Friday, September 30, 2022

Lafayette County Budgets Funds for Animal Shelter/Rescue

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor

alyssa.schnugg@hottytoddy.com

Lafayette County has budgeted $300,000 toward a possible animal shelter or as a contribution to work with another established animal rescue organization or local shelter.

Supervisor and Board President Mike Roberts said the county is looking at a couple of possible locations for a shelter as well as meeting with and having discussions with animal rescue organizations.

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 often has to stop taking in voluntary surrenders.

With the number of strays in the county growing rapidly, private citizens have formed groups aimed at helping to find fosters and arrange transports of the animals to other areas, sometimes out-of-state to shelters that have room for the animals.

Leigh Ann Hubbard, with Mississippi Watchdogs, said the number of strays and neglected animals seems to have reached an “all-time high” this year.

“We are thrilled and relieved that the county supervisors have decided to take the problem seriously,” Hubbard said. “For a year-and-a-half, county citizens have been at their wits’ end. We look forward to learning more details. We are happy to connect the supervisors with a variety of experts who can advise on the most effective, humane options to help stray animals and to reduce the problem through spay and neutering. Together, as a community, we’ll make lives better for everyone.”

Mississippi Watchdogs recently listed ways people can help in the meantime on its Facebook page.

  • SPAY/NEUTER. And if you can: Help neighbors spay/neuter, or get ”community” animals fixed.
  • Foster or adopt.
  • Ask your vet about offering low-cost spay/neuter to people who need it.
  • Volunteer with or donate to a shelter or rescue near you that you’ve vetted.
  • Spread education and awareness about spaying/neutering and about the plight this area is in.

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