St. James Homeless Canine Becomes Mascot For New Project Groups Push for a Public Shelter and Formation of New Humane Society

Published 2:30 pm Monday, September 25, 2023

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CONVENT — The recent rescue of a timid pit bull terrier illustrates the need for more parish-wide humane programs, according to the Humane Society of Louisiana (HSLA).  Abbey Michel, a long-time rescuer and second-year nursing student, recently contacted the Humane Society about a stray dog she had been feeding.  Abbey is also one of the principal organizers of a push to get the parish to fund more humane programs.  More than two dozen people, including multiple elected officials, recently met twice to discuss plans and options.
Until services are established and stray animals are picked up, Abbey will continue to act as their Guardian Angel. Earlier this month, Abbey noticed a skinny, shy female pit bull hanging around a small grassy area and parking lot in Convent. She left food and water for the dog, in hopes of befriending her. However, whenever Abbey approached her, she would back away. Waiting to catch her, Abbey called the Humane Society, and they dispatched a volunteer trapper. He set a humane trap for the dog and caught her. Abbey named her Brownie and transported her to a vet clinic in New Orleans, where they are acclimating her to other dogs and humans.
Initially very shy and terrified of her new surroundings, Brownie is slowly coming out of her shell and has even befriended another canine tenant. They play and interact on a daily basis, and Brownie seems to be very content with her new playmate and regular meals.
Over time, it appears that she will be ready for a new home. The clinic treated Brownie for parasites and is boarding her for the next week or two. Those interested in donating toward her care (The Humane Society will pay for boarding, vaccinations, and her sterilization) can donate here: Those interested in adopting her may email the Humane Society at
“We are grateful to Abbey and the volunteer trapper for getting Brownie off the streets. Living on the streets is very difficult for our companion animals. Hungry and thirsty, strays roam our streets and alleyways, foraging for just enough to get by. Brownie’s story clearly illustrates the need for the parish to provide services since neither residents nor humane organizations can provide all the services that are needed,” says Jeff Dorson, HSLA Director.
“We plan to use Brownie’s story as the reason for these services to be funded and implemented,” adds Dorson.
Mr. Dorson and Ms. Michel are available for Zoom or in-person interviews. Photos are courtesy of Ms. Michel and Dog Day Afternoon and may be reproduced.
Established in 1988, the Humane Society is one of the largest humane groups in the state. For more information, please visit its website at