Jun 11, 2014 12:44 AM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck
There's a new look and feel to the St. Landry Parish Animal Control Center. Parish officials say the changes have been in the works for a while, but they follow allegations of animal cruelty and neglect.
There's a criminal investigation underway into the St. Landry Parish Animal Center. The investigation was launched after complaints by a group called "Friends Underwriting Rescues," also known as "F.U.R," along with others in the community. They say they have pictures and video to support their case. However, no charges have been filed.
"We've seen feces in the food bowl, in the water bowls, because the animals couldn't get away from the filth," said Director and Founder of F.U.R. Jeanie Casanova.
It's filth that volunteers like Casanova and others in the community have been documenting with photographs and video. Some of the footage allegedly shows a dead puppy.
"This doesn't surprise us at all. It's very typical of what we would see on a day we would clean and volunteer," Casanova said.
The parish says it takes care of up to 150 dogs and cats at the St. Landry Parish Animal Control Center, and sometimes when it comes to the care of the animals, there are oversights.
"Oversights do happen, yes. You could have 10 or 12 puppies and they may look all in good condition. There's maybe an oversight that one is nearly dead or dying," said St. Landry Parish President Bill Fontenot.
Fontenot said staff try their best to keep the conditions clean and safe for the animals, but sometimes, things can be overlooked.
"There's always going to be one pooing or peeing, and it's unreasonable to think we can pick it up as soon as it happens. You will see some of that sometimes, puppies poop in a bowl. You could take a picture of that too, and that looks pretty gross," Fontenot said.
It's why Fontenot has increased man power at the shelter over the last six months. There's new management including a new director.
"We feel like we have a great team now. We're really excited about that, so that we can continue to improve conditions for these animals," Casanova said.