Increase in stray, aggressive dogs leads to Animal Control expansion in Ouachita Parish

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OUACHITA PARISH (KTVE/KARD) “It’s something we need to address now before it gets worse” says Shane Smiley, President of the Ouachita Parish Police Jury.

Soon, Ouachita Parish Animal Control will be getting a new vehicle and employee to combat a growing problem across the parish.

“We’re having an increase number of strays that are parish wide. We’re having complaints from citizens were either stray dogs are chasing someone or are killing their chickens or killing their pets or biting someone” Smiley says.

In order to do this, the police jury is moving some money around in their millage fund. Money will be going from the Ouachita Parish Health Unit’s budget to Animal Control.

They have a total of .75 mills… with .5 going to the Health Unit and 2.5 going to Animal Control. Now it will be more point four five for health and point three five for Animal Control.

These millages are funded by property taxes paid by residents all over the parish. So does this movement of funds mean that more money is coming out of your wallet?

“No, we will not be adding any additional millages or taxes to account for any of this” Smiley says. “Moving the amount of millages dedicated to that is something that we’re allowed to do. And certainly by no means is it going to take away from the services of the Health Unit. Their budget is healthy, no pun intended, they’ve got reserves.”

The millage budget will be re-assessed in 2023. That’s when an increase on property taxes could be implemented, should the police jury need the funds.

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