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Mississippi has one of the worst pet shelter save rates: study

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A new study shows that Mississippi has one of the worst pet shelter save rates in the country.

According to Best Friends Friends Animal Society, which received data from over half of the state’s animal shelters, Mississippi has an aggregate save rate of 72.7%. That means 27.3% of cats and dogs taken into Mississippi shelters in 2021 ended up dying.

“We have 33 shelters and organizations in Mississippi out of 57 reporting data,” Lisa Barrett, senior strategist at Best Friends, explained. “We were showing 47,493 were saved out of the 65,351 that came into these organizations and that left 11,983 as being killed.”

With the intention of the study to show how many animals are killed at shelters simply due to a lack of space, Best Friends also found that 20 of Mississippi’s 57 shelters are considered “no-kill” with a 90% or better save rate. The remaining 10% leaves room for “irreparable medical or behavioral issues that compromise their quality of life and prevent them from being rehomed.”

As for solutions that are available to Mississippi’s pet shelter problem, Barrett vouches that spaying, neutering, and vaccinating your pets is solution number one. Solution number two — especially for those who aren’t pet-owners but still want to help — is volunteering at your local pet shelter.

“The most important thing is to spay and neuter your pets, vaccinate your pets for parvovirus, distemper, rabies, heartworms, whatever,” she said. “Then, the other thing is get involved in your local shelters, foster, adopt, volunteer, help move these animals out of the shelters where they’re being killed and give them some positive outcomes.”

The only states with worse save rates than Mississippi are California, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Alabama, and Louisiana. To read the full study from Best Friends, click here.

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