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New animal control ordinance in Acadia Parish would enforce stricter rules

Posted at 10:00 PM, Sep 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-10 23:20:50-04

ACADIA PARISH — Dog owners in Acadia Parish may soon have stricter rules to follow.

A new animal control ordinance, which was written by a group of shelter volunteers, will be presented to the police jury Tuesday evening.

Some are worried the ordinance will cause more harm than good.

There are two animal shelters in the parish, which house about 50 kennels. According to the group of volunteers, there are about 180,000 dogs in the parish.

"Sometimes, we have dogs who are just sick or just aggressive, or we're going to call "unadoptable" dogs," said Rayne Animal Control Director Mark Daigle. "Sometimes, we just have to make room because we have to pick up dogs that are on the street that were getting complaints."

The volunteers are hoping a new ordinance will reduce the parish dog population.

Acadia Parish already has an animal control ordinance; however, the proposal states pet owners would be fined if their dog is tethered or not spayed or neutered by six-months-old.

"While it has good intentions, it's going to have, in my opinion, a reverse effect," offered Daigle.

Although there's limited capacity at the animal shelter in Rayne, city officials believe what's being proposed may not be the solution.

"It has a lot do with your population of people (and) how well they accept it. We really have a hard time, collecting a $50 adoption fee, much less putting another fee," explained Daigle. "So, when people get into a situation where they can't pay for something or they can't afford it, that's what's going to happen. So, it's going to overcrowd the shelters again."

The proposal will be presented to the full police jury during Tuesday's meeting. The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m.