Southern Pines wins prestigious Petco Compassion award

By BUSTER WOLFE,

Southern Pines Animal Shelter Director Ginny Sims said earlier this week that she was honored the shelter received The Petco Foundation’s Paul Jolly Compassion Award, which recognizes organizations whose passion for animals moved them to make a difference.

“When you look at all of the other organizations that we have shared this award with, it is really humbling,” she said Tuesday in Hattiesburg.

Sims and Shelter Manager Amanda Paris traveled to San Diego, California, to accept the award Friday at the “Celebration of Love” Lifesaving Awards. More than 450 people watched seven organizations and individuals from across the country receive awards for their dedication, determination and actions to create lifesaving impact for pets in need.

“It’s such an incredible honor to be recognized for the work Southern Pines is doing for the cats and dogs across Mississippi,” Sims said. “It’s truly a testament to the amazing things our community can accomplish for animals in need when we all work together. We just want to thank our volunteers, fosters, donors, and supporters for investing in our mission and working alongside us so that together we can save more lives than ever before.”

In May, Southern Pines was also recognized by the Petco Foundation with a $300,000 grant.

Southern Pines led a dramatic shift in saving animal lives by implementing a variety of programs and transforming their relationship with the community. Southern Pines has more than a 95 percent lifesaving rate for Hattiesburg’s homeless pets and is now saving animals in surrounding communities.

Founded in 1952, Southern Pines serves 11 counties and has a mission to provide humane shelter for homeless and lost cats and dogs, provide affordable spay/neuter and healthy pet services, encourage adoptions and educate the community about responsible pet ownership.

The organization operates an open admission no-kill shelter that cares for more than 7,000 lost and unwanted dogs and cats each year, and also operates a Spay & Neuter Clinic and the Second Chance Thrift Shop.

Susanne Kogut, president of the Petco Foundation, said the awards celebrate and recognize the incredible, lifesaving work that takes place across the country.

 “The individuals and organizations honored this year are changing the landscape of animal welfare and setting an example for others,” she said. “We’re grateful for all they do to save lives and are thrilled to bring their work into the spotlight.”

Since 1999, The Petco Foundation has invested more than $200 million in lifesaving animal welfare work to inspire and empower communities to make a difference by investing in adoption and medical care programs, spay and neuter services, pet cancer research, service and therapy animals, and numerous other lifesaving initiatives. Through the Think Adoption First program, the foundation partners with Petco stores and animal welfare organizations across the country to increase pet adoptions. So far, more than 5.5 million pets have found their new loving families.

For more information about the shelter, email info@southernpinesanimalshelter.org or go to http://www.southernpinesanimalshelter.org.