BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The much beleaguered Companion Animal Alliance is set to welcome its fourth executive director in the last three years, when Beth Brewster takes over on January 21.
"I'm known for going in and turning around shelters," said Brewster. That's my history with animal services and so I'm really hoping I can make a difference in Baton Rouge."
Former volunteer and shelter employee Jaden Stafford says Brewster will have her hands full. Stafford was among several former employees of CAA that alleged neglect and abuse issues at the shelter in the past and believes a limited budget will be just one of the many challenges Brewster will face.
"A lot of employees have had their hours cut down to nothing because they didn't have the funding to pay for people to work or vaccinations, pay for vets - so budgeting is going to be a big issue," said Stafford.
Another concern brought forward after an investigation of CAA by East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control Director Hilton Cole, was what Cole labeled a lack of organization at the shelter. That is an issue Brewster says has to be addressed from the top down.
"I think it's all about structure. It's all about following protocol, knowing where your animals are," added Brewster. "I think it's just smoothing out the process so they don't get lost in the shuffle."
Among other changes Brewster plans to consider is adding more shelter veterinarians and relying on the practice of transporting animals to other approved groups and shelters. Regardless of what she puts into motion as policy, Brewster adds she will be driven with one goal in mind.
"As long you remind yourself this is what we're in it for, we are in it for the animals. I think it helps groups work together better."