Shelter Report

Mar 9th, 2021
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  1. Preliminary Report
  2. Evaluation of Oxford Animal Shelter
  3. Philip A. Bushby, DVM, MS, DACVS
  4. Kathy Kvam, DVM
  5. March 5, 2021
  7. A site visit was conducted at the Oxford Mississippi Animal Shelter on Thursday, March 4, 2021. Conducting the evaluation were Drs. Philip Bushby and Kathy Kvam. Mississippi Critterz is under contract with the City of Oxford Mississippi and Lafayette County to operate the animal shelter. The site visit was requested after numerous complaints about the care of animals at the shelter were posted on social media and following a two-week investigation of the operations of the shelter conducted by the Oxford Police Department.
  9. Operational policies, housing protocols, care of the animals and cleanliness of the facility were evaluated according to the “Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters” (see attached) published in 2010 by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) and using the Shelter Care Checklist (see attached) which is based on the ASV Guidelines document and published by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
  11. Site evaluators arrived at the Shelter at 9:30 am and were given a tour of the facility by Natascha Techen, a member of the Mississippi Critterz Board. Natascha was also available to answer questions for the evaluators. At no time during the site visit was the Shelter Director present.
  13. Put briefly the shelter violates even the most basic standards of care for animals in animal shelters. There was no identifying information (names or numbers) on the animal enclosures or on the animals. There were no records available for review and no medical records. The Board member could not tell us exactly how many animals were present in the shelter at the time of our visit. (She estimated 100 dogs). In addition, the Board member could not provide any statistics related to intake numbers, number of animals adopted, number placed in foster care, numbers transported to other rescues or shelters or numbers of animals euthanized.
  15. One half to two-thirds of the dogs were in small stainless-steel cages or temporary wire cages. Standards require that primary enclosures be large enough for animals to stand, sit in a normal posture, stretch, turn around and lie down with the ability to extend their limbs. Most, if not all, of the cages were so small they failed to meet this standard. There were dogs in cages so small that the dogs could not stand up. Other dogs in cages so small that they would not have been able to turn around.
  17. Fifteen to twenty dogs were in outdoor runs. It is not clear if those runs were the primary enclosures for those dogs. However, there were no empty runs or cages into which those dogs could be moved. The weather was nice on March 4th and the temperature was warm. However, if there was another snow or ice storm there did not appear to be any indoor enclosures that into which those animals could be moved.
  18. In general, the facility was dirty and cluttered. The tour through the facility was conducted from approximately 10 am to 11 am. At that time of day virtually all of the animals were still in enclosures soiled with urine and or feces.
  20. There is a concept in animal sheltering called Capacity for Care. The capacity for care is based on the number of enclosures available, the number of and training of shelter staff and the financial resources available. Shelters should operate within their capacity for care for the animals to remain healthy and adoptable. The number of animals at the Oxford Shelter on March 4, 2021 far exceeds the capacity for care. It is not possible for the current staff at the shelter to properly care for the number of animals that are present.
  22. If requested a detailed report documenting more specifically the level of care of the animals at the Oxford Shelter will be provided.
  24. Respectfully submitted,
  26. Philip A. Bushby, DVM, MS, ACVS
  27. Kathy Kvam, DVM
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