Vet to help shelter

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 10, 2002


HAHNVILLE – A part-time veterinarian will help serve the needs of the St. Charles Parish Animal Control Shelter, with approval granted unanimously by the St. Charles Parish Council at a recent meeting.

Donna Nasser, president of the St. Charles Humane Society which has operated the shelter since 1994, told the council the cost of paying the doctor would come out of adoption fees, not from the parish budget.

“There’s already been some inquiries,” she said. “I don’t think we’ll have any problem finding one.”

The vet would work at the shelter one or two days per week and paid by the hour. Any veterinarian would have to provide their own malpractice insurance, at no cost to the parish, Nasser explained.

The need for the veterinarian becomes more apparent, as the volume of animals continues to rise at the shelter. One result is the rising cost of transporting animals to a vet for shots or for spay/neutering, Nasser said.

In 2001, the animal shelter processed 690 animals, including 426 adopted, raising $30,789. However, the total cost for animal adoptions during 2001 was $42,497.59.

In 2002, through October, the shelter staff processed 789 animals.

The cost for one animal’s treatment is $18.99.

Based upon this information, Nasser asked the council to approve the remodeling of one room of the animal shelter into an on-site surgical room, where a vet could work in clean conditions. The room, presently used to hold house cats, is already self-contained, with its own air conditioning system and floor drain, she continued.

The cost to remodel the room would be $8-10,000, Nasser said, paid for out of Humane Society funds.

In that room, a vet could be used to determine an animal’s health, spay/neutering, heartworm and leukemia testing, vaccinations, parasite treatments, surgical implant of microchips for identification and location of lost pets and other procedures.

The microchip implant would go into a pet’s ear and could be detected by a scanner, donated to the shelter by the microchip company. The scanner detects an individually-assigned number which would be checked on a national database to unite lost pets with their owners.

Currently, any pets found roaming are picked up for possible reuniting with their owners, put up for adoption or euthanised. Adoption fees for animals are $60, which covers a heartworm/leukemia test, vaccination against diseases, rabies shot, spay/neutering and removal of parasites such as fleas and worms.

Animals are held five days before spay/neutering.

The shelter’s hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, and noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday.