Animal Resource Center requests new vehicle to help with animal transfers

Published 8:30 am Friday, July 15, 2022

The Oxford Animal Resource Center is looking to increase the number of transfers in the upcoming year.

During a budget session meeting with the Oxford Board of Aldermen, the OARC put in a request to increase their vehicle budget for two new vehicles: a new van and a Dodge truck.

OARC Director Kelli Briscoe said a new van would open the center up to a lot more transports in the upcoming year. OARC proposed a budget of $62,000 to acquire a transport van.

Through outreach to other centers in the region, OARC was able to connect with more rescue animals.

“The problem has always been getting them there,” Briscoe said.

The van would have enough space to hold 14 rescue animals at one time. Outside of transfer assignments, the van would help transport animals to and from the veterinarian or adoption events.

The Dodge truck would replace a 12-year-old vehicle in the OARC’s possession that is in need of constant repair and maintenance.

“We’re in need of another truck really, really desperately,” said Briscoe. “… We had an instance over the weekend where we didn’t know whether the crank offset was working and then we get a call for an aggressive dog. We can’t get there and we cannot put an aggressive dog in our personal trucks.”

The OARC has only one other vehicle for transport. However, if it is already being used for a call, the center is unable to respond to other calls or visit places the landfill to pick up abandoned animals.

Mayor Robyn Tannehill said she can see the need for the vehicles, but the city will be unable to do both. Tannehill proposed budgeting for the new van to be used for transportation and as a backup in case of emergencies.

“We’ve cut a lot of vehicles out of requests this year, but I hope to encourage Kelli and friends at the shelter to establish a fundraiser for half of this transport vehicle — the $62,000,” said Tannehill. “I hoped that we would be able to say fundraise for half of it and that could be something the people to get behind and be excited about.”

Aldermen Rick Addy and Mark Huelse countered with the idea to use an already existing truck in the City Shop.

“Find an available use older truck,” said Huelse. “Either that or a backup.”

“These are decisions that don’t have to be made today,” said Tannehill.

Briscoe said she would check with the City Shop for available vehicles. The OARC has also explored renting a vehicle from Enterprise or buying a newer Ford Ranger as cheaper options, however, Briscoe told the board she is interested in fundraising for a new transport van.

“That’s something I think the citizens would be on board with and would want to help,” she said. “I think we could raise 40 [thousand dollars] of it.”

Tannehill said no decisions will be made immediately and the board and OARC will have time to explore all the options discussed in Tuesday’s budget meeting.

“These aren’t decisions that will be made today,” she said.

The Animal Resource Center is holding about 70 animals as of Tuesday. According to Briscoe, the center has taken over 400 animals into their care since January. Since October 2021, the OARC has taken in roughly 600 animals.

For information about the animals in the Oxford Animal Resource Center’s care, visit www.oxfordms.net/oxfordarc.