Marksville, La. (HSL) – The Humane Society of Louisiana, a statewide humane organization based out of New Orleans, is conducting an audit of the town of Marksville Animal Shelter. The group recently filed a public records request with Marksville Mayor John Lemoine in order to review the town’s animal shelter policies and protocols.
The Marksville Animal Shelter came under fire last year when the Humane Society posted and shared photos of the conditions of the shelter on its social media sites. The shelter consisted of a row of mostly damaged cages by the water treatment plant many of which needed to be replaced or repaired. Large holes in many of the kennels were covered with discarded street signs (see attached photos, taken October 2018). Concerned citizens also sent the Humane Society photos of dogs that had been euthanized or died at the shelter and were piled in a pit nearby (undated photo sent to HSL in October of 2018). A pile of used tires was stacked at one end of the shelter, which added to the shelter’s unsightly and unsafe appearance.
Mayor Lemoine ordered the facility closed last October but the shelter had reopened and is now housing dogs again in similarly unsafe conditions.
The Humane Society filed a public records request by email, fax, and certified letter with Mayor Lemoine so that its representatives can review records and record-keeping procedures to ensure that the administration is in compliance with the shelter standards as required by the State of Louisiana under La. R.S. 3: 2467 (et al). A copy of HSL’s public records request is attached. The original request was submitted by email on Wednesday, April 3rd and the same request was faxed on April 10th. HSL has yet to receive a response from Mayor Lemoine. In the group’s recent correspondence to the Mayor, HSL officials asked him if the public was still able to view and adopt the dogs since some individuals complained that they were denied access.
The group hopes that the Marksville administration will improve the conditions at the shelter and come into full compliance with the state laws that govern animal sheltering facilities.
“We are very concerned that the Marksville Animal Shelter may be denying access to citizens and withholding records that are subject to review under the Louisiana Public Records Act. We are also equally concerned that the dogs housed at this facility may not be provided with the best of care. We hope that this administration will work with concerned citizens, rescue organizations, and humane agencies to ensure the best outcome for its sheltered dogs,” says Jeff Dorson, HSL Director.
In the meantime, the group hopes that public officials will provide them with access to the records they are seeking.
The Humane Society of Louisiana is one of the largest animal protection organizations in the state and operates the Enoch J. Donaldson Animal Sanctuary in Mt. Hermon, Louisiana. For more information, please visit its website at www.humanela.org or its page on Facebook