do more than what the shelter could do. That’s just who I am.”
After Hurricane Katrina destroyed her home in 2005, Agnelly relocated to Poplarville, where her efforts to save animals continue.
The AAS is now comprised of volunteers from Pearl River County and the New Orleans, Louisiana area, she said.
People who find stray animals will call the group and if they have room, the animals are placed into foster homes. Right now three of the group’s members foster animals including AAS Vice-President Suzette Serio of Picayune and AAS Treasurer Betty Bond of Poplarville, Agnelly said.
However, the group is always searching for more foster parents.
“Some people don’t want to foster because they can become attached to the animal,” Agnelly said. “This has happened to some of us. But you have to get yourself in the mindset that you are saving this animal’s life.”
When someone chooses to become a foster parent, they have to be available when someone wants to visit the animal and bring the animal to events, Agnelly said. The group brings adoptable animals to the Walmart in Picayune on the third Saturday of each month for an adoption event, she said.
Group members also bring dogs and cats to visit the residents at the Pearl River County Nursing Home in Poplarville, she said.
“Every Sunday morning, one of the cats attends Sunday school and the worship service with me at church,” Agnelly said. “They sit on a friends lap during Sunday school and next to me in a pew during the service. One of our cats likes to sing when we sing.”
Bond has been a member of AAS since 2007. She wanted something to do after her husband passed away.
“I just love dogs and I’ve had them since I was a child,” Bond said. “They are good companions and I don’t think you can ever get lonesome when they are around. They have so much love to give. Fostering is real rewarding, it’s such a good feeling when they get adopted and you know they are going to be happy.”
All animals adopted through the AAS have been spayed or neutered, administered heartworm and flea preventative medications and are up-to-date on shots, Agnelly said. The cats are also tested for feline leukemia and FIV.
The cost to adopt a dog who has been with the society for more than a year is $50. Pedigree dogs and dogs who have been with the AAS for less than a year cost $100 to adopt, Agnelly said. The adoption fee for cats is $25.
There is a two-week policy if the animal does not fit in with his new home, Agnelly said. However, if even after two-years, things aren’t working, people can still bring the animal back to AAS.
The AAS currently has five animals who are wanting for their forever home.
The first is Mia, a 7-year-old Chihuahua. Once she gets to know someone, she is very loving and a lap dog, Agnelly said.
Then there’s Highway, who Agnelly described as sweet and affectionate. He about 6-years-old and is a Jack Russell mix. He is great with kids and other animals, she said.
Feline brothers Butterscotch and Taffy must be adopted together because they have bonded, Agnelly said. They are about 2-years-old and domestic shorthairs cats. Although sweet, they are not lap cats she said, but they will come to you when they want.
Last but not least, there’s Maggie. She’s a 3-month-old mix of German Shepard and Boxer, Bond said. She sweet and real smart for her age, Bond said. Maggie is also a quick learner and loves the swimming pool.
Learn more about the group through Facebook at Animal Adoption Society, Inc. and PetFinder at
Contact volunteers through email at and at 601-403-9011.

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