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Mississippi Critterz signs contract with Lafayette County, hopes to open next week

Mississippi Critterz and Lafayette County’s Board of Supervisors have agreed to the terms of a contract for the animal shelter.
The contract is a first for Lafayette County, who previously donated money to the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society each year but did not have a standing contract with OLHS, the previous tenants of the shelter.
“We look forward to serving Lafayette County,” Mississippi Critterz founder Gail Brown told the board during Monday’s regular meeting. “We are working on getting the shelter in the order that we need it and up and running. We just appreciate everyone’s patience.”
Initially, Mississippi Critterz had projected to open the shelter for business on Oct. 17 but delays in construction and ongoing issues with insect and pest control kept the facility from reopening.
“We are sort of in the building,” Brown said. “We are not fully operational, we are still trying to get furniture and supplies that we need. We are having people come to surrender (animals), we are kind of doing (that) on an as they come basis.”
However, Brown said, if furniture for the shelter arrives on time and the facility can be cleaned to her satisfaction in the coming days, she felt that the shelter could fully open on Monday, Nov. 12.
City of Oxford Alderman Janice Antonow, who serves as the City’s liaison for the animal shelter, also attended the meeting to answer any questions from the Board of Supervisors about the City’s contract with Mississippi Critterz.
While the Supervisors had no questions for Antonow, she did notify the board that Lafayette County will be listed as an additional insurer for the shelter.
Under Mississippi Critterz contract with the City, the shelter is required to have liability insurance while the City of Oxford foots the bill for insurance on the building itself.
Mississippi Critterz will only accept animals from Lafayette County under the contract that the organization has signed with the City of Oxford. Under that contract, documentation will be required from anyone who surrenders an animal to prove that they are a resident of Lafayette County.
Mississippi Critterz took over the shelter last month following the exit of the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society from the building in September 2018.
OLHS, however, plans to continue serving the community by operating a low-cost or free spay and neuter service.