|Mission & Services|
It is the mission of the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society to improve the plight of lost and homeless animals by providing shelter, care, rescue, adoption services, and foster homes; to investigate incidents of animal cruelty, abandonment, and neglect and to promote responsible pet ownership by advocating spay/neuter, permanent identification, and the humane and compassionate treatment of all animals.
HistoryThe Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society was originally founded in 1982. The Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society is a 501(c)3 private, nonprofit corporation governed by a Board of Directors composed of volunteers from the community who are dedicated to animal welfare. In 1992, the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society was awarded the management contract of the Oxford Animal Shelter from the City of Oxford. In 1999, the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society began providing full-time Animal Control Services for the City of Oxford. The Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society started the Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) in 1999 to financially assist elderly and low-income pet owners with sterilizing their pets. The Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society began the transfer/rescue program in 2002 and transfers approximately 300 animals a year to various rescue organizations and no-kill animal shelters across the country.
OLHS provides a critical service to the entire community surrounding Oxford and Lafayette County. Our service is as much in the public interest as funding maintenance of roads, sewers, police, and fire prevention service. Our animal care and control services encompass the accepting and sheltering of every animal brought to our animal shelter, animal control enforcement in the City of Oxford, and investigations of animal cruelty, abandonment, and neglect in the city and the surrounding counties.
OLHS accepts approximately 4,500 animals a year. These animals, if left to fend for themselves, would create many problems in our community. Homeless and abandoned animals create a safety threat to citizens - increased risk of automobile accidents, animal bites and attacks, and the spread of disease. These animals are also a nuisance to citizens – pillaging trash containers, defecating in public and private areas, menacing, attacking, and killing owned pets, livestock, birds and wildlife. Those 4,500 plus animals, if left on the streets, would also quickly reproduce and add to an already out-of-control animal overpopulation problem in our community.
OLHS is obligated by law to keep every stray animal surrendered to our animal shelter for a minimum of five days. The average length of stay of each animal varies greatly and depends on the adoptability and health of the animal and the space available in the shelter. If the animal remains healthy and is adoptable, OLHS will keep the animal for as long as possible. Overcrowding and lack of adequate space in the shelter is the primary cause of euthanasia of adoptable and healthy animals. Fortunately, OLHS also has a group of very committed Foster Care Volunteers who foster approximately 10 – 25 animals for the shelter at all times.
When an animal is surrendered to OLHS, our protocol and procedures include evaluating the temperament of the animal to determine adoptability, evaluating the health of the animal, administering vaccinations, deworming treatments, and flea/tick treatment. The animal is cared for by our kennel staff members who feed, water, and clean the animals’ kennels at least twice a day. Extra care and attention is administered when necessary and includes bathing, grooming, socializing, and obedience training the animals. When necessary and economically feasible, extra medical attention is given if the animal is sick or injured. Our annual operating budget is very limited, so the decisions to provide extra medical attention are made on a case by case basis.
Annual Operating Budget & Funding
In 2011, our annual operating budget was $340,000. That may seem like a lot of money, but when you are providing care for 4,500 plus animals a year it’s not nearly enough. Our current budget is allowing us to do only the bare minimum for the majority of the animals that arrive at the shelter.
National animal organizations suggest that to effectively combat the problem, animal shelters need to spend 25% of their annual budget on proactive programs like spay/neuter, permanent identification, and pet retention. Currently OLHS’ entire annual budget is spent on reactive programs like impoundment, sheltering, adoption and euthanasia related expenses. Until OLHS can start funding aggressive prevention programs, Oxford and Lafayette County residents will continue to surrender thousands of animals a year and there will be no end in sight for the senseless euthanasia of thousands of adoptable companion animals each year.