H.S.S.M. Says Goodbye to Executive Director Tara High

After serving the Humane Society of South Mississippi (H.S.S.M.) as Executive Director for nearly 10 years, Tara High is headed to Atlanta to save the lives of even more homeless pets. High has accepted a position as Vice President of Operations with the Atlanta Humane Society, a highly regarded organization which places over 8,000 pets into new loving homes each year and operates two shelters as well as a spay/neuter clinic. High credits her new position to the success and high repute of H.S.S.M. within the animal welfare field nationwide. High’s last day will be October 31st.

“I would have never been offered this opportunity without the support of such a great team and the success of such an amazing organization,” said High, “I am excited for the adventure ahead and I am confident H.S.S.M. will continue to do great things.”

Tara High’s Biography:
Tara moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast from Texas in 1990, with no intention to begin a life-saving journey. She worked as a real estate broker for nearly 10 years before she became acquainted with the Humane Society of South Mississippi in 2000 while falling in love with and adopting a dog at a local PetSmart store.

Tara was in her second term as President of H.S.S.M.’s Board when Hurricane Katrina decimated H.S.S.M.’s old shelter on Washington Avenue, which was in a World War II armory bunker. Tara stepped in to provide what she thought would be temporary leadership for the Humane Society while the staff worked to put the shelter back together enough to receive the community’s homeless animals again.

Later that year, Tara left her career in real estate to accept the position of Executive Director. Under her leadership, H.S.S.M. has moved into a 40,000 square foot facility, reduced the shelter’s intake from over 16,000 to under 10,000 homeless pets each year and increased the live release rate (# of animals who have positive or “live” outcomes divided by the total number of animals taken in) in our community from under 20% to over 75%.

While H.S.S.M. staff, volunteers, and supporters are sad to see Tara go, they are proud to see her move on to such a great organization and cannot wait to see the impact she can make in the Atlanta Metro area.

H.S.S.M. will be undertaking a nationwide search for new leadership and will continue on its path towards eliminating unnecessary euthanasia of companion animals in our community, as envisioned by High during her years as H.S.S.M. Executive Director.

Categories: Local News, News

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