Caddo to begin searching for new animal services director

Updated: Feb. 5, 2018 at 10:45 PM CST
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CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Attempts to improve Caddo Parish Animal Services are moving forward.

That's the gist of one of several updates Parish Administrator Woodrow Wilson provided during the Caddo Commission work session Monday.

Various efforts to review shelter operations are underway.

The parish is working with PetPoint to achieve total automation of services.

And Wilson said he has chosen Best Friends Animal Society as a consultant and to review shelter operations.

The group will provide its services for free and will give him an executable plan about how to restructure operations, Wilson said.

Pet Point representatives will visit at the end of February. Best Friends Animal Society staffers are expected to come to Caddo in March.

The parish animal shelter also is working on a community public service announcement project focused on pet ownership education in areas where there is a high intake of animals.

A two-week summer camp is in the works, as well.

A surprise inspection by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry shows the animal shelter is in compliance with 50 of 55 criteria, Wilson said.

And the parish already is working on improving the areas that did not pass inspection, he added. Those include shelter ventilation, record protocol  and training of shelter personnel.

On Thursday, Caddo commissioners will vote on resolution asking the animal shelter to hold off-site adoptions every week.

And next week, the parish will start a nationwide search to find a new animal services director.

Kelvin Samuel will continue to serve as interim director during the search, which is expected to take a couple months, Wilson said.

Last month, commissioners received results of a study of the feasibility of privatizing the animal shelter.

In the long term, the study suggests taking a gradual approach to outsourcing by possibly creating a "friends of the shelter" nonprofit that eventually could take control in two to five years.

On Monday, Wilson again cautioned that efforts to privatize the shelter should be considered carefully and that any move along those lines would take time to implement.

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