The Parish’s two main animal welfare organizations, Hope for Paws and The Natchitoches Humane Society, are joining forces for a worthy cause – the building of a pet adoption center and animal shelter. This worthy goal was the theme behind an informational meeting held at the LSMSA auditorium Thursday, June 30 (See Documents Attached)
The meeting, attended by over 50 people as well as State Senator Bernard, Parish President Richmond, Mayor Williams, Police Chief Collins, and several other city and parish officials began with a presentation describing the present situation in the city and parish animal shelters. The most prominent statistic was that the national kill rate in animal shelters is 17%, while Natchitoches parish is at 55%. The presentation also showed the conditions inside the shelters which are far below current standards.
The presentation described the current efforts undertaken by the volunteers of the two organizations in rescuing, fostering, and finding homes for animals throughout the city and parish. Last year, the two groups rescued 554 animals. Unfortunately, not all found homes.
The members and leadership of the two organizations realized that the situation could not go on as is. They decided to combine the two groups into a single new organization, FAUNA or Friends All United Natchitoches Animals. Their goal is to have the new organization up and running in the next five years. Members of the new group are looking to a Pet Adoption Center and Animal Shelter in Marshall, TX as an example. The Marshall center is state of the art and is a low kill shelter. Natchitoches’ designation as a high kill shelter takes it out of the running for many grants and funding opportunities. The name of Pet Adoption Center, as opposed to animal shelter, also shows a shift in thinking, emphasizing the mission of finding new homes for the animals in their care.
Lastly, the presentation listed action steps to achieve the goal of a new Pet Adoption Center for our parish and city’s abandoned animals, such as donations and contacting elected officials.