Louisiana animal shelters rank top 10 in highest shelter deaths

St. Tammany Parish

Best Friends Animal Society

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— Louisiana is ranked the sixth highest state for shelter deaths in the nation according to Best Friends Animal Society’s state-by-state ranking.

Although Louisiana ranks high, some progress has been made.

 According to the organization, 80,671 dogs and cats entered Louisiana shelters in 2020.

57,747 of the animals found positive outcomes, while the other 15,288 were put down. 

Best Friends Animal Society’s data shows a 60 percent increase in save rates from 2019 to 2020.

St. Tammany Parish’s Animal Shelter was a shelter that showed dramatic improvement in 2020.

The shelter had a 72.1 percent save rate compared to a 54 percent save rate in 2019. 

The improvements came from shelters using a different approach.

“The big change for St. Tammany Parish Animal Shelter was their approach to cats, community cats in particular. By implementing effective, humane practices such as trap-neuter-return instead of killing feral cats in the shelter, they were able to improve the save rate for cats by approximately 30 percent,” said Lee Ann Shenefiel, director of the South Central region for Best Friends Animal Society.

Along with the changes, more lives were saved by volunteers and community members stepping up.

Individuals volunteered at the shelter, some fostered, and some even adopted.

Julie Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society said“This was a monumental year for cats and dogs in America’s shelters.”

Castle added this is the closest the organization has ever been to achieving their no-kill goal set for 2025.

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