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Concerns of Caddo Parish Animal Shelter raised at Commission wor - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Concerns of Caddo Parish Animal Shelter raised at Commission work shop

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SHREVEPORT, La. -

A call for change at Caddo Parish Animal Shelter was made at the Caddo Commission workshop Monday. Citizens stepped forward to voice their concerns.

"This is the people's shelter. These are the people's animals. We should be listening to the people," said Ashley Delrie, director of Companions of the Caddo Parish Animal Shelter.

WATCH ENTIRE WORK SHOP MEETING

More than a half dozen people stepped forward and said there were issues with the shelter and the parish's policies on animals. They brought up the parish's animal euthanasia rates and lack of education. Some shared personal stories while others attacked the shelter's director.

"Everett was unprofessional, inconsiderate, unaccommodating and down right rude," said one speaker.

"What are the qualifications for our shelter director? What other rescues or shelters has he worked at? Where is he resume?" added another.

Delrie told KTBS Tuesday she thinks the situation with the animal cruelty case of Braveheart last week was the catapult to so many coming forward now.

KTBS went to the animal shelter to talk to Director Everette Harris, and give him an opportunity to clear up some of the concerns made at the commission meeting on Monday. He declined an on camera interview but gave us this statement:

On or about October 9, 2013 at 11:26 am, I received a call from KTAL report Leslie Draffin quoting Facebook as her source of information. I informed Ms. Draffin that we do not monitor Facebook as an governmental agency. She sent me the link with pictures to review. After reviewing the following, We (CPAS) started conducting our investigation after it was verified that a crime occurred in Caddo Parish. We tracked down the animal only to find out that the dog in question "Braveheart" was found initially on September 11, 2013 by the owners of the business in question. The Veterinarian who wishes to remain anonymous was caring for Braveheart and had to go out of town for a funeral. So the Veterinarian asked Mrs. Spataro who resides in Benton, LA to care for the animal in her absence. We contacted Mrs. Spataro about retuning Braveheart back to CPAS because he was part of an ongoing investigation. She agree to returned Braveheart.

At approximately 11:09 am on October 10, 2013, the suspect in question identified himself as the original owner of Braveheart. The suspect signed the Braveheart over to CPAS. At 4:05 pm October 10, 2013 a warrant was signed by the judge and filed with the Shreveport Police department. Braveheart was returned back to the Veterinarian to monitor on October 10, 2013 at 5:20 pm. Braveheart was legally adopted to Mrs. Spataro on October 11, 2013. The suspect at the center of our investigation into LA Revised Statutes 14:102.1 Cruelty to animals; simple and aggravated, turned himself in at the Caddo Correctional Center on October 11, 2013 at 4 pm.

What is important about all of this in my opinion is someone is being held accountable for what happened to the animal in question. Our leadership has been in place for over five years as a team and have made tremendous progress in animal husbandry. Our guidance comes from two contracted Veterinarians and we received continuous education in animal husbandry that is approved by the Louisiana Board of Veterinary Medicine. I don't understand why new policies or procedures are needed because we enforce the laws set by our elected officials. The objective of policies and procedures is to document an organization's policy for operation and the procedures necessary to fulfill that policy. Our policies and procedures can't be based on emotion because it can lead to improper things happening. Policies and Procedures answer the "what" and "how" questions for individuals within an organization. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their local Government is doing. Information maintained by CPAS is a local asset. CPAS will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use.

I have enclosed (attached here) a copy of our most recent inspection by the Governor's Commission and a letter from the Veterinarian who took care of Braveheart. I think this says it all. We have a caring staff who loves the animals and care for them. It's unfortunate that our job is unpleasant to some and that's why we ask for grace. The staff thank you for what you do and may God continue bless you.

A committee to address these concerns will be created made up of commissioners and concerned Caddo residents.

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