Jennyne Pinter, email@example.com
The summer means a variety of annual traditions to everyone, like vacations, camping, cookouts or swimming. For Kay LaBorde and her staff at Bossier City Animal Control however, it means a time of year that is far from fun.
Their shelter is packed to the gills with stray or surrendered dogs looking for a home.
“Every single summer,” Labored said. “Normally it always hits us in May and it does not stop until October. We are full. And we’ll stay pretty much at our max throughout the whole summer.”
In fact, LaBorde said her staff is are at the point where they are asking owner-surrenders to hang onto the animals for a few more days or another week to buy time to find homes for current pets.
The Bossier City Animal Control shelter has 101 dog runs but well over 100 dogs. If dogs are small and come in together, they might occupy a single run, and litters of puppies will bunk together as well.
“We are pleading out to the rescues right now,” she continued, “And I believe we’ve got seven dogs leaving out in this next week, which is awesome, but the sad part is that we are filling up just as quickly as we empty.”
The shelter does utilize fostering programs for the dogs, but that comes with its own set of difficulties. The foster home must fill out an application and be approved in the same manner that a pet would be adopted. This means that an unaltered foster dog cannot go to a home where another dog who is also not fixed already lives.
As to be expected, the overwhelming breed found at the shelter are pitbulls and pit-mixes. LaBorde says that up until just a few months ago their shelter was not allowed to adopt any pit-breeds out.
“Up until very recently we had to rescue all of them out. And so we can now adopt,” she said with relief. “I think the pitbulls get a bad reputation and it’s hard to change people’s outlook on that.”
Since LaBorde started with Bossier City Animal Control 10 years ago, euthanasia of the dogs has dropped from around 70 percent to 20 percent, thanks in part to the local rescues.
“That’s a good thing,” remarked LaBorde, “except now we have people dropping Caddo dogs off.”
The Animal Control Unit in Bossier is framed to accommodate Bossier dogs only. “They’re supposed to be going to the Caddo Animal Control and they’re dumping them at Bossier.”
LaBorde thinks that her operation runs as well as it does only by the grace of her loyal and long-lasting staff, all of which have been with her for six years or more.
“They work 24/7 on these dogs,” praised LaBorde, “Their hearts are in the right place. They’re here for the right reason, and that is to save as many as they can.”
The overcrowding at the shelter is bound to increase as more spring litters begin to grow and surface. The summer activities of residents will also play a part in the uptick of stray occupancy.
“Any of the holidays where people are getting together,” she says about the events upcoming on July 4. “Anytime there’s music, there’s drinking, any kind of loud activities…We’re going to have loose dogs the next day.”
The Bossier Animal Control Shelter is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with adoption hours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.