New animal shelter coming to Reserve

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 18, 2005


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – The St. John the Baptist Parish Animal Shelter will begin to see construction on a new facility on Airport Road in Reserve, following the Parish Council’s approval to go ahead.

The existing animal shelter is on Water Plant Road in LaPlace. The shelter has been there for about 30 years, according to animal shelter Manager, Linda Allen.

“The size of the building is the biggest problem,” said Allen. “A nicer facility would be a better impression on the general public.”

Linda has been with the shelter for four years. She was a part of the St. John Humane Society for six years. The need for a shelter comes into play with the fast growth of St. John Parish and how a lot of people do not realize the need to have their animals spayed and neutered.

“We cover the west and the east banks of the parish,” said Allen. “We have a lot of stray cats and dogs.”

Allen said in 2004 they had 1226 stray dogs and 799 stray cats. Once the animals are in the shelter, they stay five days, to give the owners a chance to claim them. If a owner doesn’t show, they have five days to be adopted.

“We try to keep the animals as long as possible,” said Allen. “As long as we have space. Last year, we only had 95 adoptions for cats and dogs. We have a lack of space and adoptions.”

According to Allen, the request for a new facility was put into place well over ten years ago.

At Tuesday’s St. John Parish council meeting Councilman Sean Roussel asked to proceed moving forward with the construction for the new facility at the current site. Councilmen Lester Rainey and Dale Wolfe argued that residents do not want to see or live near an animal shelter and the new facility should be built on Airport Road.

“No one wants an animal shelter near their home,” said Wolfe. “Along with the

sewer problem there, it’s a smelly, smelly situation. I think we should move it.”

Rainey said before 2000 the land on Airport Road was give to the Animal Control board and between then and 2003 the money was given to the shelter for construction, in the amount of $200,000.

Sean Roussel stated, “We promised them this a year ago, it’s the oldest on the books and it hasn’t even started.”

According to Linda Allen, it makes more sense for the new facility to be in the same place, because there wouldn’t be money spent on plumbing and clearing the land. The $200,000 would only cover those two factors if it were constructed on Airport Road, not the actual construction of the facility, she said.