Shelters across the US take in roughly 6.5 million animals each year, and every year, approximately 1.5 million of these will be euthanized. While many are adopted out to new homes, many will die. Southern states like Mississippi have some of the highest numbers of stray dogs and cats-and therefore high euthanasia rates, due to lower rates of spaying and neutering. Because of this, stray numbers spiral out of control in this area, but a few citizens of Tippah County are trying to put an end to the vicious cycle.
July 29th marks the one year anniversary of The Animal Foster & Rescue of Tippah County. It started as a Facebook page created in hopes to help some of the stray animals in the county, even if it was just a few. The page quickly drew interest from others wanting to make a difference and offer their help.
“I’ve learned that when you don’t have a facility to use as a shelter, and you’re relying solely on foster homes, it’s all about connections…,” states Rescue board member, Kayla Myers, “…You begin to grow a network of people working with other rescues. When an animal is in need, it’s all hands on deck. It’s very important to be able to contact numerous people and numerous rescues to try to find help. Social media is invaluable to us in this way.” In this last year, due to a network of dedicated rescuers and fosters, Tippah County Rescue has saved over 200 cats and dogs from this area. Dogs and cats have been adopted out locally and many puppies have been transported to foster homes in other states throughout the US. “We’re making a small difference, but this is like fighting an uphill battle. We still have a long way to go,” states Myers.
For now, the rescue awaits their non-profit status. Receiving that will open up new doors for them, especially in the area of fundraising. The Rescue operates solely off of funds and donations from the community, along with volunteer work. Community support is crucial for their work to continue. In the coming year, they plan to establish a low-cost spay/neuter program for the area, and one day, they hope to raise enough funds to build a shelter facility.
The work can be endless and tiring, but also so very rewarding. The rescue is always in need of more foster homes for cats and dogs. If you would like to get involved and make a difference in Tippah County, you can look them up on Facebook by clicking here and shoot them a message today. Donations such as food and puppy pads can be dropped off at Hill Dental in Ripley Monday-Friday 8-5. Monetary donations are vital to provide veterinary care to the animals and can be made to Baldwyn Veterinary Hospital for the rescue.