NEW ORLEANS (12/31/05) - The Louisiana SPCA is ringing in the New Year with a series of innovative and creative programs that embraces the organization’s mission to protect animals, provide shelter and improve the animal ethic statewide, Executive Director Laura Maloney announced today.
“Hurricane Katrina was devastating for our community, for both animals and people, but as we rebuild and recover we have to move from that place of loss to a place that improves the lives of animals for years to come,” says Maloney.
One of the agency’s primary initiatives is providing low cost spay/neuter options for the region. Although the agency sterilized 5,000 animals in 2004, animal overpopulation continues to be a problem in the state. The LA/SPCA will work in conjunction with local and national agencies on the spay/neuter project. The agency is also coordinating with the South Louisiana Veterinary Association and local veterinarians to establish a voucher program that will allow eligible people the opportunity to visit a private veterinarian for subsidized spay or neuter.
Beginning January 6, the Louisiana SPCA will launch the Lily Project. The program will provide the public with free collars and ID’s that include a special serial number and 1-800 number to call when a lost pet is found. The program is being coordinated with the company, 1-800-HELP-4-PETS, who will maintain the database that will be available 24 hours a day. The free collars and tags will be available until June 1, 2006, and can be picked up at the LA/SPCA facility at 701 Thayer Street. Animal control officers patrolling the streets will also have them available on their vehicles.
The Lily Project coincides with a major trapping program being launched in early January to effectively “sweep” the unpopulated areas of lost pets and strays. All pet owners are asked to give their furred companions a collar and tag so if they escape and are caught during our intensive trapping campaign, the owner and pet can be reunited following capture.
In February, the agency will establish a Humane Law Enforcement division in Baton Rouge to help animals around the state via legislation and investigation of crimes against animals. “Establishing a presence in Baton Rouge will allow us to formalize our relationship with decision makers and lawmakers in the state’s capital city,” says Maloney. The agency also hopes to support other municipalities in their animal welfare efforts and create more dialogue and awareness of animal issues on a statewide level.
At the LA/SPCA’s new temporary location at 701 Thayer Street, New Orleans, the agency is also developing new shelter programs, protocols and staff training to specifically address the needs of animals cared for and housed in a shelter environment. The rehabilitation tent is one such example. The specially designed tent has been designed to create a space for the animals where quiet and peace are at an optimum level. The animals housed there are evaluated and receive an individual intervention plan, a quiet spot, and lots of human attention to encourage confidence building. The agency has also hired a trainer who will work with staff on developing protocols for animal behavioral observations.
“It’s a bright future for animals even though our shelter was destroyed and we’re starting over. We’re committed to those we serve and fulfilling our mission to New Orleans and the state of Louisiana,” says Maloney.
The Louisiana SPCA worked in cooperation with several other agencies to rescue more than 8,500 animals after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on August 29th. The Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LA/SPCA) is a private non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of animal suffering. Chartered in 1888, it is the oldest and most comprehensive animal welfare organization in the state of Louisiana providing care and basic medical services for approximately 11,000 homeless and unwanted animals each year. The LA/SPCA is a membership organization that depends upon the support of the public.
Assistant to the Director
701 Thayer Street
New Orleans, LA 70114
Phone: 504-368-5191ext. 201