Many pets are being illegally dropped off at an animal shelter in Denham Springs
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Surveillance photos show a couple basically abandoning a dog in front of an animal shelter in Denham Springs.
Surveillance photos show a couple basically abandoning a dog in front of an animal shelter in Denham Springs.
The folks there say there’s a right way to surrender an animal, but this is not it.
Shelter volunteers say they’re seeing more and more pets abandoned recently, and they think the pandemic may be one reason to blame.
“It’s kind of touchy a little bit. Because those people had no ill intentions. They are not criminals, they were trying to put an animal where they knew it was going to be safe, instead of dumping it into the woods,” said Rachel Boutwell, Director of the Denham Springs Animal Shelter.
It happens too often at the shelter, according to Boutwell.
The problem is that they serve as an animal control just for the City of Denham Springs.
“A lot of the dogs that get dumped here or inside the city limits, cats and dogs, more than likely are coming from areas outside the city limits that do not have animal control,” said Boutwell.
The problem is, there is no real place throughout Livingston Parish to bring the pets you maybe find on the side of the ride or can no longer take care of.
So good intentions or not, just dropping off animals without permission is illegal, and you could be hit with a fine.
“Abandoning an animal or dumping an animal is considered animal cruelty, and animal cruelty is considered a felony,” said Boutwell.
There was a pandemic pet boom back in 2020.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the rate of pet adoptions rose to around 59% last year, compared to about 55% in 2019.
But now, more people are sending those pandemic pets back to shelters.
In fact, according to PetPoint report from April 2021:
- Close to 17,000 dogs were surrendered across the country back in April.
- Which is an increase of nearly 80% from last April.
As for cat surrenders, it was an increase of around 123% from April 2020.
“We always recommend trying to reach out to rescues. The problem with that is most rescues are full, they are slammed back full. They don’t have a shelter they don’t have a facility, they are running off foster families and that’s what they depend on,” said Boutwell.
As for Ruby who was dropped off earlier this week, she will soon be ready for adoption.
Boutwell has a few tips for anyone considering bringing home your forever friend.
“Do your research first on the breed, consider your lifestyle, do you live in an apartment, do you have a fenced in yard, do you have a landlord that has pet restrictions,” said Boutwell.
There is an animal shelter in the Town of Livingston.
But the big message from Boutwell is, the more animals that are spayed and neutered, the less likely that any end up at a shelter.
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