Jackie Boudreaux, of the St. Charles Humane Society, and Angie Roberts, supervisor of the St. Charles Parish Animal Shelter, appealed to the parish council Oct. 15 for $125,000 in funds to construct a new facility for parish animals.
Both Boudreaux and Roberts state the shelter is outdated and can’t adequately support the increased animal population in the parish.
“The facility is in bad shape and needs more than repairs,” Roberts said. “We need to keep our animals safe and not euthanize them just because we don’t have room.”
Boudreaux expressed concerns that the current animal shelter is worn out, and can no longer accommodate the hundreds of animals that come into the shelter.
“A survey done by the HSUS and the ASPCA was recently completed on our parish and what they found was that 22,000 residents in St. Charles Parish own one or more pets,” Boudreaux said. “This is an astounding number, which also reminds our residents that pets that might become lost or otherwise separated from their owner will end up at our shelter.”
Boudreaux says that so many of the animals have to be put to sleep at the shelter simply because not enough people are adopting the animals.
“Animals that are sick are housed with those that are well,” Boudreaux said. “This tends to spread disease among the animals.”
In a slide show presentation, Roberts showed pictures of dogs living in substandard conditions.
“Because we are limited on space, we have to combine the animals, sometimes two to a cage,” she said. “Two dogs got into a fight and bit the other one’s ear off.”
Roberts said the conditions just aren’t satisfactory enough to keep housing the animals together.
“Rats come in off the levee and are as big as cats,” she said. “One of our dogs was attacked by a rat while he was sleeping one night in his cage.”
Esperanza Incorporated, owned by Judge Eddie Dufrene, made a land donation valued at $203,000 that has been earmarked for the sole purpose of building the animal shelter.
“The shelter would be located next to Raymond K. Smith Middle School,” Boudreaux said. “The society needs the support of the parish to build a new shelter on this property.”
Boudreaux requested that the parish allocate funds to begin the project in three phases.
“We’ve accomplished Phase I for the parish,” she said. “We’ve already gotten the property.”
Phase two of the proposed animal shelter includes the architect’s design, donated by John Campo, and phase three consists of the construction of the building.
“The shelter we hope to get will meet the needs of our parish for at least the next 20 years,” Boudreaux said.