Humane Society of Louisiana: Grant Parish Animal Control Partnership an Example to the State
According to the Humane Society of Louisiana the state is in crisis when it comes to animal control because in about half of Louisiana’s parishes there’s no one to call. But they say one Central Louisiana parish is doing it right. ABC News Joel Massey shows us how Grant Parish is different and how some proposed state funding might help other rural parishes.
MiChelle Pittman with the Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office said, “These dogs, we do the best we can but they need homes, they need families.”
The Humane Society of Louisiana is proud of the way and the Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office is handing animals. In May Grant Parish partnered with Best Friends Animal Society out of Utah to place stray dogs with adoptive homes and foster families and Pittman says it’s made a world of difference for the rural parish.
“They have means as far as knowledge and personal they have partnerships with other rescues and vets that we would have never found out about on our own, they have been a huge blessing to our program.”
The Grant kennel can house about 40 dogs but with the foster system in place more than 70 more have a place to stay. Jeff Dorson of the Humane Society says the partnership is a blueprint of how to get families involved in pet rescue.
“It’s a brilliant progressive idea where everybody wins. The community has less strays people feel better that they can provide housing for otherwise homeless animals.”
But Dorson said Grant Parish is the exception when it comes to the way animals are treated in Louisiana especially in rural parishes. More than 31 of the state’s 64 parishes lack kennels altogether and he says many of the facilities that do exist are deplorable.
“So we don’t even have minimum standards of care a lot of the kennels are rusty they’re in disrepair there’s no sinks, there’s no office, there’s no ventilation, there’s no heat.”
Dorson says the rest of the nation is horrified at how Louisiana treats its pets.
“We tie them up in the back yard they’re not part of the family, we don’t put them on heartworm prevention we tie them to trees we don’t integrate them into the family so we have a reputation of not being nice to animals and we want to drastically change that perception and reality.”
This year the state legislature will consider spending $3 million to distribute grants of up to $100,000 for parishes and municipalities to build animal shelters and improve existing ones. Dorson says it’s about time.
“Everybody finally sees the need, this is a golden opportunity. For only the second year in a row has the state had a surplus in their budget. Surely we can slice off a sliver to address a problem that’s been chronic since our statehood.”
If you adopt a dog from the Grant Parish facility it will be fully vaccinated, spayed or neutered or with a voucher to have the procedure done. They even tag each dog with a microchip locator. Right now there are the more than 100 dogs available.
“If you’re not interested in adopting, we need fosters. If you have room in your home temporarily if it’s for a few weeks. Maybe you’re not sure if you want a dog, come out and meet one of ours.
The Grant Parish shelter hosts adoption events throughout the year where families can meet the pups. If you are interested in adopting or fostering and to see pictures of dogs available visit the shelter’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100090536410705.
For more information on the partnership with Best Friends Animal Society and to see an Amazon wish list of things to buy for the shelter visit https://bestfriends.org/grant-parish.
The number to call for the Grant Parish shelter is 318.627.3261.