Oxford Animal Shelter transitioning to ‘Animal Resource Center’

Published 3:33 pm Friday, April 2, 2021

More changes are coming to the Oxford animal shelter in the form of revamped terminology and refocusing their mission. 

During a special meeting on Wednesday, the Oxford Board of Aldermen voted to hire a second kennel attendant as well as an ‘Animal Peace Officer,’ a title formerly known as the animal control officer. The name change suggestion was part of initial recommendations by veterinarian and shelter expert Dr. Sara Pizano, with Team Shelter USA, LLC. 

Team Shelter USA, LLC was hired by the City last month following an investigation into and subsequent contract termination with Mississippi Critterz. According to Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill, Pizano has provided a new outlook for the future of the city’s animal shelter. 

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“As of (Wednesday), we are reinventing the shelter and its mission, and the way it operates. You will hear much more about this in the coming weeks,” Tannehill said. “We are transitioning into an animal resource center instead of a shelter. We are going to save a lot of animals and help a lot of people.” 

Tannehill went on to say that Pizano’s goal is to help the city focus on shifting from being “enforcement-minded to being community-minded” at the resource center. 

Pizano is visiting next week and will help the City develop a concrete plan for moving forward and accepting animals again, the Mayor said. 

“She has stressed to us that open admissions is a model that is broken, and that we should focus on managed admissions, and she’s going to help us get a plan for that,” she said.  

Since the shelter closed animal control has picked up 3 dogs, which are at the shelter being cared for by a kennel attendant. Upon their intake, a veterinarian visited and gave the dogs vaccinations and a health assessment.  

Also during the special Aldermen meeting, the board voted to hire Jan-Pro for a deep-cleaning of the animal shelter building for $1,100, and Servpro for the cleaning and sanitizing of the building’s four HVAC units, which will cost $5,000.