Mississippi Critterz Executive Director resigns, Board Member removed during emergency meeting

Published 8:17 pm Thursday, March 4, 2021

Following the City of Oxford’s decision to put an immediate halt on accepting animal surrenders, two leaders at Mississippi Critterz are no longer in their roles.

Executive Director Jenn Peterman submitted her resignation during a Thursday emergency meeting of the Board of Directors. Gail Brown, board member and founder of the animal shelter organization, was also removed by the board in a unanimous vote.

The news comes on the heels of the announcement by the City of Oxford, which also specified that two transports of animals  remaining in the shelter will take place in the coming weeks.

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It also followed leaked audio from a recent executive session of the Mississippi Critterz board, which was posted on Facebook by the Oxford Animal Shelter Watchdogs group. In the audio, Brown can be heard saying that “Peterman is the real problem,” accusing her of hoarding animals.

Brown previously made headlines after social media posts of hers surfaced that featured racial slurs. Brown was subsequently removed as board president, but stayed on as a board member. Aynslee Smith is the current board president for the shelter.

In the leaked audio, Brown referenced the incident, again using racial slurs.

Following reports of animal abuse and neglect, Mississippi Critterz was investigated by the Oxford Police Department and the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department beginning Feb. 17.

During Tuesday’s meeting of the Oxford Board of Aldermen, OPD Chief Jeff McCutchen stated that there were no criminal charges to be made at that time, but that OPD was turning their findings over to the District Attorney’s office.

McCutchen did cite several areas of concern noticed by officers during the investigation, including lack of intake and medical records for animals in the shelter’s custody.