Target for work on new Oxford shelter: May 1

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – City and Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society officials have taken one of the final steps before construction of the long-awaited new animal shelter begins.
The Board of Aldermen named Larry McAlexander’s Heritage Development as the design-build firm for the $597,000 project. Contracts are being prepared, and ground could be broken at the McElroy Drive site by mid-spring.
“We would love to have (the builders) on the ground by May 1,” said Bart Robinson, Oxford’s director of public works. Given decent weather, he said, construction should take about six months.
The current shelter, with trailers and outside pens, is on state Highway 7 South, several miles outside of town. The McElroy Drive location will be more convenient for potential adopters and for volunteers – and less convenient for the late-night drop-offs of animals.
It will also have more quarantine space for sick animals or those with behavior problems.
The new shelter will highlight a years-long effort by city, county and humane society officials, but more funds are yet needed to furnish and equip the facility.
“One of the misconceptions that the community has is that we’ve raised all the money we need to,” said Hattie Alton, Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society’s director of development.
Two more fundraisers are scheduled soon – a March 30 “Yappy Hour” at the Rib Cage and the April 6 “Paws for Art” auction at the Library Bar and Grill.
For more information, log on to www.oxfordpets.com or call (662) 202-4017.

Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or errol.castens@djournal.com.