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: 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. Dr. Holt also has two CougarPet alumni: a dog named Statler, and a rabbit named Missy Elliot. There is often also a foster pet or two in the house for extra love.

Ja'Kai Harrison

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!

Jessica Wells


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 three CCCC alumni dogs: Mike, Ike, and Dixie. 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.

Hallie Huls

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!

Kennel Assistant

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!

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 3 dogs, Tux, Felix, and Neil and they love to go on hikes on their free time!