A group of concerned citizens in St. Landry Parish is seeing an alarming rise in stray and injured dogs in the last couple years.
But, they’re now taking action by starting the Purple Heart Kennel no-kill shelter.
Purple Heart Kennel founder Paige Lee says her dog Coach was in a nearby neighbor’s field when he was inexplicably shot in the leg by an unknown person.
"The one [bullet] that went into Coach, it actually expanded, so they just went in and amputated," explained Lee.
Then, Lee found a stray dog, Otis, who was also shot in the leg.
"Otis, we have his ex-rays, actually, and he was shot with a shotgun. There are just pellets everywhere," said Lee.
The women with Purple Heart Kennel are already taking care of eleven dogs, and they see that there’s a need to rescue even more.
"It’s very, very expensive for us to try and get this started, you know. We need dog kennels, dog food, water bowls, dog beds, and especially, the vet bills," said Purple Heart Kennel volunteer Jessica Venable.
Their goal is to start saving animals from local animal control centers and putting the dogs into their no-kill Purple Heart Kennel.
"I follow two shelters. I follow the Lafayette animal control centers, and then I follow the St. Landry. The St. Landry, they have a lot of dogs on death row, and Lafayette, they try, and I actually think they’re trying to change that," said Purple Heart Kennel co-founder Marissa Nichol.
The Purple Heart ladies are building a grooming and boarding kennel to help support their no-kill shelter.
They’re also selling shirts, plate lunches, and doing anything they can to get off the ground and start rescuing more dogs.