LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Flaggs praises those advocating for animal shelter

Published 2:36 pm Friday, July 29, 2022

Dear Editor,

I am proud to announce that the plans for the future City of Vicksburg Animal Shelter are now complete. The next step is the bid process, then construction.

Due to the pandemic, the journey to build the shelter has been a long and slow one. It has been a team project and hundreds of people have contributed to making these plans a reality.

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Kacie Lindsey, Director of the Vicksburg Animal Shelter, has done a remarkable job taking care of our sheltered animals and her expertise has been a vital part of this design. We are very blessed to have such a dedicated director as well as her staff. Staff members Martez Carol, Jeffrey Fisher, Aubrey Carson and Bridgette Correzie work daily to serve the community in animal control and care for them.

Janet Holland, Ginger Kelly and Tracy Chaney are faithful and passionate volunteers. They have worked with the shelter and have posted videos to boost adoptions. Ninety percent of our animals have been placed in homes. They, along with the animal control staff, are our true heroes. The work that they do has not gone unnoticed.

The non-profit, Friends of Vicksburg Animal Shelter, has raised thousands of dollars to help fund this project and they have provided needed supplies for our sheltered animals. Last year they raised more than $20,000 in a fun event downtown. Last week, Ritz on the River donated $5,000. The Fostoria Neighborhood Association has made several large donations, as well as many businesses and private individuals.

Every single donation, large or small, is appreciated. You are all part of this project… this is your shelter. We will recognize donors in our new shelter’s lobby area.

Darlene Hughes started this campaign in 2016 to improve the lives of our sheltered animals. The Vicksburg Post leads the charge for this project and John Surratt has taken a personal interest to report all news. The Vicksburg Post also has a weekly photo of animals for adoption. David Day, owner of The Vicksburg Daily News has joined in to help keep this project alive by giving us updates. Channel 12 and all of Mississippi are cheering for this project.

The citizens that foster unwanted animals and help them find homes are part of this project. They pay from their own pockets and have raised donations. Paws Rescue, Trap-Neuter-Release Groups that help control our cat population, as well as the other heroes, such as HART are vital. Alexa Jeffers and Dianne Gargargo foster and nurse animals back to health and find new homes. They transport many animals to loving homes in different locales and they partner with other rescue organizations. There are countless others that make great contributions to help our animals daily. They have adopted, fostered, fed and found homes for many of the sheltered animals.

I know you’re there and Vicksburg appreciates you.

Jeff Richardson, Director of Community Development, is working hard to make this a reality and he will supervise this project to completion. He has done a remarkable job to make sure every detail has been included.

Since 2016, Marilyn Terry has never given up on this project. I think she has me on speed dial. Just last week she sent me a text at 3 a.m.; she says it was an error, but I am not so sure. She has been determined to keep this project alive. Over these last few years, we have had great respect for each other. She has been an advocate for the animals, and I am sure she will check frequently to make sure this shelter is built in a timely manner. I am excited to see this project completed. It has had more support than I ever imagined. Vicksburg is a very generous and compassionate city.

Seriously, we have worked together to get the finest architect to design a state-of-the-art facility and it is going to happen. Sometimes, municipal projects take time and are complex. Vicksburg needs and deserves a nice facility to take care of our animals in a safe and comfortable shelter. 

Aldermen Michael Mayfield and Alex Monsour have also made this project a reality. He has been an advocate for this shelter for many years. His expertise and knowledge are invaluable. He will represent the board and move this project forward. Many thanks to him for all his work and for the passion he has for animals.

What the citizens of Vicksburg do for our animals is an example of great community teamwork. There are countless others that make great contributions to help our animals daily. You, as citizens have adopted, fostered, fed and found homes for pets.

I am very proud of each one of you.

Sincerely,

Mayor George Flaggs Jr.