Lafayette animal shelter reaches no-kill threshold for first time


(Daily Advetiser)- For the first time ever, the Lafayette animal shelter reached the threshold of animals needed to earn no-kill status last month.

That achievement — which means 90 percent of animals in the shelter were not euthanized — puts a checkmark next to a longstanding campaign promise of Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux, who campaigned on a no-kill shelter promise. Animal advocates at an event Tuesday night praised the efforts by officials and touted a holistic approach to animal welfare as the pathway for continued success in the region.

“We have a lot of ways to go, but we have made a lot of strides,” said Robert Benoit, assistant to the mayor and head of the initiative. 

Benoit laid out several figures for the audience Tuesday that showed skyrocketing amounts of animals currently being saved or projected to be saved when compared to pre-Robideaux figures.

Here are some of the figures:

  • Adoption numbers increased from 517 to 1,110.
  • Rescues increased from 174 to 764.
  • The number of animals euthanized decreased from 2,800 to 464.
  • Live outcomes for dogs increased from 47 percent to 84 percent.
  • Live outcomes for cats increased from 9 percent to 88 percent.

Success does come with a price, however. Benoit said positive steps forward can create the impression that it isn’t a big deal for some owners to just drop their pets off at the shelter. Surrenders increased from 346 to 891 since they began their initiative, he said, which strains the system.

Benoit credited lower adoption fees, a trap/neuter/release program, foster care grants and collaboration with animal advocates.

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