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Animal hoarding on the rise

Shelter puppy
Posted at 10:36 PM, Apr 17, 2023

Some in Acadia Parish are expressing concerns over the condition of the animal shelter there — mainly when it comes to overcrowding.

According to the police jury which oversees the shelter, an uptick in animal hoarding isn't helping the situation.

"We can't rescue our way out of this problem," said Amie Varnado, a self-proclaimed animal lover who has been rescuing dogs for the last decade through her non-profit, Louisiana Unified Voice for No Kill. "It helps, but it's not possible to fix this problem with rescue."

Varnado and her husband have even gone so far as to construct a facility in their backyard to house Acadiana strays escaping euthanization. On Monday, she got another delivery, this time from Acadia Parish. According to parish officials, this is the result of another animal hoarding incident that took place Saturday.

"Some were feral, some you could barely touch, so they have to go to the shelter," said Lisa Primeaux, who has been rescuing animals from euthanization for the last six years.

She was on the scene of this weekend's hoarding incident and she told KATC it was the fourth hoarding case she's been on this month.

"Acadia Parish Shelter encompasses Church Point, Basile, Crowley, not Crowley city, but there's only 18 kennels for the whole parish," Primeaux said. "And just one hoarding case that we went on Saturday had 33 dogs."

Those with the parish police jury told KATC there have been attempts to expand the shelter.

"It is an older shelter and they're doing the best they can with what they have to work with and they have been," Bryan Borill, secretary and treasurer for the Acadia Parish police jury, told KATC during a phone call. "We've been having plans and they've been shooting holes through our plans so we've been trying to do our best to satisfy the public."

Borill said these plans have been discussed back and forth for years, even before he was a member of the jury. He's been in his position now for nearly four years.

"If they would've left us alone we'd have a 40-cage facility right now in the new location, but they've got to call the media on us," Borill said.

According to Borill, the police jury is in the early phases of revisiting plans to expand the parish's shelter. Currently, the jury is waiting for an engineer to draw up plans for this to take place on the current property, something Borill said will be revisited and presented at an upcoming police jury meeting.

That meeting date is to be announced.

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