Nonprofit organization seeks to improve Jackson Animal Shelter

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 7:02 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Since October, the Jackson Animal Shelter has been closed due to several maintenance and staffing issues. However, there is hope for the shelter.

Nonprofit organizations are trying to help improve the shelter, despite slow moving city leaders.

“As a state capital, it should be a shining example for the entire state,” Senior Strategist for Best Friends Animal Society - East Region, Lisa Barrett said.

For nearly 3 months, the Jackson Animal Shelter has been closed for business. However, before it shut it’s doors, help was offered.

Best Friends, a nonprofit animal welfare organization, offered up to $300,000 worth of free services.

“After our assessment, we did come back with an offer of embedding our best friend staff into the shelter, to help them with cleaning protocols, standard operational procedures, whatever they would need,” Barrett said.

However, according to Barrett, the city of Jackson has not given the organization any answer on whether the city wants the help or not.

“We’re going to keep pushing, until we get an answer one way or the other. We’re here to help. We want to help,” Barrett said.

The Jackson Mayor’s Office issued a statement on the issue saying that they aren’t “opposed to help from organizations”, however, “arrangements can often take time” and that legal issues still need to be determined.

But since the office has taken almost 6 months to “hammer out legal issues”, other shelters’ volunteers said it’s putting pressure on smaller organizations.

“I know from practical experience that when Animal Control has picked up some animals right now they have reached out to a few of the local rescue groups. Those rescue groups help where and when they can, but they’re at capacity,” Jackson Friends of the Animal Shelter volunteer, Lyn Crawford, said.

And that’s why many volunteers are hoping the city takes the offer soon.

“It’s a great opportunity for the city to really be able to step up that city animal shelter to hopefully where it needs to be, and then maintain that going forward,” Crawford said.

“We’re really hopefully that the city council will take us up on your offer,” Barrett said.

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