City renews contract with MS Critterz

Published 11:28 am Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Lafayette County’s only animal shelter will remain under the management of MS Critterz for another year.

The City of Oxford renewed their contract with the organization during Tuesday’s regular Board of Aldermen meeting.

The renewal comes on the heels of Gail Brown stepping down as president of the MS Critterz Board of Trustees last week. Brown resigned after a Facebook comment containing racist language resurfaced two weeks ago.

Two board members, including newly elected president Aynslee Smith and two shelter employees were in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting.

“I just want to say thank you for the job that you’re doing. For the service that you’re providing to our community,” Mayor Robyn Tannehill said. “You are doing a great job. You are checking all the boxes on this contract that we have and that’s what our decision is based on. Our decision is based on a contract with an outside company that have a list of expectations and ‘Are you meeting them?’ and ‘Are you able to supply the community with this service based on a contract?’ I think you are.”

Prior to the Board’s vote, Tannehill said she made an unannounced visit last Thursday after speaking with someone who voiced their concerns with the conditions of the shelter. Tannehill said she found the conditions to be satisfactory and “how an animal shelter should be.”

Alderman Janice Antonow went over the contract with Smith and the other shelter employees point-by-point, explaining what all is expected of them within the contract. Antonow is the Board’s appointed liaison with the MS Critterz Board.

The contract includes the City covering the utilities and repairs for the shelter. They will continue paying the shelter $93 per animal for medical care expenses and care based on the number of animals brought in over the past year. The contract runs from Oct. 1, 2019 to Oct. 1, 2020.

MS Critterz is a no-kill shelter, but Antonow pointed out when they made their RFP a year ago in search of a new organization to manage the shelter, the Board did not require the organization to be a no-kill shelter.

“If I have to give them a grade on these things I’d give them a 100,” Antonow said. “They’ve done them all and we’ve had no problems with any of them.”

The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors will discuss renewing their contract with MS Critterz during their Oct. 7 meeting.