At the direction of the Baton Rouge Metro Council, Companion Animal Alliance assumed the management of the Animal Control shelter on August 1, 2011. Since then, CAA has been focused on improving the lives of shelter animals, finding good homes for as many of them as possible, and upgrading shelter operations. Much progress has been made, but we still have a long way to go.
Several important developments have helped steer CAA towards a bright future. In 2013, CAA and LSU signed a memorandum in which LSU will donate land on campus for a new facility. That space will incorporate a state-of-the-art veterinary clinic along with a shelter and an adoption center offering room to care for animals evacuated during hurricanes and other disasters. We expect to begin construction in Spring 2017.
In 2014, the Metro Council approved an ordinance which allows CAA to Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) unowned, outdoor cats. Our save rate for cats has increased from 40% in 2013 to 80% in 2016. Because nuisance behavior is almost eliminated, there has been no change in residents calls to Animal Control. For the first time in our history, cat intake dropped by 8% in 2016 over 2015. Over time, the community population of outdoor cats will be drastically reduced.
A program modeled on the US Humane Society's Pets for Life was begun in 2015 targeting specific low-income zip codes to offer pet education and medical needs including spay/neuter. Neighborhood residents have greeted our staff and volunteers with enthusiasm and appreciation. Pets for Life means more animals will stay with their families. As with TNR, over time, the population of stray and homeless dogs will decrease. This is pro-active, preventative sheltering.
In 2016, we started Fostering Hope in partnership with Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center to match foster pets with cancer survivors, providing meaningful therapy to both humans and pets. ?
CAA looks forward to becoming a nationally recognized animal shelter of which the Baton Rouge community can be proud.