COLFAX – Want to help find forever homes for stray and unwanted dogs in Grant Parish?
The Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office has partnered with the Best Friends Animal Society, a non-profit organization established in 1993 that raises awareness across the country to promote rescues, no-kill shelters and sterilizations, to place dogs in foster homes while waiting for their permanent home.
Foster homes “provide safe places for pets to land while they wait for more permanent homes,” said Lafayette-based Best Friends regional strategist Louiza Chan.
“If you can imagine, if everyone could have a pet in their household, how many animals could we save?” she asked.
It’s been almost 10 years since the sheriff’s office founded its animal control division, and it’s still busy. Animal control officers responded to 1,286 calls for service in 2021, Sheriff Steven McCain said.
McCain said the work is made possible by the Grant Parish Police Jury and the cities paying for the service, and he hopes the new partnership will lead to permanent homes for the dogs the animal control division takes. in charge.
Foster homes also help eliminate the risk of euthanasia, used in some shelters when there are more animals than space. Host families are sought, as well as volunteers to help with other tasks or needs.
McCain said the band had experience doing this work, “and they’ve been a big help to us.”
Best Friends gave the sheriff’s office a $10,000 donation to pay for vaccinations and sterilization.
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“When they go to a new permanent home, it will all be taken care of and out of the way,” he said.
The nonprofit has also provided scholarships to the sheriff’s office so it can send deputies to a national conference this summer to learn the latest animal control practices.
This news comes just before the parish’s first day of sterilization on June 2. A collaboration between B22, Magnolia Spay Neuter, Jena Choctaw Pines Casino and Best Friends, it will provide $25 spaying and neutering for dogs and cats.
All 38 spots were filled quickly, said McCain, who called the response “tremendous.”
McCain thanked the Best Friends reps — Sherri Plemons and Life-Saving Results Coordinator Chan — for “taking the risk with us and investing in our community.”
Chan said McCain and the animal control officers had “big hearts and wanted to save more lives to make a difference for the animals at Grant Parish, so we wanted to match what they wanted to do with our resources and our expertise”.
Plemons said around 20 dogs and puppies were already in Grant Parish homes, but they were looking for more foster families. There’s also a foster care program for those who can’t stand being separated from their foster dogs, she said.
In addition to freeing up space in shelters, foster homes provide vital information to dogs looking for a forever home. Rescue groups working to place dogs need to know how they interact with people or other pets, how they react in crates or in public and more, Plemons said.
“Getting those cute photos of them cuddled up on a couch? They will absolutely want to take a dog that they see as good in a home and who is adoptable versus just a picture of one that is in a shelter and they take a chance on it,” she said.
“It really makes a difference.”
Best Friends provides everything a foster family needs – mentors for new furry foster parents, vet care, crates, food, leashes.
“Anything that will get in the way, please let us know, because we provide it. And that makes a big difference.”