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Connecting Humans and Pets, One Adoption at a Time

The Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society is the place where animals are more than just taken care of and adopted, they’re actually matched up with the right human for their particular personality.

Jenn Petermann, director of the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society
Jenn Petermann, director of the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society

Jenn Petermann is the executive director of the Humane Society; she’s held that position since March 2013. Previously, she was a vet-tech, sold pharmaceuticals to veterinarians, and she grew up on a farm, so she’s always been around animals.
Petermann said they’re a completely open-door facility at the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society, which means there are no restrictions on the animals they take in.
“Whether you find a dog that’s been hit by a car on the side of the road, or a strange dog wandering your neighborhood and you can’t find out who the owner is; we’ll take it,” Petermann said.
According to Petermann, a gentleman recently pulled up to the Humane Society in a truck with a U-Haul trailer attached with twenty Dachshunds in the back.
“He was being evicted from his home,” she said. “He had nowhere else to take them. He told us they weren’t in crates and he opened up the U-Haul door and they all went running everywhere. David, who works in the kennels, gave an accurate description; he said it was like kicking an ant hill.”
Petermann said volunteers were chasing after the dogs, people from the dog park next door came over and everyone was helping to round them up.
“We take in everything from dogs and cats to rabbits and guinea pigs,” she said. “We’ve had an African frog, a couple of rats, mice and even snakes.”
One of the precious puppies ready for adoption.
One of the precious puppies ready for adoption.

And the adoption rate for the more unusual pets is pretty good.
“Believe it or not, they do get adopted,” Petermann said. “There are always those people out there who like the more exotic pets. We have our listings of exotic people who say if you ever get in x-y-z, I would love to have one.”
Petermann said they keep a book filled with requests, whether it’s a Dachshund-mix or a Lab-mix, anything. When that request shows up, they give the person a call.
The adoption rate has been successful lately, Petermann said. She was particularly proud of the month of December.
“We had 150 adoptions in December, which is more than the shelter has ever had in the history of the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society,” she said.
The Humane Society is located at 413 McElroy Drive. Petermann said they’ve been at this location for about four years. This facility was so much bigger and better equipped to provide care than their old location.
“We can absolutely care for more animals here,” she said. “More importantly, we can adequately care for them and that’s so vital. I always tell people, we could have a space for 500 animals and still not have enough room. That’s why having your pet spayed or neutered is so essential.”
A kitty-cat ready to be adopted from the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society
A kitty-cat ready to be adopted from the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society

Petermann said they can house about 140 animals at any given time, mostly cats and dogs, but dogs seem to be more popularly adopted.
“We’ve tried to come up with things to get more kitty cats out the door, but it’s just harder,” she said. “They’re probably just more dog people than cat people.”
Last year, the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society took in more than 5,000 animals, up from the year before.
“This year, we’ll probably get closer to 6,000 just the way the trend is going, unless we can get a handle on spaying and neutering,” Petermann said. “As hard as we work, we were doing backflips about the 150 adoptions we had in December. With 5-6,000 more coming through the doors, we’re barely scratching the tip of the issue.”
Petermann said they continuously express to people the importance of having pets spayed and neutered.
“By doing so, you’ll have a healthier animal, one that will live longer, an animal that will stay home and not wander off in search of a mate,” she said. “We offer a low-cost spay and neuter program here through the shelter that may be a little more cost effective for people and that’s for everyone, not just animals adopted through us. We call it SNAP (Spay and Neuter Assistance Program) and even someone from the community can come and have their pet spayed or neutered.”
The Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society is located at
The Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society is located at 413 McElroy Drive.

According to Petermann, the adoption process goes like this: first, Humane Society employees talk to each person wanting to adopt to find out their living conditions, i.e. the country or a condo in the city. They are always trying to match the right animal with the right person.
“We have some great dogs right now that are half Great Pyrenees–half Bloodhound,” she said. “They’re just gorgeous, but obviously that’s not going to be the dog for everybody. Then we have smaller terrier mixes that might work for someone wanting an indoor animal.”
Petermann said a prospective adopter fills out an application and, within 24 hours, the shelter calls back to go over the application with them. In town there is a lot of rental property, so they always have to call and check to make sure pets are allowed within the rental agreement.
“Then you come in and get your animal, agree to have it spayed or neutered, if it isn’t already,” Petermann said. “All the dogs are $125 and that does include spay and neuter surgery. We also heart worm test them, give them all their vaccinations and you get a six month supply of heart worm prevention and a month’s supply of flea and tick prevention. We also microchip them; which is a foolproof way of identifying your dog. You do get a month free of shelter insurance too. Kittens are $100 and cats are $50. And you get the same benefits for that price, only for felines.”
For more information go to the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society website at
– Angela Rogalski, contributing writer, HottyToddy.com, abbeangel@yahoo.com.

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