HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Thirty-two lucky puppies and dogs from the Southern Pines Animal Shelter are on their way to Wisconsin for a chance at a new life with a loving family.
It's part of the Pet Smart Charities Rescue Waggin that takes the animals from partner shelters who have too many adoptable animals to shelters in other parts of the country where there are more adopters than available dogs.
"This allows us to save more lives," said Dr. Alicia Hatch, Veterinarian, SPAS. "We're able to house more animals , keep our population low enough so that animals move through quickly and we can house more animals over time without crowding them."
Southern Pines has been part of the program for about a year. In 2013 they transported around 500-puppies. Already this year they have moved around 100. What made Tuesday's transport unique was for the first time three-adult-dogs were included. Hatch says in order for a dog to be included in the transport certain requirements must be met.
"They require that the animals are heart worm negative or at least they know the status of the heart worms and they must be behaviorally sound. So we do a behavior assessment to make sure we are not sending aggressive dogs and it took us awhile to get us through the process to get our staff approved to assess the dogs."
Depending on how full the shelter is, the Rescue Waggin comes through Southern Pines two to four times a month. Those scheduled to go out must be out of the shelter environment and in foster for two-weeks prior to the transport, so there is always a need for new fosters.
Anyone interested in fostering or volunteering at the shelter can call 601-544-6632.