Work continues at new animal shelter

Published 8:12 am Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Washington Parish Department of Public Works Director Leo Lucchesi said construction of the animal shelter near Sheridan is beginning to take shape.

The animal shelter is scheduled to include a ventilated kennel area with 3-by-6-foot runs, sloped inward towards trench drains and piping leading to a waste water system. The plan is to have a capacity of 20 dogs that could be doubled, should the need arise. Cats will be housed in individual cages atop the waste water system.

Also, construction is ongoing of a four-foot concrete outdoor slab that will have sloped waste drains.
Plans also call for intake and exam rooms for temporary housing of stray and abandoned small animals.
The shelter will have workrooms with food storage and preparation sites, a general storage area and a janitor’s station.

Work on construction of a fenced-in yard near the existing Department of Public Works building is ongoing. Fencing and gating will be used to separate animals as needed.

Parish government is working closely with the local Magnolia chapter of the Humane Society of Louisiana on the site’s construction.

“Having a parish animal shelter would mean when the Sheriff’s Office breaks up a dog fighting ring like it did recently, the dogs would have a place to go,” Magnolia chapter secretary Kaye Grantham said. “The same goes for the animal hoarding case we had a month or so ago. There were 40 animals and nowhere for them to go.”

Grantham said the shelter is going to be a no-kill facility. She discussed various services the facility could use to prevent strays.

“The animal shelter might be able to do some micro-chipping and spaying and neutering to prevent some of this overpopulation,” Grantham said. “It’s not going to be a full vet clinic, but we will have services there and educate people about animal care.”

Grantham said the facility would take animals by appointment only. In an earlier interview, Grantham noted that 25 percent of the dogs at the existing Bogalusa shelter are pure-bred.

Lucchesi said state law made it imperative for the parish to establish an animal shelter. Once completed, the parish will hire someone to staff the facility.