A concerned citizen contacted the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office on Sunday, July 16 after seeing three puppies near the side of Highway 120 in Arcadia. Since the parish lacks a shelter or an animal control department, the sheriff’s office contacted the Humane Society of Louisiana (HSLA), based out of New Orleans, whom they have worked with in the past. The Humane Society, in turn, reached out to one of their few contacts in the area Julie Mitchell, and she graciously agreed to pick up and house the puppies. Ms. Mitchell runs one of the few rescues in the area, Cross My Heart N Paws Rescue (https://www.facebook.com/
JuliesAnimalRescue/). Mitchell has converted part of her residence into a boarding facility for stray animals. The puppies were scared, hungry, and thirsty but are expected to make a full recovery.
“We are very grateful to Ms. Mitchell and all that she does to help the homeless and unwanted animals in her parish. But, she alone, obviously, can’t solve or address all the problems. I am hopeful that the parish will work with us and other organizations to finally study this problem and develop a program to house some strays in the near future. Something obviously needs to be done,” says Dorson.
The Humane Society paid for the puppies’ wellness checks and vaccinations, and all are available for adoption. To adopt one or more, please contact Julie at 318-497-1311. The adoption fee is $100. There are two boys and a girl. Donations to support Julie’s efforts can be made to her PayPal account at firstname.lastname@example.org. Checks or money orders can be mailed to Ms. Michell at 2654 Hwy 563 Simsboro, LA 71275.
Lauren Brown, a recent transplant from Texas, also desperately sees the need for a parish shelter and a full-time staff to respond to calls. Right now, citizens can only call the sheriff’s department for assistance. Unfortunately, the deputies have no place to house criminally neglected animals or strays. In several cases last year that involved the mistreatment of multiple animals, the Humane Society arranged to house them at a local veterinary clinic. A more permanent arrangement, however, is desperately needed, according to the Humane Society.
“It would be wonderful and much needed for Bienville Parish to fund a true animal rescue or shelter. This parish lacks this type of resource and sadly many animals are abandoned along the roadside. I have personally rescued several dogs like this, of which we now have four that are personal pets. It is sickening and cruel to see puppies (and other animals” being left to starve to death or dying of heat/thirst. Many are scared, ill, and parasitic. They represent humanity’s failure at the most basic level.,” says Lauren Brown.
The Humane Society of Louisiana intends to contact members of the Bienville Parish Police Jury and lobby for the construction of a few pens or kennels.
The group lobbied lawmakers during the past legislative session to set aside funds for the construction of two new shelters, but the capital outlay request died in a conference committee toward the end of the session. The plans to lobby lawmakers again during the 2024 session.
Photos courtesy of Ms. Mitchell and may be reproduced.
Established in 1988, the Humane Society is one of the largest animal protection organizations in the state. For more information, please visit its website at www.humaenla.org.
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