Humane Society schedules meeting to address pet overpopulation issues

Published 10:17 am Saturday, July 29, 2023

ST. JAMES PARISH – A concerned citizen notified the Gramercy Police officers that a dog apparently had been hit by a moving vehicle and was lying in a ditch, unable to move. Police went to the scene and verified that the dog was still alive, but severely injured. It could not stand or walk. Since neither the town nor the parish operates a shelter for homeless animals, the police had no one to call to help the animal. They often call Cara’s House, a humane society located in Ascension Parish for assistance, but they are closed to intakes on the weekend.

Faced with few options, the police officer contacted the Humane Society of Louisiana, (HSLA) which is based in New Orleans, and asked for someone to pick up the dog. The Humane Society reached out to Jason Kirklin, a local rescuer and advocate, and Jason and a friend graciously agreed to pick up the dog and transport it to Metairie Small Animal Hospital. They placed the dog in a blanket and drove to the emergency clinic with the dog in the back of their pick-up truck. An exam and radiograph revealed that the dog suffered from a severed spinal cord. The attending veterinarian said that the injuries were too severe and recommended euthanasia. Spinal cord injuries, especially in large-breed dogs, present many problems for both the dogs and their owners. Often the dogs are incontinent and cannot walk without support or a modified wheelchair.  Faced with life-long challenges, euthanasia is often the only reasonable option. The dog was humanely put out of its misery.

The Humane Society is hoping to use this incident to draw attention to the need for parish-wide services. To discuss the problems and possible plans and strategies, the group has scheduled a public meeting at the St. James main library, located at 2593 Highway 20, Vacherie, on Saturday, August 12th, from 10: 30 am to noon. The group has invited the parish president, police jury members, local advocates, and the sheriff to attend or to send their representatives.

Mr. Kirklin, a St. James resident, advocate, and rescue, will also attend. Mr. Kirklin also recently took in nine pit bull terrier puppies that had been abandoned and is looking to place the final two in good homes. If interested, please contact Mr. Kirklin at 225.223.3322.¬†Photos of the puppies are attached. The Humane Society will pay for the puppies’ vaccinations.

“For the past 35 years, as long as we’ve been in business, St. James residents have called us to report animal abuse or help with pet overpopulation issues. We can only do so much from so far away. So, we are hoping that our meeting will spur local officials to help us develop some plans and proposals that can finally address some of these issues,” says Jeff Dorson.

The group asked for funding to construct new animal shelters during the last legislative session, but their request fell on deaf ears. They plan to resume their lobby efforts for the next session within the next few weeks.

The meeting is free and open to the public. If people have questions, they can contact the Humane Society at 1-888-6-HUMANE (486-263). For additional information, please visit its website at www.humanela.org.