The St. Landry Parish Government recently
implemented a new social media policy for parish social media sites.
But, it hasn’t come without growing concerns from animal shelter supporters.
Parish officials want to have more input on the animal shelter’s Facebook page.
Stacey Alleman McKnight, Director of St. Landry Parish Animal Control, said, “We didn’t do it to attack a parish or to make anyone look bad. We just wanted help and I think the animals have a story and that story may never be known. The only voice they had was mine.”
A recent Facebook post from the St. Landry Parish Animal Rescue that received much attention read,
“Due to new parish policy on social media sites, only reflecting the positive, with parish permission before posting, we will remove this site.”
“Yesterday, the parish made their decision
that it was a more positive image they wanted to portray, and to be honest, I
mean I understand that. I think it’s amazing that they’re stepping into that to
where everything has a better presence,” added McKnight.
McKnight thought she had to remove their Facebook page because of the new parish social media policy. But, according to President of St. Landry Parish Government, Bill Fontenot, that is not the case.
“We wanted to be consistent with our
government and our employees to have them write Facebook posts that were in
good taste that were certainly transparent, but didn’t shed any dirty laundry
among employees,” said Fontenot.
Fontenot says the parish government is trying to improve communication with the public on parish social media sites.
He explained, “Not only does it provide the reality of what goes on with animals in the most horrific way. It allows citizens to actually support our efforts.”
“The page was never started to be a censorship or to be a limited avenue. I never started it thinking that I was doing this for St. Landry Parish. I was doing it for the thousands of animals that walk through the door here that call this place home,” added McKnight.
Fontenot says parish officials will not take the animal shelter Facebook page down. There just needs to be more administrative review of it.
He says the page has allowed over 12,000 dogs and cats to be rescued over the last four years.