friends of the shelter addresses board

Published 10:16 am Thursday, February 11, 2016

Newly instated municipal veterinarian Dr. William Kimble said it would take several months for Brookhaven to come up with a plan for the new animal shelter that has been proposed.

“The city is in the process right now of researching other municipalities,” Kimble said. “They’re looking at different cities of different sizes and what types of facilities they have, to come to a conclusion on what will work here. They’re still in the preliminary stages of research.”

After initially donating $20,000 to a local organization that planned to renovate the current shelter, the city decided to construct a new facility. The city had concerns about letting the group operate the facility at the landfill.

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At a Board of Aldermen meeting earlier this month, city officials rescinded the agreement with the group and directed Mayor Joe Cox to notify the group that it should return the funds.

At that same meeting, officials listed an animal shelter in Meridian as one that Brookhaven would model its facility after.

“We are going to Meridian,” City Attorney Joe Fernald said at the meeting. “Both of the vets said that the Meridian Animal Control facility was probably the state-of-the-art and the best in the state. Dr. Kimble said he knew the people that were there and he could submit plans on how to build what you need to build, plus procedural … If we can get with Meridian and see how they built theirs, Dr. William and Dr. Watson said they would help us with the design and any considerations that we have.”

The shelter in Meridian is owned by the city and operated by Lauderdale County. According to its website, as many as 3,000 animals come through the shelter each year.

Kimble said the specifics of the Brookhaven facility would be dictated by the amount of money appropriated by the Board of Aldermen. He said he would not speculate on what the specific requirements for an adequate shelter would be in Brookhaven, but he did say there are guidelines published by the American Veterinary Medical Association that should be taken into account.

Board members have yet to say how much could potentially be spent on a new facility or where it may be located. Cox did not respond to a request for comment.

Brookhaven’s animal shelter currently sits on top of the city landfill, a location that has been described as too dangerous for visitors. The shelter — consisting mainly of rows of kennels with a roof but no walls — is not set up to accommodate any animals other than dogs.