Furry friends’ adoptions up – slightly|[07/24/08]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 24, 2008

Everything costs more, but people still need their furry friends even in times of economic stress.

“I think people are adopting more,” said Leigh Conerly, president of the Paws Rescue board of trustees.

Paws, the Vicksburg Warren Humane Society and the Vicksburg Animal Shelter have not seen decreases in pet adoptions with the declining economy.

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“We’ve still got a lot of people who really love animals and want to adopt,” said Eldridge Skinner, supervisor of the city shelter.

In fact, both Paws Rescue and the Humane Society said adoptions were up – slightly – this year.

“What has been down this year is donations,” said Georgia Lynn, president of the Humane Society.

The need that is not met by donations of food and cat litter must be made up with Humane Society funds. While the society is contracted by Warren County, the money received from the county “doesn’t touch” the need, Lynn said.

“We still rely heavily on donations. The general public doesn’t realize how many animals we take in,” she said, citing more than 2,000 animals taken in every year since 2004. So far this year, the society has had 210 pets adopted and placed 21 pets in breed-specific rescue.

Sources Pets available for adoption are advertised in The Vicksburg Post.Also, pets are online at:Vicksburg Warren Humane Society – www.petfinder.com/shelters/MS12.htmlCity of Vicksburg Animal Shelter – www.petfinder.com/shelters/MS104.htmlPaws Rescue – www.pawsrescuepets.org”We’ve already had 55 adoptions this year,” Conerly said. Last year, Paws placed 60 pets in homes.

Like the Humane Society, Paws is seeing fewer monetary donations, leaving a void for the care of the pets.

“The animals still need our care, so whatever we don’t get comes out of our pockets,” Conerly said.

Jennifer Anderson and her husband, Ray, who live in Ridgeland, found their shepherd mixes, Stella and Hazel, through Paws’ Web site.

“My husband wanted siblings, and I was looking one day and I saw their picture and showed them to him. He said, ‘that’s the one,'” Anderson said.

The littermates had been placed in separate homes, but each was miserable without the other.

“They’re so sweet,” Anderson said. “When they move, they move in unison.”

Though adoption numbers are up, there’s still room for improvement in the care of area animals. The key seems to be education.

“We have 300 members,” Lynn said. “You know that in a town of 50,000 there are more than 300 who care for animals.”

“A lot of people just don’t know,” said Conerly. “You can see it in their faces when they realize.”