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Mississippi State Lending a Hand for Man's Best Friend in Oxford

Veterinary program’s trailer that takes dogs to the veterinary school in Starkville. Photo courtesy of Walter Lyle.

The partnership between Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society (OLHS) and Mississippi State University’s veterinary program has blossomed into an opportunity for learning experiences and a higher adoption rate for OLHS.

OLHS Communications and Outreach Coordinator Walter Lyle, who recently joined the society’s team, has been working with MSU’s vet students in the experience.
“Every now and then, they [MSU] will bring vet students here,” Lyle said. “[Students] will learn about sanitation and overall taking care of dogs.”
The students spend the entire day at the humane society when they visit, according to Lyle. It is a mutually beneficial learning experience for both staff of the society and MSU students. 
“They will talk to us about things they have learned [in veterinary school],” Lyle said.
The students taught the humane society staff better techniques in cleaning the dog kennels.
“We used to keep all the puppy stuff with bleach, but then they told us to switch over to Wysiwash,” Lyle said.
Wysiwash is a chemical compound that is cleaner and safer than bleach for the animals.
The veterinary program also lends a hand in spaying and neutering for the society, which is more cost-effecient over having the operations in veterinary clinic.
“I like to think of it as a cosmetology school where you can get cheaper haircuts from a student,” Lyle said.
In one of the past visits, MSU students took 16 dogs back to Starkville for spaying and neutering.
“Each vet student gets a dog to be with for the week,” Lyle said. “They run these expensive tests that we can’t otherwise pay for.”
After a week at the school, the 16 dogs returned all ready to be adopted by a loving family.
“Another thing they do is if they find an adopter in Starkville, or if one of the students want to keep that dog, they can adopt it straight from Starkville,” Lyle said. “That dog never has to come back to the shelter.” 
Increasing area coverage to allow for more adoptions has been a main goal of the humane society.
“From the last one [trip], we ended up having two dogs adopted in Starkville,” Lyle said. “We know for sure that at least one is being adopted this round.”

By Talbert Toole, associate editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at talbert.toole@hottytoddy.com.

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