In November 2013, then Lafourche Parish veterinarian went public with allegations that the local pound director, Kelli Toups, was forcing suffering animals to linger without care in their cages. There appear to have been no significant improvements since then. The Louisiana pound remains closed on weekends and Wednesdays with kill days on Tuesdays and Fridays. There are reportedly no offsite adoption events. This year, a local rescuer who says she has saved more than 1000 dogs and cats from the pound in the past 2 years cut ties with the facility, citing the “flat out lazy” staff and outrageous policies.
Area rescuers report that Ms. Toups regularly e-mails them a list of dozens of cats on the kill list, giving rescuers just 24 – 48 hours to save them. The pound is undergoing renovations, making the cat room half its normal size. Instead of using that as an opportunity to hold special cat adoption promotions and events, the pound is apparently sagging over it like a slug on a crutch, using it to justify continued failures.
Shelter critics say the issues boil down to three main problems: the size of the shelter, archaic rules and regulations, and a lazy staff.
Toups denies any wrongdoing and […] would not discuss the staff and whether it’s lazy.
Last week, dozens of protesters went to the pound and voiced their concerns.
“They say we’re a group of wishers wishing for the moon if we’re looking for a no-kill shelter, but that’s not what we’re looking for. We just want to see the least amount of euthanasia as we can possibly have. We’d like to have a shelter that doesn’t have to kill animals twice a week to make space for more animals,” [shelter advisory board member Gisele] Landry said.
No need to wish for the moon – we already have one. We also have hundreds of open admission no kill shelters all over the country where healthy/treatable animals are not killed but instead are sheltered. Lafourche Parish could have one too. It’s entirely achievable with hard work and a commitment to lifesaving.
Advocates should not stop short of demanding that the shelter staff members do their jobs, just as those in open admission no kill shelters everywhere do. No one has to kill animals for space. Killing is a choice. Lafourche Parish can choose to follow the proven programs that have ended the killing in other communities or can continue to make excuses.
(Thanks Clarice for the links.)