- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) - A total of 72 Jackson County Animal Shelter dogs and cats were put into a Humane Society of South Mississippi van and sent off to the Atlanta Humane Society to find their forever homes.

The Sun Herald reports (https://bit.ly/1rTqcyz) the 44 dogs and 28 cats are just the first of many who left Tuesday to find homes outside Mississippi.

This is the first transport the Jackson County shelter has participated in since the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution authorizing transfers of animals May 2, in the shelter’s best interest.

“This transport is the result of lots of hard work and dedication of several people,” County Administrator Brian Fulton said in a press release. “We know the animals are in great hands.”

Shelter staff and volunteers worked together to get the animals vetted and health certificates prepared for their 6-hour road trip. Each had to be vaccinated, given a physical and given worm and flea preventives. Dogs were also tested for heartworm. Testing positive did not necessarily prevent them going — a few heartworm-positive dogs are making the trip.

The Atlanta Humane Society is covering the cost of all testing and vaccinations. When the animals arrive they will be spayed or neutered and treated for any issues — including heartworm — before they are put up for adoption.

“There is a lot of work that goes into a transport,” shelter director Joe Barlow said, “and I’m very proud of everyone who came together to make this happen and thank the Board for approving the transport resolution.

“But as exciting as it is to see so many lives saved, I would be remiss not to bring attention to the sad reality that the shelter and our fosters still have several great dogs and cats that need homes.

“And by the end of the week we will be full again. I can’t stress enough the importance of spaying and neutering.”

The Atlanta Humane Society has committed to future transports with the Jackson County shelter, Jackson County Adoption Coordinator Maridee Mallette said.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, https://www.sunherald.com

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