"We are impressed with the work of both Monique Louvier, Coordinator of the St. Martin Shelter and Dr. Amy Cangelosi, the shelter's part-time veterinarian, and we want to develop a community-based support group that will assist their efforts. It seems as though these two dedicated workers. along with Mr. John Ivanhoff, another hard-working employee, are doing the work of half a dozen people each and every day. They clean the shelter on a routine basis, medicate sickly animals, complete in-take procedures, oversee the adoption of animals, educate the public on the legal and ethical responsibilities of pet owners, assist law enforcement personnel on cruelty investigations, perform euthanasia, pick-up stray animals and respond to virtually every call placed to their shelter. They are our modern-day Three Musketeers," says Jeff Dorson, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Louisiana.
"I estimate that six to eight people are required to keep up with this workload, but the shelter's budget, which is barely more than $125,000 a year, won't allow for the hiring of additional workers. So, our solution to this problem is to provide dedicated volunteers who can help in and around the shelter, teach humane education in the schools, and develop and manage a successful off-site adoption and foster care program. By developing this support system, I think that this shelter can maintain and possibly expand its programs and services, without incurring any additional costs to the parish. Our group will host the first organizational meeting in order to review our goals and set up some basic training classes in the near future. Our second focus will be to help develop some on-going fund raising plans and goals, so that the support team can purchase shelter supplies, equipment, and medicine that are sometimes in short supply," adds Dorson.
With more than 10,000 supporters, the Humane Society of Louisiana is one of the state's largest and oldest animal advocacy organizations. The group is based out of New Orleans and has six chapters throughout the state. For more information, please visit their website at www.humanela.org or call 1-888-6-humane.
What: Formation of St. Martin Parish Animal Shelter Support Team
When: Wednesday, December 9th, from 6: 30 to 8: 00 pm.
Where: City of Henderson Recreation Center, 1007 Amy Street, next to Henderson City Hall.