Ascension Parish continues search for animal shelter site

Staff Report

The Parish of Ascension and its Animal Services Board have re-engaged with its team to find property for a new animal shelter location.

According to a news release, parish leaders received helpful feedback from the public during a meeting held in February regarding a future site.

Shelter Planners of America has been assisting with the modified shelter design to accommodate concerns raised regarding noise and smell.

The shelter is funded by a one-mill property tax collected since 2019.

Elvis was adopted from the Ascension Parish Animal Shelter, known as Cara's House.

The criteria for the new property includes:

  • Five or more acres are needed for the facility
  • Land would preferably already be zoned MU
  • Not located in a flood zone
  • By law, the parish is not allowed to pay over the appraised value of the land
  • Distanced away from residential areas

The administration and Animal Services Board are ready to complete the conceptual plan once a site is obtained. Then a request for quote will be made for architectural/engineering services for the construction complete design. Finally, a request for proposal will be done for the construction of the shelter.

"While there are many steps in this process and we have seen some setbacks, I’m optimistic that our staff and Animal Services Board can accomplish locating a site and preparing for a ground breaking,” said Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment.

Any interested parties with land for sale or donation can contact the parish at (225) 450-1200.

Where is the current Ascension animal shelter?

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.

Shelter location has been an ongoing discussion

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 Gonzales Weekly Citizen and Donaldsonville Chief previously took a closer look at where other parishes around the Baton Rouge area have built animal shelters.

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.