Oxford animal shelter won’t take new animals following police investigation

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OXFORD, Miss. – Oxford’s animal shelter won’t be taking any new animals after the results of a police investigation were released Tuesday. 

The City of Oxford made the announcement Thursday but said the shelter, which is run by the non-profit Mississippi Critterz under a contract with the city, will continue to care for the animals already there.  

Police began investigating the shelter last month after concerned citizens spotted dogs in kennels outside the shelter in freezing conditions. A photo quickly made the rounds on social media.  

“There’s one dog, a black and white dog. It was skin and bones, and I saw it a week before that picture came out,” said Leigh Ann Hubbard with Oxford Animal Shelter Watchdogs. “Then a week later, that same dog was in that same picture.”

During Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting, police said they found that the shelter suffered from a lack of cleanliness, overcrowding, and that it didn’t have detailed medical records and written procedures among other things.  

“At this time, no information discovered in the investigation meets the elements of criminal charges,” said Oxford Police Chief Jeff McCutchen.  

When asked for comment, a woman who answered the phone at the shelter directed WREG to board president Aynslee Smith. She didn’t returned WREG’s request for an interview, and neither did Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill.  

Tuesday, the city formed a committee to review its contract with Mississippi Critterz to determine whether or not it’s being fulfilled.  

Hubbard hopes the contract is terminated.  

“It’s been amply demonstrated that they are in breach of contract,” she said. 

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