JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The healthcare needs of forgotten and abandoned animals is now a lot better in Jackson County.
A new 3,000 square foot veterinary clinic is now open at the Jackson County Animal Shelter. The facility cost $125,000 dollars to build.
With the cutting of the ribbon, it's now time to get down to the business of treating sick animals at the shelter. Animals in foster care will benefit as well. Shelter officials stress the new clinic is not open for the general public. They also say they hope to increase the number of spay and neuter opportunities for people with pets.
Shelter director Joe Barlow stated, "What we're able to do now is identify animals with problems through our caretakers in the field and then bring them here for specialized treatment."
Employees at the shelter, like Lauren Grundle, are just as impressed by the new addition. "I think it's lovely. I think it's great addition to our shelter and what we try and do. Help animals and save lives," she said enthusiastically.
The falling euthanasia rate at the shelter means means more animals need more care. While the new veterinary clinic is good for morale and efficiency, it's even better for something else.
Dr. Amy Larsen is excited to provide better health care to the shelter's animals. "We have the capacity to do more surgeries in a more timely manner. We have the ability to run blood work, check fecals. Overall, we're not running over each other with the larger area," she detailed.
The new clinic is just the beginning. Plans are well in the works for a new $1.3 million dollar shelter, replacing the one that has seen much better days. Barlow revealed, "Phase one of our new shelter process will begin, it's about to go out for bid. We hope to be breaking ground on that sometime this year."
All these improvements show a firm commitment by county officials to treat man's best friend, and cats too, with the same regard as other services, like roads and bridges. That's the opinion of supervisor Randy Bosarge. "Animals fall into that same category. We have to do the best we can do to protect our animals. Not only our citizens, but we have to be able to protect our animals too," he said.