The mayor and Board of Aldermen convened a special meeting to discuss the fate of the animal shelter currently under the supervision of the Oxford Lafayette Humane Society.
OLHS has chosen not to renew their contract, leaving the city without an agency to operate the shelter or manage their animal control officers.
Shortly after learning this, the city opened bids for local organizations willing come on board to operate the shelter and serve the city’s animal control needs.
Two groups put in applications last week for the shelter outlining their plans of action, a budget and how they would operate everything. After a series of interviews and consideration of the application by a special committee appointed to handle the matter selected Gail Brown of Mississippi Critterz to take over the contract for the shelter for one year.
The committee that made the choice was composed of Ward 3 Alderman Janice Antonow, Ward 5 Alderman Preston Taylor, two private citizens, Greg Pinon of public works, Lafayette County District 3 Supervisor David Rikard and Mark Levee with the city.
During the meeting on Tuesday, the board went over some things they expected to be done differently now that the building was in the care of Critterz. They talked about the mice and roaches that are in some parts of the building and the hazard that is, especially when it comes to contaminating the food supply for the animals.
The board acknowledged that the Humane Society was accepting animals from other counties and how that was overwhelming available resources, as those counties do not fund the shelter. The shelter was serving approximately 3,800 animals, when only about 2,000 of them were coming from Lafayette County and Oxford.
Focusing on just the animals collected and turned over within Lafayette County and Oxford will give the shelter a better chance to provide a higher standard of care.
The board is still figuring out exact details about the facility and how it will operate. They talked about purchasing new washing machines and dryers, a possible donation of a place to keep bigger dogs being housed at the shelter and an old MEMA trailer that can be used to comfortably hold some of the smaller dogs.
There are still a lot of details to work out, but the board said they have confidence in Brown and are looking forward to working more closely with her as this process continues.
Mayor Robyn Tannehill thanked Antonow for assembling the committee that was responsible for conducting these interviews and making these decisions. Tannehill said that she’s grateful to the other woman for her dedication and commitment to the issue and seeing it through
“When you got something, I dont have think about it.”