From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2010:
HATTIESBURG–Southern Pines Animal Shelter employee Ricky
Pierce Jr., 24, of Petal, Mississippi, was charged with
commercial burglary and arson on December 23, 2009 for allegedly
stealing a computer hard drive and torching the shelter office. The
fire killed four handicapped cats.
Southern Pines office manager Michelle Bullock told
Hattiesburg American staff writer Erica Sherrill Owens that Pierce
was angry because he was recently transferred from the office to do
kennel work. Hired in the summer to work in the office, Pierce
lived with a female shelter office assistant.
The Southern Pines facilities that burned were built after a
May 1995 fire at the former Forrest County Humane Society killed
about 60 animals. Firefighter Marvin Loftin suffered a severely
burned hand while cutting fences and cage locks to save about 20 dogs.
The organization became the Southern Pines Animal Shelter in 2002.