Responsible pet owners needed

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 16, 2002


DEAR EDITOR: On Feb. 27, three of my dogs escaped from my yard and they wandered near a Reserve Telephone Company office.

An employee of the telephone company called the Parish-owned Animal Shelter to alert them that there were loose dogs near her place of business. The kind employee then managed to coax one of the dogs to her. The employee then noticed that the dog was wearing identification and immediately called me, the owner. I told her that I would be there within five minutes but when I arrived, the dog catcher had already been there and left with one of my dogs; the other two were still running loose.

The RTC employee said that she had asked the dog catcher not to take the dog because the owner was on the way and that there were two other dogs who were still loose that needed to be helped. The dog catcher told her that if she had to go out on the call, she was going back with an animal.

After rounding up my two other dogs, I drove to Animal Control on River Road in LaPlace and was told I’d have to “bail” my dog out by paying $55. When I asked why the dog catcher didn’t leave the dog with the RTC employee and help with the other loose dogs, I was not given an answer. I was only told that I had to pay if I wanted this one back; which I did because I didn’t want them to put her to sleep while I pled my case to Parish President Nickie Monica.

I called Monica, and he told me that he would speak to the people at the Animal Control and that someone would get back to me. Several weeks passed and finally the manager, Linda Allen, called me and said there was nothing she could do.

This whole incident left me totally sour on the Parish Animal Control system. My dog was unnecessarily exposed to diseases at the pound by being brought to the facility even though the dog catcher knew I was on my way. The dog catcher didn’t bother to help recover the other loose dogs; she only concerned herself with the one that was already caught by the RTC employee. It seems to me that Animal Control was only concerned with making a quick pick-up to make a quick buck. Because the dog was a beagle they knew the owner would come and pick the dog up.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Linda Allen of the St. John the Baptist Parish Animal Shelter responded, “I’m very sorry the lady feels this way,” but, “She should be very grateful the dog was picked up.”

Allen said Boudreaux was charged $15 for a processing fee, $10 for a rabies vaccination (which the dog lacked) and $30 for failure to vaccinate, following established parish ordinances. Policy is to contact pet owners as quickly as possible if the identification tag is on the animal, which was also attempted in the case.)