Desoto County News

Doggone it! We have an animal shelter!

City officials said it was among the top three things residents wanted when the current Hernando Board of Aldermen and Mayor were elected. Wednesday, July 12, the need for a new animal shelter was fulfilled when a ribbon cutting event signified the accomplishment of that request.  

“When we were campaigning years ago, we kept hearing from almost everyone that they wanted a new animal shelter,” said Mayor Chip Johnson. “That was in the top three things we were hearing. When the citizens want something and know there is a need for it we have to find a way to get it done.” 

The new 3,600 square foot Hernando Animal Shelter on Nesbit Drive replaces the old 400 square foot shelter located behind the fire station on U.S. Highway 51.  

Animal Control Director Jessica Green oversees the operations of the shelter.  

“We have a state of the art animal shelter that will house up to 45 dogs and up to 50 cats,” Green said. “It is heated and air conditioned, which we’ve never really had before. They have huge play yards where they can play.”  

Johnson said a new animal shelter has been on the drawing board in Hernando for years and was first being considered around 2017.

“We’ve been working toward it for a lot of years,” Johnson said. “We’ve drawn it and redrawn it again and again and we came to this design that was within our budget and still be what we needed. The Board of Aldermen unanimously approved getting this building built.”

The shelter costs about $1.1 million with the city spending about $900,000 of its money, and another $200,000 of which came from donor money involved to outfit the building.  

Johnson said the old shelter was built for just a small number of animals.  

“It was overfull, we were keeping animals outside in pens during the day and then putting them back inside at night,” Johnson explained. “It’s just not a good situation, it’s too small, there’s not even a restroom in the building. This is what we needed to do for the animals.”

The mayor added the building was designed for possible expansion at a later date. Green said animals will begin to be transferred to the new facility within the next week or so.    

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