NEWS on LIFE, WORK, & PLAY in Mississippi's College Town

2016 SRW Charity Profile: Grassroots Animal Rescue

It’s time to showcase our second Starkville Restaurant Week Charity Finalist of the week! SRW 2016 is just days away, and it’s time to plan your eating with breakfast, lunch, dinner and every snack in between at one of our great participating restaurants. Don’t forget to VOTE every time you eat! One of our deserving charities will receive the $5000 grand prize from Cadence Bank. In addition, we will also award 2nd and 3rd place prizes — $1000 provided by Vollar Law Firm and $500 provided by Copy Cow!



grassroots300How long has your organization been in operation and how was it founded?

Grassroots Animal Rescue of Mississippi, INC was incorporated in 2011. Grassroots was founded to rescue dogs in need in North Mississippi.

What is your organization’s on-going mission?

Our mission is to rescue dogs in need and find permanent, loving homes for them. Since our incorporation, we have successfully rehomed more than 1,000 animals. We are a foster-based rescue in Starkville, Mississippi. We don’t have a shelter facility; all of our animals live in foster homes until they are adopted.


Does your organization work with any other groups or non-profit organizations to accomplish its mission?

gar3Yes! Our partnerships with local shelters and rescues are crucial to our success. We work with Oktibbeha County Humane Society; our partnership with them gives us access to PetSmart’s Rescue Waggin’ program, which is the program through which many of our dogs are transported up north to find forever homes. We work with the Oktibbeha County Humane Society Student Chapter; on April 2, we are exciting to be participating in their annual Dog Jog event! We have worked closely with the shelter in Louisville for several years to rehome dogs that come in to their facility. We also have relationships with the Senatobia-Tate County Animal Shelter. In addition to these shelters, we do a lot of work in Webster County, which does not have a shelter or animal control facility. We have worked to establish connections in Webster County with community members in Mathiston, Eupora, Mantee, and surrounding areas to help alleviate overpopulation by rescuing stray and abandoned animals.

In what ways does your organization impact Starkville and the Golden Triangle area?

We work directly with the Oktibbeha County Humane Society. We work closely with members of the community in the Golden Triangle, as well as members of the MSU community. In 2015, we rescued and rehomed more than 450 animals. Already in 2016, we have rescued 108 dogs and puppies in need and are taking in more weekly. So far this year, we have rescued dogs from 13 Mississippi counties, including 25 dogs from Oktibbeha County, 18 dogs from Winston County, and 26 dogs from Webster County; for many of these dogs, particularly the dogs from Webster County where there is no shelter or animal control resources, rescue is their only chance for survival and a happy, healthy life.

Can you briefly share one of your success stories?

gar1In November 2015, we took in Sparrow, a stray dog from Winston County who had been shot in the head trying to protect her puppy. Amazingly, Sparrow did not die from her wound! With the help of Dr. Westbrook at Self Creek Veterinary Clinic, Sparrow not only survived, but thrived. She had her eye and surrounding tear ducts removed as a result of her injuries. While in our care, Sparrow was also treated for heartworm disease and intestinal worms. After a couple of months in foster care, Sparrow was adopted and now has a happy forever home. Sparrow exemplifies the kinds of cases we see regularly—adult dogs who have been abandoned, often with puppies, in need of vet care to save their lives. (Sparrow’s story was picked up by online news outlets)

In January 2016, we took in a litter of 4 puppies born to a stray dog who found her way to an MSU student’s house. The student’s family adopted the mom, and we took in the litter of puppies to vet and rehome. This litter of puppies is a great example of all of the ways that we rehome dogs. After being vaccinated, dewormed, microchipped and spayed / neutered, each of these puppies found a wonderful forever home. Andy was adopted in Michigan after he was transported up north via the Rescue Waggin’ program. Jessie was adopted by a vet student at MSU. Woody was adopted by a couple in Nashville, Tennessee. Buzz Lightyear was adopted by a couple in Vancouver, Canada, making him our second international adoption! As these puppies demonstrate, we have dogs who find forever homes all over North America, including right here in Starkville.

Where can people go to learn more about your organization, and how can people get involved?

Our website,, is a great place for more information! There, people can find information about the dogs we have for adoption and ways they can help Grassroots animals by fostering, sponsoring, donating, and networking. We have links there to upcoming events as well. We are also active on Facebook at and on Twitter and Instagram as gar_starkville.

You’re one of our Top Three SRW Charities! Now tell us what it means to you to be included as part of Starkville Restaurant Week as one of the Top Three Charities. 

We are so thankful for the support we have received from the community in being one of the top three charities for Starkville Restaurant Week! Participating in SRW gives us a wonderful opportunity to create of awareness of our mission. This exposure will help us spread the word about animals in need in the community, as well as connecting us with new volunteers and adopters! As a foster-based rescue, we cannot continue our mission without foster homes and volunteers. We hope that participating in Starkville Restaurant Week will encourage more members of the community to foster or volunteer with us. Every extra foster home that we have allows us to save one more life. Winning the $5,000 Restaurant Week prize will allow us to establish a much-needed Critical Care Fund, allowing us to provide immediate life-saving vet care to dogs in critical condition. This will allow us to save more dogs who are in need in the Golden Triangle Area.