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 receive 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: 6 months
· Cat: 11 months
· All animals are housed in large runs with daily enrichment and social time
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 a foster pet or two in the house for extra love. Dr. Holt also has a CougarPet alumni: a dog named Statler!
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, Grea, and Gimli! Justin also has a CougarPet alumni: a cat named Weaver!
Lauren is from Seagrove, NC and is a current student in the CCCC VMT program. She has a ton of animals including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, and fish. One of her cats, Antonio, is a Cougar Pet alumni! Lauren enjoys learning about Large Animal medicine and is considering this career path after graduating. We are grateful to have her on the team!
Carmen is originally from Ashe County, NC where they grew up on a small animal hobby farm. They moved to Sanford to attend CCCC's VMT Program. Carmen previously volunteered their time as a kennel assistant in their hometown's small and large animal practice. They helped local farms with livestock and competed in 4-H competitions while in high school. During their free time, Carmen enjoys drawing, trying different creative outlets, and spending time with their three cats (Willow Beans, Casper, and Loki) who all love to use Carmen as a cat tree! Carmen is a great member of the team!
Jess has lived in Sanford, NC her whole life. She's currently a CCCC student in the VMT program. She graduated from UNCW in 2019 with her Bachelor's degree in Psychology. Jess has previous experience as a vet receptionist, vet assistant, and kennel assistant. Her journey to her true passion, animals, may have taken longer than she'd like it to have, but she's more than happy to finally be here. Jess hopes to work with exotic animals in the future, focusing on the conservation of species. Jess has an old black lab-chow mix named Maxx and a spicy tripod cat named Spike, both of whom she will talk about for hours if given the chance!
Ren is from Chapel Hill, NC and is currently a student in the CCCC VMT program. He has taken care of animals his whole life and has previous experience pet sitting and as a Kennel Assistant. Ren loves animals of all shapes and sizes and eventually hopes to work with exotic animals - especially reptiles. In his free time, Ren enjoys embroidery, traveling, and spending time with his two cats, Ashe and Mocha, and his dog, Willow. We are excited to have Ren as a member of the team!
Beth joined our team in June of 2023. She brings with her a background of experience with boarding facilities and practice management. During her free time, she runs a successful pet sitting business, spends time with her husband, and enjoys hanging out with her own fur babies, one of which is a CougarPet alumni! We are very excited to have her!
Kayleigh is originally from West Virginia and she has always known she wanted to help animals. While she loves all animals, her true passion is for large animals. Kayleigh has done volunteer work with various large animal veterinary practices and non-profit organizations. During her free time, Kayleigh enjoys spending time with her dogs, Geneva (CougarPet alumni) and Chancey, as well as her guinea pigs, Mocha and Cookie. She also loves being outdoors and exploring new places. Kayleigh is a student in the CCCC VMT program and we are grateful to have her on the team!