The Bossier Parish Animal Shelter has been forced to euthanize more than 600 dogs this summer, but because of the help of one Benton woman, that number is lower than previous years.
Non-profit Ninna's Road to Rescue, owned by Ninna Lopez, works exclusively with the shelter by taking dogs off of their hands and helping adopt other dogs out of the shelter. The lucky dogs who get to stay in Ninna's facility, get a one of a kind rescue experience. Her mission is to lower the number of dogs euthanized and help change the attitude about stray animals in the region.
Ever since Lopez was a young girl, she has felt a strong urge to help animals that can't help themselves. "My parents would tell me, we would be driving down the road and we would see a kitten on the side of the road and I would say 'daddy pwease stop. Pwease stop," Lopez explained.
Lopez spent five years as a shelter manager for a no-kill shelter in Shreveport. But couldn't shake the sense, she could do more. "There are a lot of people out there like that, I just took it a step further," said Lopez and added she took a gamble and decided to start a non-profit rescue organization, unlike any other.
She wanted to house the animals inside, so she secured a loan and bought a foreclosed home in Benton, with a big back yard for plenty of room to play.
That's when Ninna's Road to Rescue was born in March of last year with a mission to help alleviate over crowding at the parish shelter. "It's very fulfilling, very rewarding, and I have a lot of support," said Lopez.
If you ever visit the shelter, you may notice the rescue doesn't look like the average rescue facility, that's because Lopez says she wants the dogs to get used to what it would feel like in their forever homes. "We make use of every space in the doggy rooms," said Lopez, explaining that each dog has room assignments and house rules to abide by.
Only the dogs live in the house, with volunteers like Bill Bihn, visiting each day to care for them. The cats have their own separate private home. Lopez explained she believes the solution to lowering the stray animal population is to spay and neuter pets and always adopt. "It sounds simple but its going to take a while to change that mindset in this area," she said.
The rescue has saved about 350 animals since they opened in March of 2012.
Ninna's Road to Rescue is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to rescue and re-home small-breed dogs, to include senior dogs and dogs in kill-shelters.More >>
Ninna's Road to Rescue is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to rescue and re-home small-breed dogs, to include senior dogs and dogs in kill-shelters; to provide assistance to pet owners needing to re-home their pet via our Adoption Assistance Program; and to provide responsible pet ownership education.More >>