Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Strays Continue to be a Growing Concern for Lafayette County

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor

alyssa.schnugg@hottytoddy.com

It’s been more than a year since the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors pledged during a public meeting that the Board was committed to finding a solution to the lack of animal control or an animal shelter in the county.

In April 2021, the city of Oxford asked the Board of Supervisors to contribute $360,000 a year toward the Oxford Animal Resource Center. The county declined and offered $9,000 a month for six months, which is what the county was paying in previous years before the city took over running the shelter.

The city denied that offer, and the shelter was prohibited from taking in animals from the county.

The city shelter also often faces issues of overcrowding and has stopped taking in voluntary surrenders.

Since then, the number of stray dogs wandering Lafayette County roads has increased drastically. Some dogs and cats have been picked up by local residents and taken to other area shelters, like the Tunica Humane Society, which recently posted photos of several dogs that were taken in from Lafayette County on its Facebook page.

“It is truly a shame what has happened in Lafayette County with their animal control. Their citizens are frustrated and disappointed, many are outraged because I listen to their calls daily. The Tunica Humane Society can only handle so many injury cases. There has to be a way for Lafayette County to do better by their animals,” stated one such Facebook post.

From the Tunica Humane Society Facebook page.

Others have been brought to local, volunteer animal rescuers, like Carlin Curtis.

“The majority of our intake this year has been dumped/stray animals from Lafayette County,” Curtis said. “We’re thankful for Tunica’s shelter and team, as they have helped on more than one occasion with our county’s dogs.”

Board Supervisor Mike Roberts told Hotty Toddy News recently that the Board was still trying to find options that are affordable and viable for the county.

“We are in budget sessions right now and we’ve discussed it,” he said. “I feel confident, that by the time we’re done with our (fiscal year 2022-2023) budget, we will have some ideas on how to deal with this situation.”

The budget will be approved in September.

Some animal rights activists have called upon the county to build its own shelter. However, Curtis said that will only put a bandage on the growing problem.

“The shelter will be filled up within a matter of weeks,” she said.

“We need higher resources for our county animals, but I think the main factor that’s overlooked is who would run a shelter in the county. It’s beneficial to have a shelter managed by a group with experience, and to my knowledge, there are no volunteers for that full-time responsibility.”

Curtis said the county needs volunteers and people willing to foster and especially, more low-cost spay and neuter programs.

“We’re constantly begging everyone in the community who wants to see a change to foster, adopt, donate, volunteer, and encourage their friends and neighbors to spay/neuter their pets. With limited resources for animals in the county, there’s really no better time for our community to be hands-on, than now.”


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