Family has fallen in love with their Dak

Published 6:50 pm Saturday, March 11, 2017

The numbers speak for themselves.

In the last few months, 25 cats, 21 kittens, 29 dogs and 49 puppies have been adopted from the Vicksburg Animal Shelter thanks to Passionate For Rescues and the Facebook page the group started.

Because of limited space at the Vicksburg Animal Shelter, as new dogs and cats are brought in, those animals that have been there the longest have to be euthanized — a hard fact that Darlene Hughes and the group she started, Passionate For Rescues, are working to prevent.

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Hughes and the other volunteers know the odds are against them. The population of unwanted and abused animals here is too great to save them all. However, before the work of the Passionate For Rescues volunteers, little was done at the city’s animal shelter to find homes for the animals.

In addition to volunteering at the shelter, Passionate For Rescues regularly posts photos and videos on their Facebook page of all the animals that are available for adoption.

“The Facebook page has more than 800 members on it, and it is all about the pound — the dogs and the cats,” Hughes said.

Social media was how Adam Barnett and Laken Nichols found their new family pet.

“I saw him of Facebook,” Barnett said of the oversized puppy with dark brown eyes that Passionate For Rescues volunteers were calling “Big Boy.”

“They had posted a video of him on Facebook and as soon as I saw him, I knew I wanted him.”

Barnett said Big Boy was a bit “kennel aggressive” when he first saw him at the shelter, but once out, the dog was fine.

Barnett wound up leaving the shelter without the dog, because the initial aggressiveness gave him reason to pause, since he had three children ay home.

However, after getting back to his house and thinking about the puppy, Barnett said he decided to return.

“I came back home and thought about him, and I had to go back and get him,” he said, and to date there have been no issues of aggressiveness from the dog.

“He has become our protector and is good with the kids. The vet even said he was the sweetest dog in the world.”

Once Big Boy officially became part of the family, Barnett said he wanted to give him a name that suited him more and decided on Dak after the Dallas Cowboy quarterback, Dak Prescott.

“I can’t stand Mississippi State because I’m an Arkansas fan, but in my mind Dak Prescott should have gone in the first round. But he went (in the) fourth (round) because nobody thought he would amount to anything in the NFL,” Barnett said. But the Louisiana native proved otherwise, he said, as Prescott went on to become one of the best rookie quarterbacks ever drafted.

“It’s kind of similar with him,” Barnett said, referring to his dog.

“Nobody wanted him, but he has turned out to be a really good dog, so they (Dak and Dak) have a lot in common.”

Nichols said Dak loves to go riding and playing with the kids, which was evident when watching the puppy with Michael, MacKenzie and Hunter.

And because Dak is a puppy, Barnett said they have signed him up for dog obedience classes. It seems when left alone, out of boredom, Dak has enjoyed chewing up a few shoes and a couple of TV remote controls.

Barnett praised Passionate For Rescues and said he plans on taking Dak back down to the shelter so the volunteers that worked so hard to get him adopted can see how he is thriving.

“They have got something very positive going on down there, and Dak is a perfect example of it. You had a dog out there that nobody wanted and they (Passionate For Rescues) believed in him.”

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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