Shelters drive information superhighway

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 10, 2002


LAPLACE – Homeless pets temporarily residing in St. John the Baptist Parish and St. Charles Parish animal shelters have a better chance of adoption with the help of, a virtual animal shelter that shows more than 65,000 animals at one time and represents 3,500 shelters nationwide and in Canada.

The Riverlands SPCA joined the group in January with 47 other Louisiana members. Animals in St. John Parish shelters can now be exposed on the Internet to prospective adoption families.

St. Charles Parish Humane Society Secretary Rita Elliot keeps up the Web sites for both parishes. She volunteered to work with the St. John shelter and the Riverlands SPCA after working with in St. Charles for nearly a year, she said.

“I definitely feel like it makes a difference. If we can just get an animal exposed, there are people out there looking at the Web site,” Elliot said.

Elliot said the more outlets to showcase the animals, the better. Families looking for pets are encouraged to refer to the site if they are searching for a particular breed. Animals can be reviewed statewide and may help a family find the particular animal in which they are interested.

The two shelters post about five animals a week each, Elliot said. Those on the Web site are evaluated whether or not they are adoptable based on their temperament and health. Animals with heart worms or disease are not picked. generates a list of potential pets, ranked according to proximity, size, age, and breed. facilitated more than 500,000 adoptions last year. Every dog or cat adopted from a member shelter or rescue group in Louisiana is eligible for a two-month gift of pet insurance, paid for by President Betsy Saul said she hopes the Sheltercare insurance program will add to the rewards of adopting a shelter pet.

The program is free to potential adopters and shelters thanks to its sponsors.

Animals can also be previewed on the St. Charles Parish Access Channel in the community events section

Elliot said she hopes the adoption rate will rise even more as more and more people become acquainted with the Web site.

For more information on pets in St. John Parish, contact the Riverlands SPCA at 985-652-7722. The St. Charles Parish Humane Society can be reached at 985-785-9136.