On Friday, August 11, Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux signed into law an ordinance passed by the Lafayette City-Parish Council which significantly lowers adoption fees and also allows for a feline Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) program. Both the reduced adoption fees and the implementation of a TNR program were recommendations by Target Zero, a national nonprofit which assists local animal shelters working towards a no kill goal.
“This ordinance represents a significant milestone in our no kill initiative and I am very pleased we had overwhelming support of the measure,” stated Robideaux. “With the ability to institute a TNR program, our community now joins model shelters who are successfully maintaining a no kill status by humanely managing the community cat population.” Under the TNR program, also known as community cat diversion, free-roaming cats are safely trapped and then examined by a vet for overall health, spayed or neutered and rabies vaccinated before being returned to the location where they were originally picked up. The spaying and neutering not only reduces the community cat population but also decreases nuisance behaviors associated with feral felines.
The new ordinance also lowers the adoption fees for shelter animals from $100 to $35 for puppies and dogs and from $80 to $25 for kittens and cats. Additionally, adoption fees are waived altogether for military veterans with IDs and senior citizens over 65 years of age. Every adoptable animal from the shelter is neutered or spayed, vaccinated, heartworm tested and microchipped, which is a value of $200-500.
The new, lower adoption fees go into effect immediately and come just in time for “Second Chance Saturday” on August 12. Saturday adoptions offer animals at the shelter a second chance of being adopted into a loving home. The Lafayette Animal Shelter & Care Center (LASCC), located at 613 W. Pont Des Mouton Rd. in Lafayette, will be open from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. for those interested in adopting dogs, puppies, cats or kittens housed at the shelter. LASCC will only be open for adoptions on the afternoon of August 12 and will not accept animals for intake on this day. Regular adoption hours are from 1 p.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The Second Chance Saturday adoption series is aimed at increasing LSACC’s adoptions, thereby reducing the euthanasia rate. Extended adoption hours have increased the number of adopted animals and have proven to be more convenient by working around people’s busy schedules. Saturday adoptions also allow both the adopted animal and their new owner the remainder of the weekend to become acquainted with each other’s needs and schedules before resuming the regular week on Monday.
For individuals interested in gifting a shelter pet, adoption gift certificates are the best option. Pet ownership requires planning, and giving a pet as a gift is generally discouraged. Giving an LASCC “Gift Fur-tificate” ensures that the recipient is ready to welcome their new pet and it allows them to select a puppy, kitten, dog or cat of their choice. LSACC adoption gift certificates are available for purchase at the shelter and cover costs associated with regular adoption, including spaying/neutering, vaccinations, heartworm testing and microchips.
Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux announced a no kill shelter initiative early in his administration and entered into a fellowship with Target Zero to achieve the goal. In addition to the TNR program, reduced adoption fees and extended hours, LACC is implementing other best practices to increase live outcomes by ramping up collaborations with local animal rescue organizations to provide new avenues for animals admitted to the shelter.
For more information on the Lafayette Animal Shelter & Care Center visit www.lafayettela.gov/aCPlus or .