Leadership Needed in Jefferson Parish

The director of the Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter in New Orleans, Diane Guichard, has resigned.  She is the latest in a series of directors to vacate the post in recent years.  In 2007, the shelter’s then-director of one year quit after 13 dogs died from drinking insecticide which had been sprayed into their water bowls.  Three more directors came and went before Ms. Guichard was hired seven months ago.

I was interested in learning more about the two shelters in Jefferson Parish and came across an evaluation report from HSUS dated January 2008.  I’ve copied a few items from the report below:

  • During the process of initial evaluation of new arrivals and vaccination, cats were scruffed, suspended without body support, and approached quickly and abruptly, which resulted in very frightened cats, and at least two staff members getting scratched. At one point, The HSUS team observed the veterinarian literally toss a cat into a cage from about two feet away. The cat had just been spayed and was still anesthetized when this occurred.  (page 84)
  • During routine euthanasia the team witnessed cats being handled with catch poles. Each cat was pulled from the cage hanging by the neck on the control pole; the staff member then flung the cat to the floor, stomped on the cat’s rear end, and held the cat down while the veterinarian injected anesthetic intramuscularly. Many of the cats were strangled so tightly with the control pole that they vocalized and one even turned blue. Several cats narrowly escaped through their cage doors; to prevent escape, doors were slammed shut regardless of whether or not the cat, or someone’s arm, was in the way.  (page 84)
  • During a routine euthanasia at the West Bank shelter, a staff member dragged an aggressive Pit Bull from one end of the Garage to the other using a control pole and then attempted to give an IC injection while the dog was still conscious.  (page 85)

The section on Euthanasia Methods (starting on page 146) is too graphic to post here.  Suffice to say, pets suffered during the process.

In response to the report, Jefferson Parish announced some changes at the shelters with the promise to “develop an action plan” over the next 30 days to implement more of the HSUS recommendations.  There is nothing further posted as to whether that action plan was developed or additional changes were made but apparently, whatever they’ve been doing has resulted in their directors dropping like flies.

Ready for change, Jefferson Parish?  If not, maybe someone outside of government is.

12 thoughts on “Leadership Needed in Jefferson Parish

  1. The “Ready for Change” link is not right – broken. Please check it.

    Thank you for posting this article. Louisiana as many animal POUNDS that need reforming. Most have over a 50% kill rate. The one in Hammond, Louisiana has about a 90% kill rate.

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  3. holy god. just finished reading the euthanasia section. absolutely horrendous. I can’t imagine how it was for the HSUS staffers who are there trying to be independent and not interfere in order to gather data and have to watch such horrible ineptness and animal cruelty (at least after the first failed IC on the pittie they told them to move her to the correct position).
    i can’t believe the one vet- you are a vet! what are you doing?!
    And seriously- if you were being ‘audited’ wouldn’t you be on your best behavior? if this is the evidence of their best behavior, then i don’t want to know what they’re like when HSUS isn’t there.
    Some staff did say they were instructed to stop using the CO Chamber while HSUS was there- that might explain the massive problems with the EBI

    1. I could not sit there and make notes in my book while pets suffered like that. So nobody needs to ever hire me to evaluate their shelter. Not that I’m qualified anyway but…

      1. yeah that’s tough- i’m not sure i could either, but then what if my interference invalidated the study and then allowed the cruelty to continue? Can one cruel act be allowed to go on if it means other animals will be treated better because of it?
        ugh- i hate you, ethical dilemmas

      2. If I had a gun, I could easily be that observer. Of course, it would mean alot more job openings than just the director, hehe. Really, I am a quite peacable person – except where the animals are concerned. Then, don’t rattle my cage,

  4. I can’t say much to this…..I want to be part of changing MAS….nothing there has changed..been the same for years. I want to know what the hell is wrong with people to continue to allow such atrocities….my many responses, phone calls, letters and emails have not effected one pc. of one change….I think it takes many…..many, many more than we have on the side of the animals speaking up, speaking out and screaming out if we have to. This one in La. is probably no worse than the one in Memphis…we know enough of the horrors but we surely do not know them all!

    1. That is what bothers me, the things we don’t know. The horrors we do know of is only the tip of the iceberg. Those cruel “people” will never expose themselves & their evil deeds.

      Thanks to those who write these blogs, those who do the auditing, those who report the crimes are the heros. We as a group will have to multiply & keep doing our best. The inhumane sick personell in these shelters has got to go.

      I’m sure sometime in the future we will have made progress toward a more compassionate & cruelty free sheltering society. Until that day we all need to at least speak out against those in Louisanna, MAS and everywhere they are doing harm to the innocent.

  5. these evaluations dont change anything and they cost money that should be spent on the pets; we already know these pounds are places where cruelty and incompetence are rampant so how many documented examples do we need? i might have the right to sacrifice myself for the greater good but not some helpless pet, to let him be tortured so i can document it in case someone might do something about it? no

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