The Humane Society of South Mississippi is a testament to the resiliancy of southern gulf coast residents.
Less than a year after Hurricane Katrina wiped out homes and hope, the Gulport, Miss. shelter was rebuilt through a single donation of $1 million and a matching $1 million raised in the surrounding community.
Donations, along with proceeds from an on-site pet store and thrift shop, help the not-for-profit survive.
It's a clean and cheerful place where cats in cages line the hallways and dogs share large wire kennels with a friend.
I was happy to see the shelter adopts out friendly, well-adjusted pit bulls, since one-third to two-thirds of dogs that find their way to shelters in most areas of the country are full or part pit bull and for that reason alone, often euthanized.
Recently, an all-white, deaf pit bull made the humane society a donation of its own.
Gunther, formerly known as Ghost, won the ASPCA's "Adopt-a-Bull" contest, bringing in $9,000 that went straight back to his buddies at the shelter. He has been adopted.
Go here to view the shelter's donation wish list.
It's just $75 to adopt a dog over six months of age that has been fixed, microchipped and received necessary shots. The dogs have all undergone behavioral evaluations and come with a free month of pet insurance and an educational DVD. Puppies are $95.
The clinic also hosts several free rabies vaccination and microchipping clinics in gulf coast communities each year.