OUACHITA PARISH, LA (5/22/20)– COVID-19 has affected more than humans, some animals have remained in animal shelters as the pandemic forced closures. These furry friends have waited months to find their forever home as COVID-19 closed the Ouachita Parish Animals Shelter’s doors and adoptions.
“During that time, the animals coming in was very low. We didn’t hardly take in anything. We did send a lot to rescue, but we were not doing adoptions at that time,” said Stephanie Mullins, Director of Animal Control for Ouachita Parish
While the numbers stayed low when the shelter was closed, the number of animals began to climb as the shelter reopened on Monday.
“We have seen a large increase, so far we have taken in about 90 animals in less than a week. It’s summer time and we do expect it to pick up a little more, especially once we open up our gates to everyone,” said Mullins.
Right now the shelter is closed to the general public as everything is appointment based. Shelter officials say being closed not only allowed them to spend more time with the animals, but also saved their lives as they didn’t have to free up space for the constant flow of new animals being brought in.
“It really is just important to adopt because we can keep open kennels for the animals coming in. Space is our biggest issue and once we run out of space, we tried our best to send them to adoptions or rescue, so if people are coming and adopting, it really helps us save more lives,” said Mullins.
The shelter sent around 150 animals to rescues around the country in the last month alone. However, 95 percent of the animals that stayed at the shelter during COVID-19 are still there.
“We are adopting about 4 or 5 animals out a day, maybe a little more depending on people. Some people are adopting two puppies at a time, which is great, but we are seeing a pick up in adoptions,” said Mullins.
If you would like to adopt some of these furry friends–you can make an appointment by calling the shelter at (318) 323-4032.