When it comes to our shelters, it’s time to think outside the box

Published 2:13 pm Friday, February 7, 2020

Ever had one of those moments that you just know you’re going to catch nine kinds of heck for saying something, but you decide to say it anyway?

This is one of those moments. I know I’m going to catch a few thoughts on my next few sentences, so when you respond, please do so kindly, with correct grammar and know that I am someone’s son; or at least two out of three.

With all of the recent coverage and discussion involving the future of the city of Vicksburg’s Animal Shelter, there’s one question that has yet to be asked.

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Why is the city in the shelter business to begin with?

In no way is this question a reflection on Kacie Lindsey and her dedicated team of personnel and volunteers. They are angels amongst us and have taken on a task that far too few are called to be responsible for. In fact, we need more like Kacie; dedicated and focused on a mission with heart.

But, there is a duplication of efforts when it comes to animal shelters in Vicksburg and Warren County and there seems to be a problem with coming to a consensus on where to buy or build the next animal shelter. For those who love the story Goldilocks and the three bears, it seems officials — led by North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield — are always running up against sites that are “too hot, or too cold; too hard, or too soft.” And despite their efforts, they have not found a site that is “just right.”

So instead of running our collective heads against a wall over and over again, why not run around the wall.

Has anyone thought of the city and the Vicksburg-Warren Humane Society forming a partnership that serves all of Warren County? Has anyone thought of putting aside whatever territorial differences there might be to accomplish the mission of saving and protecting animals in all of Warren County?

There is power in numbers and in this case, I am sure there is power in savings.

Each week, The Post is thrilled to publish a few pictures of animals that are currently up for adoption. And if those of us who work at the newspaper had the money and the space at our homes — and spouses who would agree — there would not be a single dog, cat, puppy, kitten, gerbil, hamster or horse still up for adoption at either of the facilities.

Over the past few months, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. has mentioned numerous times the idea of consolidating programs and services between the city and other organizations, including the county.

He has talked about how consolidating efforts and coming up with new ideas can and will save taxpayer dollars while at the same time either maintaining or improving services.

This should be one of those places that is considered for consolidation.

The Vicksburg Animal Shelter is in need of a new home. The Vicksburg-Warren Humane Society has room to grow.

And bringing the teams together will put their strengths to better use for the county. Both teams love animals, they care for animals and they long for those animals to find forever homes.

This move would not even have to involve personnel losing their jobs, rather it would allow for more time for each team to better serve the community. It would also give those wanting to adopt an animal a one-stop-shop to find and adopt.

The city’s current animal shelter is moving closer and closer to becoming a hazard to its team, its animals and the community. So something must be done.

We are at a time in our city and county government where new ideas are being discussed and old, stagnant ways are being discarded.

This is an idea — as crazy as it might appear to some — that should be looked at and evaluated. Crunch the numbers and tell me I am wrong.

Tim Reeves is editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at tim.reeves@vicksburgpost.com.

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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