Lafayette Parish is now one step closer to a new animal shelter. Mayor-President Joel Robideaux signed an ordinance today, July 24, that re-allocates funds for the construction of a new Lafayette Animal Shelter and Care Center (LASCC). The measure was approved by the Council at the July 16 council meeting.
A state of the art facility will be constructed on N. Dugas Road, adjacent to the LCG Compost Facility. The shelter will be approximately 20,000 square feet and will have an increased capacity as well as significant facility upgrades such as a pet surgery center for medical care and sterilizations, an air filtration system for odor control, and an outdoor area for exercise and visitations.
"The need for a new shelter existed prior to our no kill efforts," explained Robideaux. "However, I could not in good conscience, commit to building a new shelter when we were euthanizing 91% of cats and 53% of dogs brought to us. It was clear that we needed to make drastic changes to our policies and procedures to ensure that we saved as many animals as possible before constructing a new shelter."
Since Robideaux launched the no kill initiative in 2016, LASCC has seen positive results toward the goal of reaching no kill status. The organization has increased adoption opportunities, strengthened partnerships with private rescue organizations, and instituted new policies. Since these new initiatives, the shelter has seen significant improvements.
Previously, the live outcome rate for the shelter was almost non-existent at 47% for dogs and 9% for cats. The shelter was able to reach no kill status in March with a live outcome average of 91.58%. The new shelter is expected to help maintain these averages.
LASCC Shelter Director Shelley Delahoussaye is looking forward to the facility; she said that the shelter "will be excellent for our animals, but I'm most excited for the difference it will make to our staff. Our current facility is outdated, inefficient, and difficult to maintain. The new facility will cut our morning cleaning routine in half, which will in turn help us to increase our adoption hours. An up-to-date facility can help us adopt out more animals. We have the most caring, compassionate, and hardworking staff; they deserve the absolute best and this new facility will be just that!"
The cost of shelter construction is approximately $8 million. Construction is set to begin in January 2020 and will take approximately 13 months.
Robideaux included, "I'm proud that we have made incredible strides towards achieving no kill status and now that we have our priorities straight, we can move forward with a new facility that represents our continued efforts to protect the animals of our parish."