New St. Charles Parish animal shelter opens its doors

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 2, 2012



LULING – Cats and dogs up for adoption in St. Charles Parish now have a larger and more comfortable place in which to stay as they wait for a family to take them home as the parish officially opened its new state-of-the-art shelter in Luling Monday.

The 8,800 square-foot facility allows the parish Animal Control Department to expand its services while providing comfortable living arrangements and adequate healthcare for all of its canine and feline residents. The building includes an isolation ward for incoming animals and a full medical suite, where a veterinarian and two vet techs care for all the needs of the animals.

“The shelter is built to combat disease and keep the animals as healthy and as happy as can be while they wait to get adopted,” said Shelter Director Angela Robert. “We are here to do what we can to give every animal here a home of their own, and this facility will help us with that.”

The shelter features 45 dog runs, which include an air-conditioned portion connected to an outdoor portion, as well as 60 cat cages that are designed to minimize stress.

“Instead of putting them facing each other, you put a partition in the middle and have them facing outward,” Robert said. “According to all the studies, it’s supposed to keep them good and happy and healthy.”

The new shelter also adds surgery and exam rooms, which provide the necessary space and equipment for the staff to perform spay and neuter operations on adoptable dogs and cats in conjunction with the St. Charles Humane Society. The new facility also features a more sophisticated drainage system, with high-pressure hoses and more efficient drains.

“With the options provided to us by this new building, we’ll be able to work smarter – not necessarily harder,” Robert said. “Considering where we were working before, I think everyone appreciates what we have now.”

The parish broke ground on the $1.5 million facility in June after gaining council approval last May. The new shelter replaces a small metal building located off River Road underneath the Hale Boggs Bridge that is now set for demolition. Shelter staff began moving animals into the new facility earlier this month.

The parish budgeted $750,000 for the project in addition to a $300,000 appropriation from the state budget. The family of the late Judge Edward Dufresne, via the St. Charles Humane Society, donated land for the shelter to parish.

Robert said the new setup streamlines the take-in process, with a covered area for animal control trucks coming in from the field. It also includes separated areas for quarantined, injured and vicious animals.

Monday’s grand opening also highlighted the start of new later hours of operation on Mondays. The shelter is now open from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Monday afternoons, with adoptions from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, the shelter is open from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. with adoptions from 10:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The shelter is closed Saturday and Sunday.

Robert said the shelter currently has an assortment of animals ready for adoption at a cost of $80. She said the fee includes a spay or neuter, up to date vaccines, a bag of food and a DVD of care tips. For more information, contact the shelter at 985-783-5010.