Jackson Animal Shelter renovations estimated to cost $800,000

Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 6:45 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The city of Jackson is looking at an $800,000 repair job to get their animal shelter up to standards and running.

But a non-profit organization said they aren’t in the business to pay for a city’s facility at this time.

“The city and us, we just haven’t met in the middle yet. But we’re still talking,” Senior Strategist with Best Friends, Lisa Barrett, said.

It’s been almost a year since the Jackson Animal Shelter closed its doors due to the decaying condition and staffing issues it faced.

“We think that we would rather have a shelter that is shut down than a shelter that does not present the most, you know, presents inhumane conditions,” Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said.

Now, the city attorney told Mayor Lumumba and the city council that it will cost $800,000 to get the facility running again.

While Best Friends had offered $300,000 worth of services back in January, Barrett said that money isn’t going to capital improvements.

“Most of our donors don’t want capital improvements to be how we save animals. So the best way for us to help is by making sure our money is spent on helping the animals, not the cities,” Barrett explained.

Mayor Lumumba said he’s hopeful that the city attorneys and Best Friends can negotiate and come to an agreement about where donations are allocated.

“There’s a discussion our city attorney is, you know, been working on this, to see exactly how much they can contribute to the challenge, and how we fund the rest of those repairs,” Mayor Lumumba said.

Currently, Best Friends is willing to pay for Jackson Animal Control officers to receive proper training from the National Animal Control Association - something they believe will help operations in the long run.

“Each one can do lessons one and two, and we will pay for them and reimburse the city for that. And NACA is great, they have the latest, and the best practices” Barrett said.

Barrett said Best Friends might consider helping the city pay for renovations if the city is willing to do more life-saving programs at the shelter in the future compared to euthanizing.

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