We recently announced our commitment of $900,000 in grant funding to Oktibbeha County Humane Society (OCHS) in Starkville, Mississippi, to support the opening of the OCHS Animal Support Center by the ASPCA, aimed to increase positive outcomes for animals in the state. The Animal Support Center will house the OCHS Snip and Spay Clinic, a stationary spay/neuter clinic for income-qualified pet owners and shelter animals, and the VanLandingham Kennel Building, a hub for the region’s shelter animals to be temporarily cared for before being transported to other shelters for adoption.
The Animal Support Center will improve OCHS’s capacity to care for animals in Starkville as well as the surrounding communities with the goal of saving more animals in their 17-county service area. Through the Animal Support Center’s high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter and relocation efforts, the Center will reduce unwanted litters within the community and decrease animals’ length of stay at shelters in the region.
“The OCHS Animal Support Center by the ASPCA will dramatically enhance the lifesaving services OCHS already provides to animals in the region, including increased access to spay/neuter surgery and more frequent animal transports to help more animals find loving homes and conserve critical shelter space for other animals in need,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President and CEO. “This collaborative effort directs our combined resources and abilities toward vulnerable animals who most need our help.”
The opening of the Animal Support Center, expected to be operational in fall 2023, will nearly double the number of animals OCHS is able to transport annually from 1,800 to 3,500. In addition to OCHS’s existing mobile clinic, the Animal Support Center will triple spay/neuter capacity from 2,900 to 8,800 surgeries annually.
“We are grateful for the investment that the ASPCA is making in our organization and community,” said Michele Anderson, Executive Director, Oktibbeha County Humane Society. “Through our long-standing partnership, we have seen the significant impact our efforts have made in North Central Mississippi. We believe these next steps will transform the direction of domestic animal welfare in our region, leading to more lives saved.”
Over the last eight years, the ASPCA and OCHS have worked together to improve the lives of animals in the Starkville area and surrounding communities and recently partnered in response efforts following tornadoes in Monroe County. OCHS is a partner shelter in the ASPCA Animal Relocation Program, a program that works with overcrowded shelters in under-resourced areas of the country to relocate their animals to other shelters where those animals have greater chances of being adopted into loving homes. Since 2016, OCHS has partnered with us to move over 14,500 animals from Starkville to shelters with more opportunities for adoption.
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