Parish dedicates new animal shelter in Violet

Jan 27th, 2010 | By | Category: Top Story
A cat at the new animal shelter.

This curious kitty is one of the many animals up for adoption at the parish's new Animal Control Facility in Violet. The facility is equipped with separate areas for dogs and cats as well as a segregated area for newborns and quarantined animals.

Dogs and cats alike turned on the charm Jan. 11 as special guests poured into the new St. Bernard Animal Control Facility in Violet for the grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting.

The new 6,500-square-foot facility, located at 5455 E. Judge Perez Drive in Violet, replaces the makeshift facility on Agriculture Street near Paris Road in Chalmette. The “scotch taped and rubber banded” facility, as Parish President Craig Taffaro described it, has been operating out of trailers since Hurricane Katrina.

The new Violet shelter, which cost just over $1.2 million, was paid for totally by insurance proceeds, funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and a $250,000 grant from the Humane Society of the United States.

Taffaro said at the dedication ceremony that the project is a perfect example of cooperation leading to recovery.

“This is another great example of partnership,” Taffaro said. “[This facility] will serve the citizens and animals of St. Bernard Parish for generations to come.”

Besides the combination of FEMA and Humane Society funds, the land on which the new shelter sits was donated by the Joseph and Arlene Meraux Charitable Foundation.

“We want to thank them,” Taffaro said of the Meraux Foundation. “They were very interested that we have a first class facility that was centrally located and accessible.”

And the partnerships do not end there. Melissa Rubin, Humane Society vice president for animal care centers and veterinary services, also announced that the Humane Society has teamed up with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to donate to the shelter a custom-built “Sprinter” truck, worth $80,000. The new truck, which can transport up to 24 animals, will be used in evacuations and off-site adoption events.

Beth Brewster, executive director of the shelter, said the new truck will also help her team continue to spay and neuter stray animals in the area.

The Humane Society has also partnered with the ASPCA to cover the cost of the executive director of the shelter’s salary for three years.

“It took a very cooperative effort between the parish, my staff, the council and national organizations to get this built,” Brewster said after the event. “The dogs are loving the heat and in the summer they’ll love the air conditioning.”

Brewster said the animals had been moved just in time for the frigid temperatures last weekend. The old facility had little to no climate control.

The new facility offers animals an outdoor playground and kennels with separate ventilation systems. The separate ventilation systems will keep incoming animals separate from the others until they are fully screened.

The shelter also has an isolation area to accommodate newborns and animals in quarantine.

That isolation area is already home to the new facility’s first puppies – three females and three males, named after New Orleans Saints football players.

The females: Brees, Payton and Vilma.

The males: Sharper, Grant and Smith.

The shelter is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Off-site adoptions take place on Saturdays. For more information, call (504) 278-1534.

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