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Amanda Crane/Press-Tribune Cleo, a female Australian Catahoulla mix, is in danger of having to be euthanized due to space issues at the Bossier City animal shelter. The shelter is seeking adoptions for thier overloaded shelter.

Bossier City forced to euthanize animals due to space concerns

 

Sean Green

sean@bossierpress.com

 

The Bossier City Animal Shelter has reached its full capacity and is facing the tough decision of deciding not if, but what animals that are to be put down.

“It’s been horrible,” said Kay Laborde, assistant superintendent. “It actually changed everyone’s attitudes. We were happier to come to work and now we’re dragging in to work.”

The shelter has seen its usual seasonal spike of drop offs and rescues, pushing it to capacity with 327 cats and dogs. That means the shelter is forced to euthanize animals just to make space for those coming in.

“Every single run and cage is full,” said a weary Laborde. “Euthanizing is taking place for space and we’ve been trying not to do that by working with rescues to adopt out the animals. And they’re not moving (from those rescues).”

She said the influx started three weeks ago has been relentless ever since.

“Every day, we only pick what the animals we have to euthanize and it’s by the day, the amount of euthanasias that we have to do,” Laborde said. “We have to receive, we can’t refuse. It just depends on what comes through the front door and how much.”

Making matters more dire is that the weekend adoption days at Pet Smart on Beene Boulevard that were highly successful in months past have dried up.

“We used to adopt out 20 animals and this past weekend we maybe got three,” said Laborde. “I have no idea why it’s stopped. It may be people wanting to go on vacation and not wanting to adopt until they go on vacation, I don’t know.”

She said in order to limit the number of animals that are put down each day, the six full-time and three part-time employees at the shelter have been fostering animals.

Still, Laborde notes it’s a losing battle.

“Everyone takes animals home and we try to hang on to them, but it’s not enough,” she said. “We get 30-40 cats every day, litters of puppies, and just yesterday we rescued four or five pitbull puppies that were about to die in the heat.”

Larborde notes this regular yearly uptick is not even as bad as it has been in the past through their efforts to coordinate with local animal rescues.

“It’s getting better by the year, almost everyone here has been with me two years — no one quits and they’re here for the right reasons. I have a great staff,” she said.

The use of social media has also transformed how adoptions are done, increasing the number of animals that find homes.

“Facebook has saved lives. There are all kinds of connections and almost every one of my employees works until midnight answering questions and promoting animals,” said Laborde. “And Craigslist is a great way to connect when people lose or find an animal.”

Laborde urges the community to “save a life” and adopt at a shelter, and to spay and neuter their pets.

“People get a bad idea of shelters when it comes to their animals getting sick, but there’s no way we can’t tell if an animal was exposed to something before they come in. We’re working on changing that idea (of shelters).”

Fostering of animals is open and available to the public. Contact Angela Little at the Bossier City Animal Shelter at 741-8499.

Adoptions are available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and every Saturday at Pet Smart on Beene Boulevard from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Whenever I hear that people “buy” puppies from breeders, it just destroys me. When I am rich and famous, I will start an ad campaign, that includes a digital euthanasia counter on a billboard in a well traveled area – maybe even a giant section of LED screen for a picture of the last euthanized animal. That ought to raise some awareness.