Hernando Animal Shelter: Every Pet Deserves Love
By Dasha Peipon
Susan Huff is City of Hernando Animal Shelter director. She gives love and care to animals nobody else cares for and helps them find homes. We decided to ask Susan about the ways our community can help.
Q: Tell us a little about your animal shelter.
Our mission is to provide compassionate care to the displaced pets and to enrich the lives of both animals and people in our community. We do this by spaying/neutering and vaccinating all animals who come into our care, educating the public on animal welfare issues, and by enforcing city and state animal control ordinances. We are a “no kill” shelter which means that we never euthanize for time or space. If we are out of kennel space, we reach out to our volunteers and members of our community to foster the animals in their own homes. There is no time limit on how long we care for and house an animal.
Q: It sounds like you need a lot of volunteers. Do you have enough help?
We are a municipal shelter which is mostly operated by volunteers. We have a very minimal staff of two, but have over 35 registered volunteers. Thankfully, we live in a very compassionate community which provides a great deal of support to help our city shelter succeed and remain a no-kill shelter. Most of our volunteers are Hernando residents, but we do have many from surrounding communities including Olive Branch, Southaven, Coldwater, Senatobia, Nesbit, Walls, and Memphis.
Q: What are the most common problems you deal with when the animals first arrive?
Most animals arrive very frightened and disoriented. They don’t understand why they are in a noisy shelter with lots of unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells. It usually takes several days to weeks for us to see their true personality. Each animal receives the individual attention he or she needs to be adopted into a permanent, loving, responsible home. We go to great lengths to transform sick or injured animals with behavior issues into healthy, well-behaved pets.
Q: What is the process of adopting an animal?
We require that interested adopters fill out an application, check vet references, and in some cases do a home visit to ensure that our animal fits in well with the family and that the home is safe and appropriate for the pet. For example, some dogs require a fenced yard whereas others do not. Our goal is to make sure the animal goes to the right home and that the adoption is successful and permanent. Most pets who come into our care have been treated poorly or have suffered some kind of neglect or cruelty, so it’s our job to put an end to that cycle and ensure the pet goes to a safe, responsible, permanent home.
Q: How long does it take and how much does it cost?
The adoption process, on average, takes anywhere from 1 day to several days, depending on the adopter’s availability and responsiveness. The adoption fee includes a healthy animal which has been spayed or neutered, age appropriate vaccinations, and de-worming as needed. Our fees are: kittens – $75, mature cats – $50, puppies – $100, mature dogs – $75. A link to a list of our adoptable animals can be found on our Facebook page or Adoptapet.com (search “Hernando” in the shelter name and “38632” in the zip code).
Q: What are the benefits of adopting a pet rather than buying one?
Number one reason is you get to save a life. Each year over 2.7 million healthy, adoptable animals are euthanized because too many people purchase a pet instead of adopting one from their local animal shelter. Adopting is a way to fight puppy mills which promote animal cruelty. You’ll save money because adoption fees already include spay/neuter, vaccinations, and de-worming. Most animals from shelters are already house-trained. Finally, my personal favorite reason: you’ll get to change an animal’s entire life and provide him or her with love and care every living creature deserves.
Editor’s Note: We thank Susan Huff for her loving dedication to animals and for providing information about Hernando Animal Shelter. If you’d like to join the volunteer list, contact Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a message on their Facebook page.
Trick or Treat with DeSoto Superheroes!
This fall everyone is invited to a fun family event at the Gale Center in Hernando. The second annual Superhero Trick or Treat for Charity is on Saturday, October 27 12 – 3 pm. This “admission for any donation” event will have Halloween activities, face painting, arts, crafts and lots of games for the entire family. Make sure to dress up for the costume contest (prizes available for children 10 and under). DeSoto Spiderman, Batman, Supergirl, Nightwing and Wonder Woman will be visiting with the children and will gladly pose for photos. DeSoto Ghostbusters will be helping the kids make Halloween Ghost Slime. Adults will have a “ghoulish” time as well with a cake walk, silent auction and prize raffles.