A Legacy of Compassion in Mississippi
In February of 1993, I came to Mississippi almost kicking and screaming. I was already involved with In Defense of Animals’ Alaskan Wolf Campaign, the Procter & Gamble Boycott, plus fur, circus, and rodeo campaigns - and more! How could I possibly find time to spend two weeks in Mississippi to organize and brief a group of Grenada citizens on how to take down two USDA-licensed animal dealers that each had over 750 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act?
The two-week campaign against the dealers morphed into an undercover campaign of six months. But it was worth it because we were successful in forcing the USDA to shut them down. As I was asked to help with local cruelty cases, I realized that Mississippi wasn’t lacking caring people, it was lacking the funds and resources to educate and prosecute cruelty into oblivion. Thus, Project Hope Sanctuary was born.
Back then, I never would have guessed that together with my dedicated In Defense of Animals home team, our loyal supporters, and the amazing animal advocates in Mississippi, I’d take on hundreds of cruelty cases. With little but tenacity and a desire for justice, we investigated a wide range of cases and saved a variety of suffering animals: 86 lions, tigers, bears, a puma, a camel, a liger, 22 stallions, and several puppy mills. We removed 683 animals from a single negligent pet shop supplier’s warehouse, and saved a lonely pig whose shrill cries mortified us as we neared her crate of doom. There was no case too big or too small to which we didn’t give our all.
In Defense of Animals cases have contributed to important life-saving changes in Mississippi state statutes and ordinances, including the regulation of the keeping of exotic and potentially dangerous animals, regulating animal dealers, criminalizing cruel “Hog Dog Rodeos,” the felony statute for harming farmed animals, and more.
Hope Animal Sanctuary was inevitable. With the number of rescued animals we committed ourselves to healing, adopting, and allowing to live their lives with us if they didn’t find the guardians of our dreams, we needed a permanent safe haven.
Over time, the daily wear and tear on In Defense of Animals’ beloved sanctuary has wearied the facilities. No longer able to meet our expectations for providing the quality of care and comfort the animals entrusted to us so richly deserve, we had to take action and embark on the largest renovation campaign in our history.
With your trust in us and compassion for the precious lives we all want to see healed and thriving, the plan for a new Hope Animal Sanctuary is coming to fruition at this very moment! Yes, our tireless team works in the draining heat, as well as frigid temperatures and inclement weather. They do it for love of the animals they have rescued from dumpsters, beneath cement piles, and released from chains only cyclops should endure.
You are with us each step of the way. Without you, Hope Animal Sanctuary would still be just a dream. Thank you for believing in the important work of In Defense of Animals and for supporting this historic campaign to rebuild the heart of Hope. Together we will save hundreds, thousands more animals.
With all my soul I thank you,
Hope Animal Sanctuary Founder
Justice for Animals Campaign Director