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Oxford Animal Shelter Director Resigns; Board Member Removed

The director of the Mississippi Critterz Animal Shelter in Oxford submitted her resignation and a board member was removed from the board during a meeting of the Board of Directors Thursday night.

Shelter Director Jenn Petermann submitted her resignation that will go into effect on Wednesday. Board member, and MS Critterz founder, Gail Brown was also removed from the board after a unanimous vote by the executive board members.

Earlier on Thursday, the city of Oxford announced the shelter would be closing its doors to new surrenders of animals; however, the animals in the shelter would still be cared for and can be adopted out.

Petermann and the shelter came under fire last month when several former employees and volunteers filed a report with the Oxford Police Department, claiming the animals were neglected, that the shelter was dirty and overcrowded.

OPD released its findings to the Oxford Board of Aldermen on Tuesday and while no criminal charges were filed, OPD Chief Jeff McCutchen told the board they were several issues found at the shelter including lack of medical records, overcrowding and uncleanliness.

The Board voted to form a committee to review the shelter and the city’s contract with MS Critterz.

Brown, who started MS Critterz in 2018, was removed as Board President in 2019 after several Facebook posts surfaced that had racially-charged comments.

In one such comment, Brown said she had “high respect for the good, black true American population. I have no tolerance for n****** and white trash.”

During a phone meeting last month, Brown repeated those comments and defended them. The meeting was recorded and leaked to the Oxford Animal Shelter Watchdogs citizen group on Facebook Thursday morning and sent to city and county officials.

In the recording, Brown also said she had been trying to warn the Board and the city and Lafayette County about the issues at the shelter and named Petermann as the “main problem.”

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