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Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society's Angels on Tree For Its Animals

Many angels are appearing on Christmas trees in churches but not only there. Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society has critters on its small tree — its own angels.
Jennifer Petermann, director of OLHS, said, “The idea came to us from a shelter in Hattiesburg. Some of the angels are based off our animals who have been here for some time. Each angel asks for a donation of food and blankets.”
OLHS’ Christmas tree sits on its receptionist counter, laden with colorful drawings of animals within the shelter. The donors can choose an angel, purchase the requested item and then donate it and take a picture with the animal upon donating. Petermann hopes this exposure will encourage adoption in near future.

Petermann said, “We don’t have as many adoptions due to the holidays. Most people aren’t looking to adopt an animal because they have a lot going on. But January is one of our best adoption months because everyone’s settled and back in their routine.”
She said the shelter is always in need of food with Pedigree for dogs and Purina for cats, as well as laundry detergent for routine washing of animal bedding. She added that if anyone is cleaning out their closets for old blankets and towels they would be appreciated at the shelter.

Bebe celebrated her birthday with gifts to OLHS.
Bebe celebrated her birthday with gifts to OLHS. Photo courtesy of OLHS.

Molly Beth Shaffer, an Oxonian who moved down from Chattanooga, Tenn., donated many bags of dog and cat treats and a VISA card for $75 to OLHS on December 5th: her chihuahua’s, Bebe, birthday.
Shaffer said, “I began donating goods to local Humane Societies and rescues years ago when I realized my chihuahua Bebe had more nice things than the average child. While living in Chattanooga, we had a large group of friends with pampered pups, and celebrating our dogs’ birthdays was a common occurrence. After a while, the chew toys, clothes, and gear seemed to pile up for all of us, and that’s when many of us decided to start giving to a local rescue, in lieu of presents.”
When she and Bebe moved to Oxford a few years ago they kept up the tradition of giving to a local rescue group. Shaffer has advice for the first-time donors: “If I were recommending donations to a local Humane Society or rescue I would recommend getting a generic gift card. That way the rescue can buy the needs that they truly need. Also, I would recommend giving them any of your old blankets and towels without holes to help clean and keep the homeless pets warm. And, of course, I recommend donating any of lightly used, freshly cleaned dog stuff. Beds, toys, leashes, collars/harnesses, and clothes for the little pups who need the extra layers in the winter can be useful and comforting to many of those in need of good homes.”
To her the most important thing for people to know and can help those rescues is being a good pet parent. She advises to have pets spayed or neutered because animals “are not toys, they are a lifelong commitment and responsibility.” She said many animals are in rescues are there because their owners could not care for them due to food prices and vet bills.
She said, “The best way of helping these animals in need is by prevent your own pet or their litter from going to a rescue.”
For those who want to help but have little cash to spare can volunteer. Petermann said the shelter could use help after the university students leave for the holiday break.
Zarabeth Childress has been volunteering at OLHS last October as a job requirement part of the GED program at Lafayette High School. Childress said, “A volunteer can expect to unfold newspapers, socialize kittens and cats, walk dogs or basically anything to lighten the employees’ load.”
The volunteers can help relocate the dogs to other shelters to encourage their adoptions. The shelter also appreciates those who volunteer to take photos of the shelter animals to help the shelter update its website, and perhaps make creative photo shooting sessions of animals to show off the animals on OLHS’ Facebook.
For more information visit the shelter at 413 McElroy Drive, email it or call it at these numbers posted. The shelter will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Callie Daniels is a staff reporter for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at callie.daniels@hottytoddy.com.

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