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City of Oxford renews contract with Mississippi Critterz

Mississippi Critterz will continue to operate the animal shelter for at least another year.

The Oxford Board of Aldermen voted to renew their contract with MS Critterz during their regular meeting on Sept. 15. The contract also requires MS Critterz to continue providing animal control service.

The city will continue to cover the costs for utilities and maintaining the building, including the exterior and interior of the building as well as lawn maintenance. All equipment, cages, appliances and other items inside the shelter are owned by MS Critters, per the agreement.

When it comes to care of the animals, the city will pay MS Critterz $93 per animal for medical care expenses and care based the number of animals brought in to the shelter each month.

Lafayette County also has an agreement with MS Critterz, but does not pay for animal control services since there is not a leash law for dogs in the county. The City of Oxford has a leash law.

There were a few changes to the agreement made by the city. The annual contract will be renewed automatically by the city at the end of each fiscal year, which runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. An automatic renewal will take place if both parties wish to continue under the contract. If the city or MS Critterz wish to end the agreement, they must notify the other party 30 days prior to the end of the contract.

Mississippi Critterz will now provide quarterly updates to the Board instead of the bi-monthly reports that had been required to provide.

During their report to the Board last Tuesday, director Jenn Peterman said the COVID-19 pandemic had caused some challenges and difficulties but they have managed to adapt to the current state of things.

“We are still trying to navigate fundraising, adoption transports in the COVID landscape,” Peterman said. “It’s been a learning curve for us. I’m in awe of the staff and how they’ve stepped up to the plate during all this.”

The contract also requires MS Critterz to hold regular meetings of it’s Board of Directors that are open to the public. A member of the Board of Alderman and Board of Supervisors serve as a liason between the respective parties.

Alderman Janice Antonow is the current liaison for the city.

“You all are really doing a great job,” Antonow told Peterman during last week’s meeting.

The animal shelter is located at 413 McElroy Drive.

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