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.


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 relatable 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! 


Cameron Pulley

Kennel Assistant

Born and raised in North Carolina, Cameron has always had a passion for animals. She has adopted all kinds of critters over the years, including snakes, lizards, birds, rats, spiders, fish, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, dogs, and cats. She loves wildlife as well and spends her weekends outdoors with her dogs Sheba and Lorraine looking out for the local creatures. Cameron enjoys painting, playing drums, traveling with her husband, and spoiling her cat Mookie and bearded dragon Rhonda. She decided to get into veterinary medicine after volunteering for a year with vet services at the Museum of Natural Sciences. She is in her second year here at CCCC and plans to go into small animals and exotics.

Justin Pedley, RVT

Animal Facilities Manager


Justin is an Registered Veterinary Technician and an alumni of the CCCC Veterinary Medical Technology program. He joined the VMT staff full time in 2020, but worked as a Kennel Assistant during his time as a student. He has worked in both Large Animal and Small Animal practices. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, going to the lake with friends and family, and spending time with his four-legged children, Marley and Grea!

Ja'Kai Harrison

Kennel Assistant

Kai is a student in the CCCC VMT program. He has two Akitas, one is named Athena (pictured) and the other is named Kenshi. He likes to spend his free time listening to music and also making music on many different instruments. He also enjoys playing basketball with his brothers and watching movies with his parents. Kai has always loved animals both four legged and two legged. He has been volunteering at the APS Of Durham, which is his local animal shelter and he absolutely loves it! Kai very thankful to be a part of the CCCC VMT program and we are thankful to have him on our team!


Nicholas Horne, RVT

Registered Veterinary Technician

Nicholas chose to work in veterinary medicine to speak for those who can't. He enjoys working with both large and small animals. At home, Nicholas has two cats, Joker and Harley, as well as two CCCC alumni dogs: Mike and Ike. 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 graduated from the program in 2020 and is continuing to serve our animals as an employee because he feels this is a valuable program that gives better lives to animals and students.

Alexis Resendez

Kennel Assistant

Lexi was born and raised in Northwest Ohio and relocated to North Carolina in 2020. She has always loved all animals, big, small, scaly, or furry. She attended a two-year veterinary assistant program for her last two years of high school and decided she wanted to further her career in the field by becoming a Registered Veterinary Technician. Lexi currently has 3 cats, 2 dogs, and 6 ferrets. She has worked in a small animal veterinary clinic, a grooming business, and a dog and cat boarding/daycare facility. She plans on working with exotic animals once becoming a RVT and wants to work her way up to gaining a veterinary technician specialty in dentistry. In her free time she enjoys playing with all of her fur kids and taking beach trips with her Fiancé.

Hallie Huls

Kennel Assistant

Hallie is currently pursing her Associate's degree through the CCCC VMT program. She has known ever since she was little that she wanted to work with animals. Once she heard about the program here at CCCC, she knew this is exactly what she wanted to do. In the future, Hallie would love to work with both large and small animals after graduating.  Hallie was born in Texas and moved to North Carolina when she was very young. She has 2 dogs, Tux and Felix, and they love to go on hikes on their free time!