MANSFIELD, Louisiana – The doors to the DeSoto Parish Animal Shelter remain open at this time.
The DeSoto Police Jury Animal Control Committee voted unanimously on Tuesday to postpone a decision until further notice.
The agenda was for the committee to authorize staff to shut down the facility at the end of the year. Committee chair Rodriguez Ross moved to defer the substitution motion. He also said he wanted more legal advice. No date has been given for when the issue will be reconsidered.
The committee’s vote came after eight people voted in favor of keeping the shelter open. There was no discussion among committee members before the vote.
Lisa Reddick, who represents the Friends of DeSoto Animal Services nonprofit, said the shelter provides a “vital and necessary service” to residents of the ward. This not only benefits animal welfare, but also public health.
Reddick mentioned cases of rabies that have plagued the parish in the past that are being handled by animal control staff, as well as monitoring for cases of bites, stray, stray and pest.
Closing the shelter would be a “huge setback” for the parish, Reddick said.
Marsha Everett of Frierson, a woman who uniquely identified as Emma from Logansport and Justin Wynn from Frierson said they believed the property tax that was on the ballot in April to fund animal shelters didn’t had not received enough media coverage.
“Not many people knew that,” Everett said.
Emma, who said her property was a dog and cat dump, echoed this and called on police jurors to give supporters another chance to pass a tax. “We really need animal control,” she said.
Wynn, whose wife recently started working at the shelter, spoke of the dozens of calls staff receive daily from people about animals that cannot be taken to the shelter because there is no room.
“It’s important,” he said of the shelter. “I ask you to give us one more chance to pass this tax. Let us try; let’s get it out. … “
Kenny Roberts and Tim Hebert are animal rescuers who work in different capacities with the DeSoto shelter to transport animals to other locations, primarily in the New England states, and both want it to stay open.
Roberts said he and his wife volunteered at the shelter on Sunday to help with the cleanup, and praised manager Connie Philipp for lowering the euthanasia rate and the staff who are “dedicated to saving lives. of these animals “.
“What would be the reason for closing such a brilliant staff in your parish?” ” He asked.
Roberts said there should be money in the general fund to cover the operations of the shelter. That’s when police juror Jimmy Holmes pointed out that the facility costs $ 600,000 to operate and that the money “comes from other things we have to do.”
Hébert spoke from a stranger’s perspective. The Lafayette resident said he transports around 800 to 850 rescued animals each year, some from the DeSoto shelter.
“This shelter you have here is one of the crown jewels. It is well managed. It is a beautiful shelter. It’s always clean, ”said Hébert.
Leann White offered a solution to consider. She said many nonprofit animal rescue groups would be willing to enter and use the building as a support for their rescues. White mentioned Paws for Life as being open to this option.
Dr Corrine Brown, a Gran Cane vet who works with the shelter, said the trajectory gained momentum when Philipp took over. She asked the police jurors not to back down, but to move forward and “show our humanity”.
The only person to speak out against keeping the shelter open was Mansfield police juror Jeri Burrell. She’s not on the committee, but she has asked to speak.
Burrell said a tax to fund the shelter failed four times and his constituents disagreed. She said the parish spent “a lot of money on this pound. We cut a lot of money for things we should be doing for people.