Livestock are now populating the sunny pastures of Baton Rouge’s Companion Animal Alliance due to the installation of a new barn and stables, allowing the organization to house all of its animals, whether furry little puppies or an inquisitive group of goats. Instead of traveling back and forth between CAA’s main facility and a location across town which currently houses CAA’s livestock and exotic animals, the new barn and stables allows CAA to operate in one location so that it can provide the greatest possible care to every animal that comes its way.
“We take in every single lost, abandoned or unwanted animal through our facility. Typically people think of those animals as just dogs and cats, but that’s not all we encounter,” explains Jillian Sergio, executive director at CAA. “We also take in livestock and some other exotics, like reptiles. Previously, our livestock and large animals were at the old facility, which was outdated and didn’t really offer what we wanted for our animals. So, after two long years waiting for our barn and stables to actually be complete, they are officially done.”
With the new addition, animals will have access to veterinarians and caretakers nearly every day and will be under daily observation. Sergio explains that the space was designed with the intention of having animals comfortably stay for short-term and long-term periods, depending on each animal’s situation.
“One of the biggest challenges that we’ve faced in the past is the fact that a lot of the livestock that come to us are in need of more care,” explains Sarah Hicks, medical director at CAA. “We do take in dogs and cats from the public, and a lot of the time those animals come in healthy. Other times, when horses and livestock come in, they might have greater nutritional needs or care needs in general, so being located across town from them made it difficult to be able to provide them with that daily or intensive care. Now we’re able to walk directly out our back door and provide them with the care they need.”
At CAA, the stalls are spacious and provide ample room for animals requiring more intensive care. Right down the street is the LSU veterinary school willing to provide additional care for animals that need it.
“We’re all in the same location, we’re all able to communicate about things within our building,” says Sergio. “We have 50 employees who are all looking out for animals versus having to go across town. We can give them what they need in one location, so we’re actually able to function as a true animal welfare organization in one place, which is exciting.”