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MS Mutts Director Transports Local Dogs Across the Country

By Connor Clancy
Hottytoddy.com intern
cmclanc2@go.olemiss.edu

Throughout the state of Mississippi, there are thousands of homeless dogs in desperate need of help. Local groups like Mississippi Mutts aid in the transport, rescue, foster, and adoption of homeless animals. The organization’s goal is to alleviate the number of unwanted animals in the state.

Emma Heasley, director of development for Mississippi Mutts, is at the forefront of these operations. 

Heasley is a 21-year-old Ole Miss student with a huge heart for animals.

Emma Heasley. Photo provided.

“I fostered my first puppy, Stella, two years ago and ended up adopting her. I wanted to have a hand in saving other dogs’ lives as I did with Stella,” she said.

Once Heasley fostered Stella she was hooked on saving dogs. She first volunteered with Mutts in 2017 and became the director of development in the fall of 2018. She prides herself on finding the most dedicated people to work on the Mutts team. Heasley ensures that all 13 on the leadership team work efficiently and effectively.

“After graduation, I hope to continue to work with Mutts, specifically because we are a unique organization and my values align with them,” she said.

Mississippi Mutts is a unique organization because it does not have a physical facility. They provide foster homes for dogs and provide all of the necessary supplies like food, crates, toys and collars. The typical foster period lasts about two to three weeks. After the foster period, the dogs are transported to the Mutts rescue partner in Chicago. Mississippi Mutts has transported nearly 1,200 animals since it was established in 2017.

“The team is unique because we are a group of 13 college students who facilitate the rescues, medical care, fundraising, events and communications outreach,” Heasley said.

Heasley credits the Mississippi Mutts founder Katie Muldoon for getting her start with Mutts.

“She is so dedicated to the mission and has been an extraordinary mentor while navigating the animal rescue world,” Heasley said.

In addition to ensuring that the other 13 members of the team perform their jobs correctly, Heasley is also in charge of coordinating fundraising events. The fundraising events are crucial for Mississippi Mutts because it helps get the word out about fostering animals, as well as possibly adopting them.

Duncan Fletcher is an Ole Miss student who adopted his black lab, Grover, from Mississippi Mutts a year and a half ago. Fletcher said he has nothing but high regards for the Mississippi Mutts program.

“Emma Heasley and the entire organization were beyond helpful throughout the process of adopting Grover,” Fletcher said.

Josh Garner is another example of a satisfied Mutts customer. He adopted his puppy about six months ago and could not be happier with the decision. Garner was skeptical at first to adopt a dog, but Heasley convinced him to foster a puppy first. After two weeks of fostering the puppy, Garner decided to adopt him.

“Fostering the puppy for two weeks offered me a great chance to learn the responsibilities of being a dog owner,” Garner said.

Heasley hopes to be remembered as having an impact on the people she has come into contact with while helping to rescue and foster the animals. Heasley loves the Mississippi Mutts program and is excited to see what the future holds for them. She encourages Oxonians to check out their website www.msmutts.org if you are interested in fostering, adopting, or just want to help local animals in need.

Mississippi Mutts was established in 2017 by Katie Muldoon and Moni Simpson.


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