YaloYoga Benefit Gives Local Animal Shelter Director High Hopes

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Second Chance Animal Alliance rescue liaison Anna Crow Gordon, director Melissa Morgan Smith, field rescue coordinator Brittany Mills Scero, and vice president Mandy Mills Beard after enjoying YaloYoga. 

Dozens of men and women, dressed in athletic wear while carrying yoga mats, poured into Yalobusha Brewing Co. in Water Valley yesterday afternoon. These guests were taking advantage of Souther Star Yoga Center and Yalobusha Brewing Company’s second YaloYoga event, in which all proceeds benefit the Second Chance Animal Alliance, an animal shelter coming soon to Water Valley. 

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Kell Kellum plays during the yoga hour

“We’re about three months away from opening,” said Melissa Morgan Smith, director of Second Chance Animal Alliance. “But, we won’t be open intake. People won’t be able to just drop their dog off with us. They can make an appointment, and we will meet with them to discuss why they want to surrender their pet. If it is something like a training issue, I am a certified trainer and can help them. We want to do whatever we can to keep the animals with the families.”

For a minimum donation of $20, guests can enjoy YaloYoga, a two-hour event that consists of relaxing yoga led by a Southern Star Yoga Center instructor for one hour accompanied by the soft sounds of Kell Kellum playing in the background. At the end of the yoga hour, Yalobusha Brewing Co. rewarded each participant with a free cold, locally-brewed beer.

Thanks to YaloYoga, Smith and the Second Chance Alliance team have been excited for the changes coming to the organization.

“We’ve talked about doing this event bi-weekly or monthly, and that’s a possibility,” Smith said. “We just love our town and the people in it. There’s nothing in the world like Water Valley, and it means so much to us that these groups and these people have come together to help our organization.”

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Participants enjoy a cool down at the end of the yoga hour

The Second Chance Animal Alliance is not publically funded, so every dollar raised at the YaloYoga events helps support animals without a home in Water Valley and surrounding areas. Smith and her team are passionate about providing services to the community that will not only rescue animals and counsel families but can also create families through pet adoptions. 

“If you’re looking to add a pet to your family,” Smith said, “remember to adopt, not shop.”

The group focuses on dogs but has also rescued other animals, such as cats and even a donkey. Currently, the group works through foster families and out of the city pound, but are looking forward to having their own facility.


Amy Goodin is a writer for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at argoodin12@gmail.com.

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