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Vassallo Interviews: Madison Animals’ Best Friend is Alice Carson

alice carson

Alice Carson will be turning 84 on April 23rd but is not planning on slowing down even a bark or a meow when it comes to Madison’s homeless pets seeking a good home.

Alice has proven that one person can make a difference in their community. Starting in 2012, Alice launched a campaign that continuously raises money for Madison’s homeless pets housedat the Webster Animal Shelter. Here’s her story.

HottyToddy.com: Alice, when did your passion for helping animals commence?

Alice Carson
Alice Carson

Alice Carson: I’ve always been in love with animals, however, until moving to Madison (1997), I’ve never had the opportunity to become actively involved in assisting them.

HottyToddy.com: About how many dogs and cats are currently seeking homes at the shelter?

Alice Carson: I would estimate that presently there are about 60 animals total in need of a home. Kitten season, however, is getting ready to start.

HottyToddy.com: You have been an active proponent in raising funds to support the shelter via contribution boxes.

Alice Carson: There are approximately 35 locations where we have these boxes. I try to pick these up once a month. I would estimate that the boxes are yielding $400-$500 in a typical month.

HottyToddy.com: Are most businesses receptive to having these boxes visible on their counters?

Alice Carson: Yes, except for those businesses that are part of a chain. Most of our 35 locations are within the city limits of Madison while a few are in the county.

HottyToddy.com: Which locations have proven to be the best contributors?

Alice Carson: By far the top producer is the counter at the Webster Animal Shelter. Secondly, liquor stores in general are excellent in this respect.

HottyToddy.com: How does the shelter utilize the funds that you raise?

Alice Carson: Most of the funds go to treating/preventing heart worms. Also, any types of surgeries that the animals may need, the costs are offset with these dollars.

HottyToddy.com: You have a personal history in adopting homeless pets.

Alice Carson's golden lab, Maggie
Alice Carson’s golden lab, Maggie

Alice Carson: I have adopted nine through the years (6 dogs and 3 cats) and am able to provide them a happy, cheerful home. Currently, I have the 3 cats and one dog.

HottyToddy.com: What motivates you to devote so much of your time in helping animals?

Alice Carson: I feel that so many animals are mistreated and they are all deserving of a caring home. Each month, my contribution of 20-25 hours keeps me busy and rewards me with a great deal of personal satisfaction.

Alice Carson's cats, Willie (black) and Max (white)
Alice Carson’s cats, Willie (black) and Max (white)

HottyToddy.com: What you and others have done in Madison, could this be a model for other communities?

Alice Carson: Definitely. The Webster Animal Shelter is one of the few city run “no kill” shelters in the United States. Hundreds of dogs and cats are saved each year via the shelter.

HottyToddy.com: Exactly, where is the Madison shelter located?

Alice Carson: It’s at 525 Post Oak Road. We encourage visitors to tour the facility and we are always receptive to new volunteers willing to help and make a difference.

HottyToddy.com: Alice, Maggie is one great dog that you now are providing a home. Tell us about her.

Alice Carson: I adopted Maggie about 18 months ago from the shelter.When I got her, she had only been there 7 days. I chose her because of my age, I wanted an older dog. Also, I’ve always loved Labs.

HottyToddy.com: Who actually operates and directs the day-to-day activities at the shelter?

Alice Carson: It is run by the Madison Police Dept. which directs a staff of 4-5 individuals. Without the support and love of animals by the Mayor of Madison (Mary Hawkins Butler), this shelter would probably not exist. The staff members are the kindest and most gentle people who truly care about the welfare of all the animals under their responsibility.

HottyToddy.com: Are there children involved in the volunteer activities?

Alice Carson: We have a good number of HS students who come after school daily and on weekends to walk the dogs. And throughout the summer we have a good many more.

HottyToddy.com: If there is anyone reading this story who would like to contribute to this great cause, how would they assist?

Alice Carson: They can send a check to the Webster Animal Shelter located at 525 Post Oak Road, Madison, Mississippi, 39110.

Alice Carson is a true reflection of someone who sincerely cares about helping the unfortunate, in this case dogs and cats. Regardless of our age or status in life, Alice is demonstrating to the world all the good that can be derived from the unselfish acts of kindness and love!

Steve Vassallo

Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.

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