Wednesday night animal activist got what they wanted; Director Mike Stockstill in front of the parish council responding to allegations of not running the Iberia Parish Animal shelter appropriately. State inspectors say the facility is up to code and standards.
Veterinarians in the community also gave their approval of Stockstill's management . The shelter is run as a rabies control facility, but those activist say more can be done to provide better care.
To hear from Director Stockstill watch the report in the video player above.
Animal activists in New Iberia are urging local lawmakers to make changes at the Iberia Parish Animal Shelter. They say they want the current shelter director out, and a new manager in.
Julie Comeaux has been vocal about wanting change at the Iberia Animal Control Shelter. Especially after several cases of "Parvo", a contagious, deadly infection have popped up.
"When the Parvo cases got so bad in June, that's when we shared our experiences with the shelter and others shared their experiences with the shelter" says Comeaux.
Comeaux says volunteers offered to help with vaccinations, and promoting adoptions. But, she says the shelter has not been receptive to volunteer help, which is why she wants the animal care in new hands.
"We sincerely want a full time manager put into place and somebody who is going to be knowledgeable on animals"
But current shelter director, Mike Stockstill says the facility's health standards are up to par...and there are two full-time managers on staff.
"The facility is kept in peak condition and sanitation and infection control is next to nothing throughout the state of Louisiana, and I would put it up against any facility" says Stockstill.
While Stockstill says he understands concerns, he says they are working with what they can on a limited budget.
"I think out of frustration, they'd like to enhance the veterinary care for animals coming in, which a price tag goes with it."
And at a parish council meeting Wednesday, Stockstill says he'll present the council with facts about the facility. But in the meantime, the shelter will focus on its primary concern.
"We're doing this for less than $300,000. But its primary rabies control for a population of 75,000 resident in Iberia Parish" says Stockstill.
Stockstill's contract with the city expires this December
New Iberia Animal Shelter Concerns
Animal activists in New Iberia say there needs to be a change in management at the parish animal shelter.
They claim the current director is often absent from the facility and isn't taking proper care of the animals in the shelter.
Julie Comeaux has started an online petition to gain support for getting a full time director with a background in running shelters, which she says would actually cost the parish a lot less money.
"For $50,000 we should have more of a hands on manager in there," says Comeaux, a New Iberia resident.
Comeaux feels more needs to be done to make sure shelter animals in Iberia parish have a decent place to stay while they wait to be adopted.
"I started acknowledging some things with them I thought were unacceptable, or needed to be addressed right away," explains Comeaux.
Comeaux has veterinary medicine experience and says she's seen first hand the facility mixing sick dogs with healthy ones.
"Volunteers have offered to donate vaccines and give them as soon as they come in so little guys like this could be protected from parvo virus," says Comeaux.
Parvo virus is a disease that kills a dogs spirit along with it's appetite and thirst causing them to die slowly.
"We had hoped that they would be putting ill puppies to sleep to prevent the spread of disease, but that often didn't happen," explains Comeaux.
We contacted Mike Stockstill, the director of the shelter, but he declined our request for an interview and request to go inside the facility, but he said he'd be more than happy to let talk to us and let us in Wednesday.
"We've got a group of about 25 of us that contact our representatives by email by phone calls and we're not getting much of a response," says Comeaux.
Council members are waiting to hear what Stockstill has to say about the situation. They will have that chance at Wednesday's council meeting.
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