Mississippi College

Backyard Brawl Spotlights Animal Shelter

August 6, 2008

When Mississippi College renews its Backyard Brawl rivalry with Millsaps on Sept. 6 both schools and their fans will also be helping a Jackson animal shelter.

Community Animal Rescue & Adoption or CARA will be spotlighted at half-time of the football game on the Millsaps campus. Kick-off is 7 p.m. for the MC Choctaws-Millsaps Majors showdown.

Football fans should see a great game between two Mississippi to kick off the 2008 season and rally around a good cause.

"We will showcase our puppies and dogs and hope fans will be generous in donating money to our shelter," said CARA Executive Director Jerri Bennett. "We're very excited to be back for our second Backyard Brawl," added the former MC professor of family and consumer science.

Last year's showdown on the MC campus in Clinton attracted 50 dogs from the animal shelter at 960 North Flag Chapel Road. It also led to $1,000 in donations from fans. Funds generated from the game's ticket sales don't go to CARA.

Funds raised will help renovate the 35-year-old CARA facility that houses a maximum of 300 animals, Bennett said.

The event to promote CARA produced at least one story with a happy ending. An MC administrator lost his dog last year. The animal was missing for several weeks. But the MC official was on the Clinton campus for the Backyard Brawl and spotted the animal at the late August game. And because of the event, he was able to return the dog to his Clinton home.

Others in the MC community, including students and staff members, adopted puppies last year in the days following Backyard Brawl activities. Football fans can pick up applications to adopt animals at the game.

At last year's game, football fans, both young and old, and CARA supporters had fun parading the dogs around at the MC football stadium track. The Backyard Brawl at MC also attracted more volunteers for CARA. Similar outcomes are expected at next month's game.

But CARA supporters will fill a giant motor home with a couple of dozens dogs and arrive at the game about an hour early, Bennett said.

Led by quarterback Adam Shaffer, the Choctaws finished 8-2 and this year hope to be in contention for the American Southwest Conference title. Last season was the Choctaws' best in more than a decade. MC won the game last year, a 27-26 come-from behind victory over the Majors in the game's final seconds.

In 2008, CARA's got a long needs list at its no-kill animal shelter for dogs and cats. Puppy, dog and cat chow (the dry kind) are also in short supply. Small and medium collars, bleach and paper towels, dog treats, kitty litter, dog treats and much more are on their wish list, too.

For details, call CARA at 601-922-7575 or go to the Web site CaraMS.org

PHOTO: Trooper, a rescued 2-year old chocolate lab mix, available for adoption and will be at the Backyard Brawl.

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