Mayor urges residents to obey city’s animal laws

Published 7:02 am Saturday, February 6, 2016

Bogalusa Mayor Wendy Perrette is asking pet owners to clean up their act.

Perrette said her office has been inundated lately with calls about dogs running loose. By city law, dogs must be on a leash or in home or a yard with a fence.

“We have people in neighborhoods who just let their dogs run free, and you don’t do that,” Perrette said. “Your dog needs to be in a yard or on a leash.”

Such animals are likely to be picked up by the city, especially if the animal control officer can’t locate an owner, as is frequently the case.

“We have people who call our offices on a regular basis with free roaming dogs in neighborhood and you don’t even know whose dog it is,” she said.

At present, dogs not at home, must be on a leash even at the park.

“In Cassidy Park’s overall plan, there will be a dog park in there eventually, but currently we do not have one,” she said.

The city does have an animal control officer, and Perrette said if a pet is picked up, it could come with a costly fine.

“The fine starts at $50, and then you have court costs and it ends up being about $200 if your dog is picked up,” she said. “Of course, we don’t want to pick up your dog.”

Perrette said loose dogs—and cats—aren’t the whole problem.

“We need people to be more responsible with their dogs and realize it’s important to have their pets spayed or neutered,” she said. She notd that pets that are not spayed or neutered could end up pregnant and those unwanted puppies or kittens could easily wind up on the street, homeless.

Perrette recommended citizens use the Magnolia Humane Society’s discounted spay/neuter program. According to their website, the Magnolia Humane Society’s program charges $35 for cats and $65 for dogs.

Besides loose dogs running the streets, Perrette suggested people take better care of their pets in general.

“We’ve had a problem with people tying (dogs) up to fences or outside their homes and I think that’s due to a lack of education,” she said.

The mayor said she believes people see a cute puppy and don’t realize what they’re signing up for by adopting the animal.

“Everything’s cute when it’s a baby but then they get fully grown so they let them go. We have an ongoing problem with that,” Perrette said.

Perrette wanted to remind animal owners that animals are a serious responsibility.

“When you get a pet, I think they’re more responsibility than people think they are,” she said.

Even adult animals still need regular attention.

“They’re four-legged babies,” she said.

If people are ready for the responsibility, Perrette said anyone looking to get a new pet should check out the Magnolia Humane Society first.

“We try not to put them down we try to fund homes for all the animals,” she said.

The mayor said she has her own rescue dog that she has welcomed into her family.

“I have a 70-pound dog that I rescued because they were going to put the dog down just because of the type of dog it is,” she said. “He was a rescue dog, but I think he rescued me.”

Perrette said the next adoption day will be next month.

“Adoption day will be the first Saturday of March, and you can get with the animal control officer and he can let you go look at the dogs if you are interested in getting a new animal,” she said.

Animal control officer David Kellis may be reached at 985-516-2054.