Humane Society seeks new volunteers

Lynecia Christion
The Oxford Eagle

Chandler Morgan, 20, first became involved with the Humane Society in her home state, Georgia. After moving to Oxford to enroll at the University of Mississippi, she became involved with the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society.

Morgan, who is studying broadcast journalism, public relations and German, handles all OLHS social media, including event and animal adoption promotions, writing news releases, advocating awareness about spay and neuter procedures and more.

Morgan said a volunteer is “someone who gives up their time and pursues better opportunities for a cause or program, rather than putting themselves first.”

Indiana native Jenn Petermann, 43, has been the executive director of OLHS for more than two years. She manages workers and volunteers, the animals that come into the facility, animal adoptions and more.

Petermann said the OLHS is always seeking volunteers. “Giving of yourself, selflessly” is how she defines the way volunteers should be when working with any organization.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, approximately 7.6 million animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year.

Records from ASPCA indicate there are about 13,600 community animals shelters nationwide that are independent and have no national organization monitoring them.

The OLHS is one of those community animal shelters located at 413 McElroy Drive. The facility accepts, shelters and cares for about 4,500 animals each year, including cats, dogs, pigs, reptiles and more. The facility’s goal is to find new permanent  owners and provide loving, caring homes for all surrendered animals stationed there.

According to OLHS, there were 4,362 animals brought to the facility in 2011, the latest statistics. Of those, 51 percent were surrendered as strays, 43 percent were surrendered by their owners, and 6 percent were seized by animal control.

OLHS is obligated by law to keep every stray animal for a minimum of five days. The average time each animal stays varies greatly depending on its adoption, age and health.

The mission of OLHS staff members is to help lower the rates of stray, homeless, and lost animals by providing rescue, shelter, care, adoption services, and potential foster homes for every animal. They investigate animal abandonment and cruelty and do background checks on any personnel wanting to adopt.  They promote neuter/spay procedures, permanent identification, and the rightful treatment of all animals.

The OLHS was founded in 1982 and moved into its now current building four years ago. Although the original founders are unknown, a board of directors oversees the shelter and its functions. OLHS began providing full-time animal control services for Oxford in 1999. They also began a transfer and rescue program in 2002 that helps transfer animals to various rescue organizations across the United States.

OLHS provides Oxford and Lafayette County with many opportunities to volunteer with the organization. All ages are welcome to volunteer, but all minors under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or an adult guardian.

OLHS is a private, non-profit organization governed by the board of directors, comprised of volunteers from surrounding area communities dedicated to animal well-being and welfare. It is not operated or funded by any national humane groups in the U.S. or internationally. The facility relies donations from supporters, membership dues and community fundraising events.

To volunteer or make a donation, visit the Oxford Lafayette Humane Society website listed below.

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