Furry Friends

My True Love has Four Paws!

By: Kym Mirabella

With Valentine’s Day approaching, many ponder the concept of love, and one type of love that can not be denied is that of a pet, particularly dogs and cats – and there is scientific proof!

As per Ana Sandoiu of ‘Medical News Today’, “Oxytocin has long been referred to as “the love hormone” and the “cuddle hormone,” because we (and our pets) release it when we hug, touch, or look lovingly into someone’s eyes. This increases our attachment to that person (or animal.) This ‘love hormone’ helps cement and increase the bond we share.

Every time you gaze lovingly into your dog’s eyes their oxytocin levels go up. And so do yours.

Which begs the question: Why do so many people abandon their animals resulting in overcrowded animal shelters when we have so much to gain, and the need for sheltered animals is ever increasing? Truly, it’s a mystery.

Dr. ‘Mack’ Burriss discusses the ongoing need for animal shelters and happens to be one of Anderson’s most cherished citizens. Dr. Mack is 100 years old and opened

Anderson’s first animal shelter and spay/neuter program. He is also a retired Veterinarian, as well as a WWII and Korean War Veteran.

Dr. Mack passionately explained what urged him to start the first Animal Shelter in Anderson, “The fact that there were so many homeless and mistreated animals, well they needed a safe place to be and to be taken care of. So, we started the animal shelter. Dogs are certainly loyal to people, and we should be loyal to them. They love us unconditionally, and we should return something to them. Animals should be treated with kindness and made as comfortable as you can make them. As a society, we have an obligation to animals, all creatures great and small.”

Dr. Mack’s daughter Cindy Burriss added, “Some of our best dogs came from the animal shelter.”

Anderson citizen and long-time foster and adoption participant and advocate Masha Bayser discussed this idea, “It is important to support local shelters, but primarily as they are the first line responders to the pet overpopulation and irresponsible pet ownership in any 111 the shelters only have a limited amount of space and adoptions tend to be slow, they rely on rescues to pull animals and adopt them to free up space for incoming animals daily.

In turn, rescues are mostly foster-based (no facilities) and rely on the community to foster animals until they are adopted. This involves networking the animal online and

in person, adoption events, ensuring the animal learns certain basic home habits, and the ability to assist in matching the animal with an appropriate adopter.”

Masha continued, “We volunteered at two open intake county shelters for over 10 years. We fostered 47 dogs and 2 cats, and we directly or indirectly found everyone forever homes. It has all been extremely rewarding knowing these animals are better off now than where they started…We also donate financially every single month, which is another important part. Rescues solely rely on donations to survive – to vet and train the animals in their care and to provide food and meds.”

Rosemary Gregory is another Anderson shelter supporter, “I have a rescue dog now named Duke. He is 18. Do not hesitate to adopt an animal. They have a lot to give, and they need your love.”

So open your heart and rescue an animal so you can find your True Love with Four Paws!

If you are interested in adopting any pets seen here, send a message to Anderson County Humane Society on Facebook messenger or call 864-367-7220. Please leave a message.