Veterinarian blames size of facility, community perception
BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) -- An investigative report uncovers "unacceptable conditions" inside a No Kill animal shelter. You may recall, East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control handed over their shelter and adoption operations to Companion Animal Alliance on August 1st. Shortly after that, allegations of overcrowding and inhumane conditions began to surface. The law enforcement arm of animal control launched an investigation.
The three person investigative team found the stray section of the shelter overcrowded. They said there was lack of sufficient food and water, animals laying in, and in some cases, eating their own feces, and some of the dogs and cats were forced to live inside a men's bathroom, for lack of space.
However, one of the investigators says the shelter just needs some support from the community, and time to get the job done.
When Dr. Craig Alberty walked through the shelter last week, what he saw was disheartening. "I think it was a risk for those animals to be confined by that. In my report, I suggested they do something about it."
He saw six to seven animals in one cage in some instances, and a few of the animals were in pretty bad condition. "That kind of concentration of animals is bad for the spread of disease."
Dr. Alberty says he's seen worse. "If you walk in there and you've never been in a shelter like that before, you're going to be freaked out," he explains. "But those of us who do this on a regular basis, no, we're not freaked out we're looking at the bigger picture and it wasn't horrible."
The picture is the facility is too small for the task that CAA directory, Laura Hinze, is trying to take on. "This isn't about her not doing her job. This is about how hard her job is."
According to the report, right now, 753 animals are housed in the shelter, and they just keep coming. Alberty says they get up to 30 animals a day. He says, that's too many, but he prefers that situation to the alternative.
"Now the problem is, what do we do? We don't have anybody that can take these animals. I don't want them to die. We need to try another solution."
But where to start? Alberty says it begins with a new way of thinking. "People think animals are disposable and when they're tired of them they just drop them off at Animal Control," he explains.
Now, he's hoping CAA can change a community's perception, and save lives in the process.
CAA has not received the investigative report, or any complaints so far. For that reason, they have chosen not to comment on the situation.