Activists hope to form local Humane Organization in St. James Parish; Citizens concerned about pet overpopulation, stray animals

Published 6:00 am Thursday, October 7, 2021

PAULINA – Concerned about the ever-increasing number of abandoned and stray animals in St. James Parish, several residents and a member of the Humane Society of Louisiana intend to meet this month and develop some strategies and plans to deal with the problem.

Abbey Michel and her mother, Erin Michel, long-time residents of St. James Parish, continue to see animals roaming at large, foraging for food, and trying to survive on their own without an owner or caretaker. Since St. James does not operate a public animal sheltering facility nor has any personnel assigned to care for unwanted animals, the number of stray animals seems to be increasing. In the past, the St. James Sheriff’s Office would sometimes take neglected or unowned animals to the St. John Parish Shelter, but that practice cannot adequately reduce the number of stray animals.

To help address the problem, Abbey, her mother Erin, and the Humane Society of Louisiana, which is based out of New Orleans, will co-host a community meeting to discuss strategies and options. The Michels and the Humane Society hope to establish a local humane society and eventually convince elected officials to fund a municipal shelter. Those willing to help and get involved are encouraged to attend.

The meeting will take place at the home of Abby and Erin. Michel, 4145 Ricky Lane, Paulina, on Saturday, October 16, from 1 – 2: 30 pm. Please RSVP by contacting the Humane Society at info@humanela.org. If you have questions, please call Ms. Michel at 225.402.7017.  The meeting is free and open to the public. 

“I am grateful that the Michels are willing to open up their home to co-host this important meeting and lend their support to addressing this important issue. Our group plans to invest some of our time and resources in developing some basic programs or practices in St. James, Avoyelles and Livingston parishes since we receive a high number of calls regarding stray and neglected animals from these three parishes,” said Jeff Dorson, HSLA director.

“At future meetings, we hope to invite elected officials to attend and speak so that we can develop solutions together,” Dorson added.

The Humane Society of Louisiana was established in 1988 and is one of the largest animal advocacy organizations in the state. For more information, please visit its website at www.humanela.org or its page on Facebook.