Oxford, Mississippi animal shelter to close due to overpopulation

OXFORD, Miss. — A Mississippi city official says that people not spaying or neutering their pets has caused a local animal shelter to spread itself thin and close.

Oxford Alderman Janice Antonow tells the Oxford Eagle the “out of control” animal situation has exhausted the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society’s board. She says the shelter couldn’t keep up with demand in its current form.

The board announced this week that it’s not going to renew a management agreement with the city that ends Sept. 30.

Antonow was appointed to sit on the board last year. She says the board wants to open a low-cost or free spay and neuter service to help with the area’s animal overpopulation. She says the shelter will find alternate placement for the animals in its care.

Abby Campbell adopted her dog Remi about a year ago from the Oxford Lafayette Humane Society in Oxford.

We talked to them while they took a break from one of their favorite activities, playing fetch.

"Having her is great company," said Campbell.  Which is why she was surprised to learn the place Remi once called home is set to close at the end of September.

"A lot of my friends have gotten dogs from here. It's really sad to me, because I know how much happiness those dogs have brought my friends," said Campbell.

Oxford officials say people aren't spaying or neutering their pets, and it's causing the shelter to spread itself thin.

The adoption need is clear.

There are signs posted outside the shelter and along the road,  advertising the hundreds of animals inside looking for a home.

"They're just like us, looking for a place to be, looking for a home. It's just sad to see that its closing down," said dog owner Aaron Bonacorso.

The shelter is not taking anymore animals. Right now they're looking to place them in homes or other shelters in the area.

Board member Lee Habeeb said the decision to close was difficult and sad. However, they're looking to the future. They're trying to pivot to the direction of a low-cost spay or neuter service saying in part, "With a sustained educational outreach and a 100 percent focus on the problem of overpopulation, we are confident - from studying other communities around the state - that we can successfully tackle this problem to everyone's benefit. That includes the citizens and the animals, and it won't cost the taxpayers a dime."

The shelter is a non-profit that receives money from the city of Oxford and some from the county, too. But their primary source of revenue is private donations.