As a journalism student at the University of Mississippi, we are stacked with many assignments from our professors. However, for my JOUR 270 class, we were tasked with the mission of choosing a final project that resonated with us. I chose animal rescue and adoption! This past year my roommates and I rescued a lab from the Walmart parking lot. I resonate with this project because although animals are only part of our lives for a short amount of time we are their whole life.
Our featured rescue animal is Miss Coca-Cola. She is a two-year-old lab mix and is looking for her forever home! You can find her at the Oxford Animal Resource Center.
413 McElroy Dr, Oxford, Mississippi 38655, United States
The way to make a house a home comes with many steps and stories; and is made up of many entities, but one of the most important is a furry friend. Millions of families across the country own a pet or even multiple pets. Purebred and "boutique" animals are rising, and many breeds and animals are forgotten.
In turn, this means they are sent to an animal shelter where the animals do not know their surroundings and who is their rightful owner. Under many circumstances, this can cause stress and even serious life-threatening marks or injuries to an animal. With various animals being sent to animal shelters daily, humans must remember to speak for the voiceless and open their homes to these innocent souls.
"It has been hard rescuing an animal while dealing with school and work," Gracie Saucier continues. "But, I love it; it has been so fun and rewarding."
This past year, Saucier, a sophomore at the University of Mississippi, has recently rescued her dog, Willie. Willie was a stray whom the Oxford Animal Shelter rescued. While Saucier was visiting the shelter one day, Willie ran up to her, and she, at that moment, knew it was fate. Granted, every day has not been a walk in the park, but she said it has helped her learn responsibility while away at college and has helped her grades, as Willie keeps her grounded and on track.
"Approximately 6.3 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide yearly," said the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "Of those, approximately 3.1 million are dogs, and 3.2 million are cats."
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, also known as the ASPCA, millions of animals, mainly dogs and cats, are entered into U.S Animal Shelters. The ASPCA is the leading advocate of the prevention of animal cruelty and has been a voice for rescued and dangered animals across the country and the prevention of harm to these animals. They educate people who may not know the importance of animal adoption and teach them how to care for their newly rescued animals properly.
"Pets are allowed to be born into incredible situations. And when they are in shelters, they seem to be not," said Joshua McCoy. "So I will always lean towards the shelter."
McCoy, a professor and the manager of athletics photography at the University of Mississippi has always adopted his animals and believes every pet deserves the chance to live in a loving home. Before he came to Ole Miss, he was a photographer in Kentucky.
As McCoy said, the first animal he adopted was Bell, a c chocolate lab, his photography assistant. She helped him make his clients feel comfortable, especially children, and would make them give the brightest smile for the camera. As Bell got older, they decided to find a breeder, and here came Leila, who he currently still owns. Leila climbed into his camera lens, and he immediately knew she was the one.
However, as he is a dog lover, his daughter Tannalee also wanted to adopt. She adopted a cat named Tom, whom her father says was the craziest in the shelter, and they have been best buddies. Tom, the cat, has taught his daughter the importance of responsibility and how to handle any situation thrown her way.
Between Leica and Tom, they have taught McCoy and his daughter many things that he will always appreciate and remember.
"It is that conscious effort of trying to do what is best for an animal that was put into a situation that maybe was not the best," said McCoy.
Imagine a group of six female college students on a random Saturday afternoon, no plan in sight and all homework finished, who hear of free puppies being given out at the local Walmart. What could come from this? Nevertheless, this group of girls all pile into the car and rush to the parking lot where the free puppies are. Once they arrived, they saw a Ford pickup truck full of puppies, but one puppy, in particular, grabbed their attention and hearts. After a few brief moments of conversing and wondering if they could care for this animal, they decide to take him and bring him home. It was time to pick a name for this new bundle of joy!
After the adrenaline of picking up this new fellow from Walmart, it was time to bring him home and pick out a name. Many name options were thrown around, such as; Vaught, Lane, Memphis, and even Archie. However, one stuck out in particular. Since his new moms are all members of Delta Gamma Sorority, they decided to name him after Delta Gamma’s symbol, the Anchor. So, there he is, Anchor Jackson, a ten-week-old lab mix from Walmart out of a Ford pickup truck.
This was set up as an imaginative story at the beginning of this essay, but this did happen. It happened to my friends and me two days ago! We are all new puppy owners and could not be any happier. As a dog owner at home, I have been missing my dogs tremendously because although they are animals, they are still a part of our family. After hearing about the puppies being sold at Walmart, I knew this was in my best favor and going to fill a void that had been missing. So far, Anchor has had his first vet visit, and he is all healthy and happy! If anyone is wondering about rescuing an animal, do it, every animal deserves a loving home, and although they are only here for part of our lives, we are their whole life.
A short conversation with Justice about the benefits of saving Anchor