Jones devoted to animal rescue work

By DAISY WASHINGTON / Community Columnist

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” -Ghandi

Mary Louise Jones’ career at the Shelby Humane Society began with the simple act of spending time at the facility petting the cats.

“I saw an ad in the newspaper about coming into the shelter to pet cats in order to socialize them to help get them ready for adoption,” she said.

Mary Louise Jones supports the Shelby Humane Society by helping locate and rehome stray cats. (Contributed)

“We’re an animal shelter, but our work is with humans – we can’t do what we do without people being involved in the process,” said Cassidy Poe, external relations manager at SHS, who has known Jones for the past six years. “The work Mary does is important. The community relies on her.”

Jones locates cats (usually feral) on the street alone and brings them to the facility, where they are spayed or neutered. They may then be released back into the community.

She has had a direct impact on 424 animals since 1999.

“She has a mission and is determined to accomplish it,” Poe said.

This endeavor—known as Trap, Neuter, Release, or the TNR Program—ensures stability and prevents further growth of the animal population.

“I have time and space to keep cats as long as necessary,” Jones said. “I take in cats people find or already have and decide they can no longer keep them. The shelter takes the cats and finds homes for them. A barn cat program is available for the feral cats through Calera Animal Hospital. There is no cost to adopt a barn cat.”

The shelter provides food and supplies, and the staff are available for any support Jones needs.

Jones volunteers to provide transportation to Calera Animal Hospital for Quick Fix animals if it is inconvenient for the cat’s owners to transport.

The SHS is a non-profit organization founded in 1977 with the mission of rescuing and rehoming the neglected and homeless pets of Shelby County.

Since its founding, its facilities, services and reach have grown significantly.

SHS provides care to more than 5,000 dogs and cats each year, and houses 200-350 adoptable cats and dogs at any given time.

Through its Shelby Spay Neuter Program, SHS works with local veterinarians to provide discounted spay and neuter programs, providing services to more than 1,200 pets per year.

SHS has adoptions at the shelter, cats for adoption at PetSmart 280 and Alabaster.

Special off-campus adoption events are held for dogs and cats. Dogs are transported to the northeast for adoption twice a month.

A foster program gets cats and dogs out of the shelter into homes until they are adoptable and space is available at the shelter.

The Weekend Warrior program allows qualified people to take an animal home for a short period of time.

Low-cost vaccinations and microchipping services are also available to pet owners in the community.