LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — For the third year in a row, the Lafayette Animal Shelter and Care Center has reached no-kill status, meaning the shelter has saved 90% or more of the animals’ lives at the shelter.

In 2022, the shelter saved the lives of 91% of dogs and 93% of cats through adoptions, rescues, transferring to rescue partners for adoption or returning them to their owners after being lost. Euthanasia is reserved for only terminally ill and unadoptable, aggressive animals.

The shelter saw record numbers all around in 2022, with 1,892 adoptions, 803 pets pulled by other rescue partners and 1,344 cats in the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) Program. It maintained its status as a no-kill shelter despite taking in more animals in 2022 (an increase of 509 from previous year).

Lafayette Animal Shelter Supervisor Shelley Delahoussaye said the shelter has been able to maintain the no-kill designation through strategic, innovative methods and procedures.

“It truly takes a village to maintain no-kill status, but with the help of our pet-loving community, we are setting the tone for the rest of the state to save more lives,” Delahoussaye said.

In the Trap-Neuter-Return program (TNR), rather than trapping and euthanizing feral cats, the animal ordinance was changed in 2017 to mandate they be humanely trapped and spayed or neutered to help control the population, then returned to their habitat.

Instead of accepting walk-ins who drop off strays or owner surrenders, LASCC has continued with its education approach by scheduling appointments only, giving staff the opportunity to counsel someone to prevent pet surrenders. Since stray animals are usually found within one to three miles of their homes, staff advises residents to first use social media, post flyers and ask neighbors if they recognize the pet before surrendering to the shelter.

“Reaching no-kill status three years in a row is a tremendous accomplishment and speaks to the amazing job LASCC staff is doing and how great our community is. When LASCC announces they are at full capacity, Lafayette residents come to the rescue and give these pets a forever home,” said Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory. 

Since 2017, LASCC has maintained lower adoption fees. Dog adoption fees are $35 and cat fees are $25. Also, military veterans and senior citizens over the age 65 do not pay an adoption fee.

Animals are sent to Florida, Colorado, New Jersey, Michigan, Idaho and other states where pet overpopulation is not a problem and adoptions are in demand.