Imagine that it is a cold, winter night in Oktibbeha County and a young, orphaned kitten is struggling to find warmth and shelter amidst the cold weather. Imagine a Labrador living in a home yearning to be loved only to be neglected and abused by its owner. The thought of this tragic situation pulls at the heartstrings of most everyone. Sadly, this is a common, everyday occurrence in Starkville and Oktibbeha County.
Many people want to help these sweet animals; however, they do not know even where to begin. Animal shelters and animal protection organizations have been established to combat this growing problem by taking animals in and finding homes for them. The Starkville and Oktibbeha County community is fortunate to have a local animal shelter to meet our local animal welfare needs.
The Oktibbeha County Humane Society (OCHS) was founded in 1978 with a desire to educate the community about the importance of domestic animal welfare. The people of Starkville and Oktibbeha County have a huge responsibility to treat its animals with love, care and respect. Kimberlee Adkins, a Mississippi State University student, fully believes in this way of thinking toward the community’s animals, and is doing her part to help OCHS and the animals.
“My passion for respecting and loving animals has only heightened since I have had the opportunity to volunteer with OCHS. I sometimes keep one animal for a two-week period in the fostering program until OCHS can find a home for the animal,” said Adkins.
OCHS is a champion for preventing animals from being abused before it happens; however, for the animals that have experienced the unfortunate brutality of some humans, OCHS can save those animals and shelter them from any further harm. The programs of OCHS have been instrumental in the overall treatment of the community’s animals. OCHS encourages animal owners to have their pets spayed and neutered to prevent the already existing problem of overpopulation, which leads to a large number of homeless animals. Rescue Waggin’ is a large shelter that works with the humane society and shelters across the area to transport the animals to places where they can get adopted faster.
OCHS is also a key figure in the community in securing animal welfare legislation. Through its work with legislation, the nonprofit organization has worked with the city of Starkville in requiring all dogs kept within the city limits to be licensed each year; however, there is more work to be done.
Adkins believes that more people should get involved with the Oktibbeha County Humane Society. By donating, volunteering or fostering, citizens can help the abused or neglected animals of the community in a positive way. “Through fostering the animals, it is amazing to see what happens to a so-called vicious or problematic dog when you put them in a relaxed, loving environment,” said Adkins.
To learn more about the Oktibbeha County Humane Society and ways to help, visit their GiveGab page, or contact their Volunteer Coordinator, Sherrie Wiygul, at or 662-773-2956.