Concerned citizens say Lafourche Animal Shelter needs to do more


Posted on May 22, 2014 at 10:13 PM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @taniadall

Spring time means animal shelters across the metro area are being swamped with cats and dogs. In Lafourche Parish, the situation isn't any different.

Now a group of concerned citizens says the parish's animal shelter needs to do more to help curb euthanasia at its facility and give the public more time to adopt the animals.

"The fire this week was probably lit by 40 cats coming up urgent," said Cassandra Adams with the Lafourche Parish Humane Society.

Kennels inside the animal shelter are jam packed with cats and dogs of different breeds and sizes.

 Parish officials say the facility can house about 28 dogs and 50 cats. Recently a sudden influx of kittens is compounding the limited housing problem.

 A day ago, Lafourche Parish sent out a message saying 40 cats urgently needed homes before being euthanized.

 "We had a 24 to 48-hour span to get all these urgent cats out. It's not enough time for rescues to network and get the animals where they need to be," said Adams.

On Thursday a group of concerned citizens showed up to the Thibodaux building to share their frustrations with Eyewitness News.

"It's falling on deaf ears. We get promise, promise, promise and nothing ever comes to par," said Gisele Landry with Hope for Animals.

Critics say staff at the animal shelter need more training, the animal intake system needs to be updated and a full-time vet needs to be hired. Small improvements the Lafourche Parish Humane Society believes would to help curb euthanasia rates at the shelter.

"New ceilings, new walls, new ventilation systems that will make it easier for our staff to work in there as well as care for the animals and their safety," said Parish Administrator Archie Chaisson of improvements currently underway there. He says by the end of this year, the shelter will see $100,000 in improvements including more kennel space.

The parish says it has also started working with LSU's Vet School to better train staff -- the limestone gravel laid down on Thursday were part of the partnership.

As for the alert sent out earlier this week, the parish confirms some animals may have to be put down on Friday.

"The animals that were brought in this week the 40 or 50 cats will not be euthanized tomorrow (Friday). There are several animals in there that might be euthanized tomorrow because they've been here for the allotted time period," said Chaisson.

A time period that Adams believes needs to be extended to allow the community to step up and help.

"I have seen the numbers of adoptions grow dramatically due to the rescues that come in and pull," said Adams.

According to Lafourche Parish records its dog euthanasia rates were down last year by 64  percent and its cat euthanasia rates were down by 26 percent compared to 2012.

The shelter can always use donations, volunteers and those willing to adopt a cat or dog. If you'd like to help out CLICK HERE.