Horn Lake animal control officer Kelly Smith shows off Gemma, a pit bull-Bulldog mix who is one of 81 dogs available for adoption at Horn Lake Animal Shelter.

Horn Lake Animal Shelter is holding a special ‘Paw-liday’ pet adoption and is encouraging residents who are looking to add a dog to their family to drop by and see the available animals looking for their forever home.

Horn Lake is a no-kill animal shelter and currently has 81 dogs up for adoption.

“We’re hoping to get most of the dogs in homes by Christmas,” said animal control officer Kelly Smith.

Smith said most of the dogs are pit bull mixes, but they also have some lab mixes, a Husky, and even a Saint Bernard mix.

“We have some great dogs,” Smith said. “We don’t have small puppies, but we do have some that are nine months old and up.”

Smith said most people are hesitant to adopt pit bulls, but is quick to add that they actually are very loving animals and make great pets. While some will need to go to a single pet home, others are very sociable and get along with both males and females.

“These are some of the sweetest dogs you will ever own,” Smith said. “We bring a lot of them in the office where they run around and play and just have a good time.”

Smith discourages potential dog owners from buying one from a pet store or a breeder.

“Definitely don’t go to a breeder,” Smith said. “You can pay $500 for a dog, but they’re going to have so many health issues because they are so finely bred. Shelters have the best dogs. And the ones here are beautiful and loving and deserve a home.”

Most of the dogs are strays that have been picked up roaming the streets. Smith said sadly DeSoto County is a dumping ground for dogs. 

“It’s awful,” Smith said. “And we have some people here that just let them wander loose and don’t get them vet care. And their dogs are the ones attacking other dogs. They just don’t take care of them.”

The shelter also has over 40 cats that are available for adoption as well.

The adoption fee for a dog is only $50 and the animals come spayed and neutered. The public is welcome to visit the Horn Lake Animal Shelter, 6520 Center St. East, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday or Saturday by appointment. Vet references are required.

“Come on down and meet them,” Smith said. “I guarantee you will fall in love with these little love bugs and want to take one home.”

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