The Caddo Parish administrator has barred a local nonprofit with which the parish once partnered from having access to the parish animal shelter.
District 5 Commissioner Jerald Bowman confirmed Thursday to KSLA News 12 that the decision was made by Commission Administrator Woodrow Wilson Jr. following commissioners' regular meeting July during which some sparks flew over personnel issues between Paws 4 Life's leadership and animal shelter employees.
KSLA News 12 incorrectly reported it was the Caddo Parish Commission's decision.
Bowman said Paws 4 Life's director, Tanya Parker, had missed her past five meetings with parish and shelter leaders.
Some shelter employees also filed complaints against Parker for her alleged poor treatment of them, according to Bowman.
During the meeting July 6, which Bowman said Parker did not attend, the District 5 commissioner expressed his stance that disrespect of parish employees will not stand.
"It's not her, the person," Bowman said at that meeting. "Whether it's her or anybody else doing the same thing and disrespecting.
"We've given you space. You have your own space. You have your own break room. You've got everything in the world anybody who volunteered could ask for and you're causing all of this havoc? Bye, Felicia! You've got to go!"
That statement inspired anger on Facebook from many advocates of Parker and Paws 4 Life who claim Bowman should show more respect as a commissioner.
Another local animal advocacy organization posted the exchange during the commission meeting on Facebook.
"What I meant was and pretty much what I said. ... Whether it's this person or anybody, I'm not going to allow disrespect to be done to any of our employees in any department," Bowman said.
"I would tell Ms. Parker, first of all, thank you for what you have done. Thank you for what you're doing. I apologize if I any way offended you by my 'Bye, Felicia' statement," he continued.
"I want us to be able to work together, to be able to work with the employees where we all can be amicable so we can help continue to serve and to take care of the animals because, again, that's the priority."
Bowman said the moratorium on Paws 4 Life's access to Caddo Parish's animal shelter will be indefinite until commissioners and the nonprofit's leaders can sit down and renegotiate a partnership.
KSLA News 12 also reached out to Parker for her side of the story.
She told us she is working with the moratorium but could not be interviewed Thursday because she still was transporting animals.
The moratorium appears to only be directed at Paws 4 Life, as other local rescues like Ninna's Road to Rescue told KSLA News 12 their access to the animal shelter remains open.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more details are revealed.
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