OCHS Transports 4,000th Pet via OCHS Express
On Tuesday, February 6th, the Oktibbeha County Humane Society (OCHS) transported its 4,000th animal via the OCHS Express, its animal relocation program established in August of 2016.
Velvet, the 4,000th animal transported with the program, is a one year old female Great Pyrenees mix. She was transported to the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City and was adopted by a wonderful family shortly after arriving.
The OCHS Express is a life-saving program that transports homeless dogs and cats from overcrowded southern shelters to animal shelters in the Midwest and Northeast with a high demand for adoptable pets. OCHS has been involved in animal relocation since 2009, with generous support from PetSmart Charities, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America. The OCHS Express’ source partners include the Amory Humane Society, Columbus-Lowndes Humane Society, Grassroots Animal Rescue, Small Mercies Animal Rescue, and others.
Through a grant from PetSmart Charities for more than $345,000 it received in 2016, the single largest gift OCHS has received since its inception in 1978, OCHS established the OCHS Express. To date, the organization has donated over half a million dollars to fuel OCHS transport programs.
Soon after the grant’s inception, OCHS became a relocation partner with the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) as part of its Animal Relocation Initiative. Together, OCHS and the ASPCA work to transport even more animals to shelters where they will be adopted within a few days to a few weeks, on average. Through this partnership, OCHS and the ASPCA are extending their reach to additional shelters and are saving even more animals’ lives.
In its first year, OCHS transported over 2,300 dogs and cats from the Starkville Animal Shelter and partnering organizations. Through the continued support of PetSmart Charities and the ASPCA, OCHS and its source partners have helped thousands of dogs and cats in North Central Mississippi.
“The OCHS Express not only benefits the animals who get to go on transport, but also those not ready for the program, as we are able to focus more of our resources on harder to place pets, including animals who are ill or injured,” said Michele Anderson, OCHS Board Member and Transport Coordinator. “Prior to participating in animal relocation, the live release rate (adoptions, returns to owner, and transfers to other organizations) for the Starkville Animal Shelter was approximately 50%; now, it is nearly 93%. We are truly grateful for the support from PetSmart Charities and the ASPCA and the transformative impact it has had in our communities.”
OCHS Board President Rick Welch said, “The OCHS Express exists because of the domestic animal overpopulation problem in Mississippi and other states in the South. While this program is critical to saving the lives of stray and unwanted animals in our community, we will never solve this problem without spay and neuter.”
Founded on the belief that the community has the responsibility to treat animals humanely, OCHS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is a member agency of the United Way of North Central Mississippi. The mission of OCHS is to promote domestic animal welfare and the organization seeks to fulfill this mission by providing humane education; promoting animal welfare legislation; advocating and facilitating pet sterilization; and rescuing, sheltering, and promoting adoption of abandoned animals.
About PetSmart Charities®
PetSmart Charities, Inc. is a nonprofit animal welfare organization with a mission to find lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. In addition to finding homes for almost 500,000 shelter pets each year through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities provides funding to non-profits aligned with its mission through four key areas of grant support: Preventing Pet Homelessness; Helping Shelter Pets Thrive; Supporting the Bond Between People and Pets; and Emergency Relief and Disaster Support. Each year, millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities using the pin pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses 90 cents of every dollar donated and has become the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, donating about $300 million to date. PetSmart Charities, a 501(c)(3) organization, has received the Four Star Rating from Charity Navigator, an independent organization that reports on the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of nonprofits, for the past 14 years in a row — placing it among the top one percent of charities rated by this organization. To learn more visit www.petsmartcharities.org
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach, and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.