PLEASURE BEND, La. (WVUE) - Severine Vicknair is spending another day cleaning the St. John Parish Animal Shelter.
“Pretty much from morning until the evening,” Vicknair said. “There’re so many dogs. There’re three buildings. We are always cleaning.”
She volunteers to help ease some of the strain the six shelter employees are dealing with after finding more than 150 dogs at one home in Pleasure Bend. The shelter’s manager, Rachael Sance, said they finally rescued the dogs Friday (Jan. 19), after a lengthy process.
"It was complete shock,” Sance said. “I just didn’t expect 150 animals to be owned by one person.”
Sance said it took four months to get the dogs from the home, even after trying to work with the owner.
“We didn’t just ask for surrender,” Sance said. “We asked if we could spray and neuter all of her animals to prevent them from reproducing."
Sance said the dogs lived in poor conditions. Some were left in small cages, while others had no kennels at all.
“Most of the dogs are heart worm positive,” Sance said. “All of the dogs are positive for parasites, and those things could all kill them over time.”
To house all the rescued dogs, the St. John shelter needed to make room. A shelter in Jefferson Parish took the 20 dogs that were already at the St. John rescue and a Lafayette shelter took the cats.
Now, Sance is trying to get the rescue dogs adjusted to being around people.
“They’ve known one person. How do you give attention to 150 dogs? So, they’ve seen somebody coming and going,” Sance said. “They’ve seen somebody feeding them, but in terms of affection, carrying and leash walking, they don’t know any of that.”
She said it will take time for them to warm up to people, but said she hopes that some of them will be ready for adoption in as little as a week.