The outlook for unwanted animals in East Baton Rouge Parish got considerably brighter in 2011, when the nonprofit community organization Companion Animal Alliance took over the management of the parish’s animal shelter. Since then, CAA has worked to improve shelter conditions and operations while implementing programs geared toward reducing the euthanasia rate and finding homes for more animals.
Though the group’s tenure has been short, its work has been visible and impactful. In 2014, CAA rescued and found homes for more than 4,000 animals. LSU School of Veterinary Medicine students joined forces with the organization to help provide care for animals in the shelter. And a new trap/neuter/release program designed to humanely reduce the number of feral cats was implemented, boosting the shelter’s release rate to 76%.
“Companion Animal Alliance is saving more and more animals because of the support it receives,” CAA volunteer Amanda Vincent told inRegister in December 2013. Vincent spearheaded the first Fur Ball, an annual formal event for people and pets that raises funds for the organization. “The Fur Ball is a pet-friendly, black-tie event—there are literally dogs in tutus,” she said.
According to Vincent, CAA staff members work tirelessly to care for each vulnerable animal taken in at the shelter. “They do it because they care and they know they are making a difference, and it really is a beautiful thing,” she said.
Volunteers are equally vital to the organization’s success, whether by helping at the facility or by providing temporary foster homes for animals. The shelter welcomes groups or individuals who wish to share their time.
“I believe that Baton Rouge deserves an animal shelter that strives to save lives,” commented one giveaway voter. “I believe that the animals of this parish deserve a chance to receive happiness and to give happiness to families.”