By Terri Ferguson Smith / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
Rose Bartimus has dedicated herself to helping find "forever" homes for stray dogs and cats.
A volunteer with the East Mississippi Animal Rescue, which fosters dogs and cats until they can be adopted by families, Bartimus says EMAR also transports animals to some northern states where there are stronger spay and neuter laws and almost no stray population.
"The state of Mississippi doesn't have these spay and neuter laws which is why we have an overload of animals for adoption," Bartimus said.
She and other EMAR volunteers foster pets in their homes until they are ready to be adopted. There are approximately 50 dogs in foster homes currently and about 15 cats that are up for adoption.
"Every day in the city we find dogs that are trained to trees and the collars are embedded in their necks because they have done nothing except be tied to that tree. We try to get some help as far as getting those dogs," Bartimus said. "Out in the county what they are doing is they are moving and they can't take their animals with them so they are just letting them loose."
We have taken in dogs that were found so emaciated that they couldn't even stand up. We take them in and we get them back to health and find forever homes for them."
Bartimus has been volunteering with EMAR for about five years, but she's been helping stray dogs and cats much longer than that.
"All my life I have rescued animals and it's such a shame that people do not take care of their animals when there is a need for volunteers and fosters like myself," Bartimus said. "It's always a blessing to take the animals in, to find them a good home and to know that they will find a forever home."
To get involved or to adopt an animal, go to www.eastmsanimalrescue.com.