IBERIA PARISH (KLFYA) — A group that advocates for animals is calling for action after Iberia Parish Animal Control put down seven dogs.
The Concerned Citizens for Iberia Parish Animal Control says a rescue group could have stepped in to save the animals.
“The euthanization of the dogs, that was very uncalled for,” Brittany Perez, a volunteer at the shelter, said.
“Killing is a last option, not a first option,” Marcella Emanuel, a member of Concerned Citizens for Iberia Parish Animal Control, or IPAC, added.
This volunteer and member of Concerned Citizens for IPAC say last week, the interim shelter director euthanized the seven dogs without their knowledge.
They say this shouldn’t have happened because the shelter has a partnership with an organization called Louisiana Imagine No Kill, or LINK, who takes in dogs from the shelter before they’re euthanized.
They say Interim Shelter Director Herff Jones did not respond to the rescue group’s emails and calls, making it hard for them to work with the shelter.
Interim Director Herff Jones tells News Ten rescue organizations did reach out, but only to let him know because of hurricane IDA, they were at full capacity and could not take in any more animals.
Jones says of the seven dogs who were put down, two were aggressive.
He says the other five had been in the shelter for over 90 days, and that was causing behavior problems.
Volunteers and concerned citizens, who worked with the dogs everyday, disagreed.
“Oreo was one of the sweetest, most cuddly, affectionate dogs you’re ever going to meet,” Emanuel with Concerned Citizens for IPAC said.
She and volunteers also say the euthanizations were uncalled for because the shelter had more room.
“There were still some empty kennels. There’s empty kennels now. There’s eight to nine empty kennels now as we speak, yet there’s still discussion about which dogs will be put down next,” Emanuel added.
Volunteer Brittany Perez confirmed they still have kennels open.
Volunteers at the shelter and members of Concerned Citizens for IPAC say they believe the interim director does not have the experience with animal shelters, as he is the Director of Mosquito Control for the parish, and they want him replaced.
Iberia Parish President Larry Richard says a new permanent director will start within the next two weeks.
The interim shelter director also added that this year, they’ve had to euthanize 25 animals of over 1,000 at the shelter.