The Cougar Pets Mission

Cougar Pets is a no-kill, non-profit rescue organization affiliated with the Central Carolina Community College Veterinary Medical Technology program. We rescue dogs and cats from high-kill environments and take them into our colony so that they can recieve medical care and socialization until they are adopted. The students of the VMT program learn husbandry and clinical skills by caring for the colony animals.

Saving lives is our passion! When we transfer animals out of shelter situations, we are not only providing invaluable education for our students, but we are also helping to save lives by freeing up much needed space, and giving dogs and cats a second chance at adoption.

Though we are registered as a research facility with the USDA, we never do any research on our animals. We also operate as a no kill facility, and pride ourselves on our 99.8% adoption rate.

Cougar Pets Quick Facts:

· Founded in 1965

· No kill, no research facility

· 99.8% Adoption Rate

· We only euthanize in cases of medical necessity

· Average Time in Colony:

· Dog: 12 months

· Cat: 18 months

· All animals are housed in large runs with daily enrichment and social time

Our Team
Jessica Holt, DVM

Animal Care Coordinator

Dr. Holt graduated from the University of Tennessee and worked in small animal practice for several years prior to joining the faculty at CCCC in 2016. She loves both cats and dogs and working with rescue animals. She spends her free time with her husband, her lab, Amos, and her two cats, Coconut and Bob. There is often also a foster pet or two in the house for extra love.

Justin Pedley, RVT

Animal Facilities Manager


Justin is an RVT and an alumni of the CCCC VMT program. He has worked in both Large Animal and Small Animal practices. In his free time, he enjoys cooking and spending time with his four-legged children, Marley and Grea!

Stephanie Cook, RVT

Asst. Animal Facilities Manager


Stephanie is a passionate RVT that enjoys teaching and working part-time at a local emergency clinic. She is familiar with dog behavior and helps temperament test many of our dogs. Stephanie has a pack of her own, including a few Cougar Pets! 

Samantha O'Hare

Kennel Assistant

Samantha was drawn to veterinary medicine because she wants to help animals and their people feel better and have a better quality of life. Samantha would like to work with small animals after graduation as she finds them to be more realteable and has more experience with them. At home, Samantha has two cats, Sirius and Rogue, along with a Corgi named Ranger. She also has a 60 gallon tank filled with many tropical fish. In her free time, Samantha loves to hike, camp, go off-roading, read, antique shop, and travel. Samantha is from Washington State but moved to this area recently for the VMT program. Samantha's experience with a small animal general practice, a local boarding facility, and volunteer work at a Humane Society makes her a great asset to our team! 

Donnie Alston

Kennel Assistant

Donnie has wanted to work with animals since he was in second grade! He originally wanted to go to vet school, but once he heard about our program, he was excited to start on the fast track to his dream career field. Donnie wants to specialize in small animals as well as exotics. Donnie has a cat named Poncho whom he considers a fourth brother. His hobbies include relaxing on the couch while watching Netflix. Donnie is from Graham, NC but moved to this area for the VMT program. Donnie is a first year student currently enrolled in the VMT program scheduled to graduate in 2021. Donnie also works at a doggy daycare and absolutely loves it!

Miley Fields

Kennel Assistant

Miley grew up on a farm where she got to see veterinarians in action first hand and the interest in working in veterinary medicine took hold from there. Miley wants to work with lage animals, specifically horses. She is very interested in the sports medicine side of equine veterinarian services. Miley has two dogs, Nova Jean and Moose, as well as a blue crawfish named Gary. Miley's hobbies include running, hiking, reading, and riding horses. Miley is orginially from Winsconsin but moved here with her husband. Miley is a first year student currently enrolled in the VMT program scheduled to graduate in 2021. Miley also works at a horse barn and is excited about the experince she is getting. 


Nicholas Horne

Kennel Assistant

Nicholas made the choice to work in veterniary medicine to make a difference with helping those that can't speak. He wants to work with both large and small animals. At home, Nicholas has two cats, Joker and Harley, as well as Ike, a dog he adopted right here from CCCC. His hobbies include being outdoors, hiking, skiing, rafting, and basketball. Nicholas is originally from Charlotte, NC but moved to this area for CCCC's VMT program. Nicholas grauated from the program in 2020 and is continuing to serve our animals as an employee because he feels this is a valuable program that give better lives to the animals as well as the students.