Where will Ascension Parish build its new animal shelter? Here's where shelters are located in area parishes

Michael Tortorich
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Should Ascension Parish officials look for a quiet rural area or a more bustling location to build a new animal shelter?

During the Feb. 16 meeting, the Ascension Parish Council voted 7-4 to decline the purchase of a property at 12472 N. Burnside Ave. in Gonzales for $550,000, sending the Animal Services Board back to the drawing board.

The location, north of Airline Highway and just south of Cannon Road near the Lowe's home improvement store, is in a central area of the parish known for a high volume of daily traffic.

In a file photo, vehicles stop at a traffic signal along Airline Highway and Burnside Avenue in Gonzales. The Ascension Parish Council voted to decline purchasing property for an animal shelter in the area, which is near a Lowe's home improvement store.

Some members of the council argued during the meeting that the shelter would not necessarily have to be built in a high-traffic area of the parish.

In looking for a location, the board has engaged Shelter Planners of America and received a needs assessment and conceptual design plan to assist in finding the best site and design for the shelter, according to a news release from October 2022.

Companion Animal Rescue of Ascension, a 501c3 nonprofit shelter known as CARA's House, has outgrown its current location along Airline Highway in Sorrento. An open intake shelter, the crew takes in nearly 3,000 animals every year, according to its website.

The shelter operation has been funded by a one-mill property tax, which has been collected since 2019.

Where are other shelters located in the greater Baton Rouge area?

Here is a look into where other parishes have built animal shelters:

  • The East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control and Rescue is located at 2680 Progress Rd., Baton Rouge, LA. It is north of Interstate 110 near the airport in the Scotlandville area, away from the heart of Louisiana's capital city.
  • The Livingston Parish Animal Shelter is located at 13525 Florida Blvd., Livingston, LA. It is on the western side of the Town of Livingston, along Hwy. 190. The Denham Springs and Watson areas have higher populations.
  • The Iberville Parish Animal Shelter and Animal Control is located at 59815 Bayou Rd., Plaquemine, LA. It is near the parish's jail on the outskirts of the city.
  • The Assumption Parish Animal Adoption/Control is located at 223 Hwy. 1008, Napoleonville, LA. It is near the parish's jail on the outskirts of the Village of Napoleonville.
  • St. James Parish does not have a parish animal shelter.
  • West Feliciana Parish's James L. "Bo" Bryant Animal Shelter and West Feliciana Animal Humane Society is located at 9946 W. Feliciana Pkwy., Bains, LA. It is north of St. Francisville along Hwy. 61.
  • A new shelter broke ground last summer in East Feliciana Parish along Hwy. 68 in Jackson. The location is near Dixon Correctional Center.
  • The Pointe Coupee Parish Animal Shelter is located at 9628 Morganza Hwy. 1, New Roads, LA. The location is in a rural area between the New Roads and Morganza areas.
  • The Tangipahoa Parish Animal Services is located at 15487 W. Club Deluxe Rd., Hammond, LA. It is located off Interstate 12.
  • The Lafourche Parish Animal Shelter is located at 934 Hwy. 3185, Thibodaux, LA. It is located on a loop road on the outskirts of the city.

As announced Feb. 16 in a parish government news release, a public information meeting has been set for Feb. 28 at the governmental complex to discuss the new shelter with a representative from Shelter Planners of America, Michael Barnard.

Gonzales Weekly Citizen and Donaldsonville Chief, part of the USA Today Network of Louisiana, cover Ascension Parish and the greater Baton Rouge area. Follow at facebook.com/WeeklyCitizen and facebook.com/DonaldsonvilleChief.