By Kristen Cockrell
“Over the past few years, CAA has greatly improved the conditions of the shelter and has seen an increase in adoption rates each year.”
Just five years ago, animal advocates and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation came together to discuss the high euthanasia rates in the city. They wanted to figure out what they could do to improve the conditions of the city’s shelter and increase adoption rates. Just a year later, these advocates formed the Companion Animal Alliance (CAA), a non-profit animal welfare organization, and in August of 2011, they CAA took over the East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Shelter. Over the past few years, CAA has greatly improved the conditions of the shelter and has seen an increase in adoption rates each year.
CAA takes in strays and unwanted animals throughout East Baton Rouge Parish. The majority of the animals at CAA are cats and dogs, but according to Executive Director Beth Brewster, “CAA has housed exotics from iguanas and snakes to potbellied pigs, parrots and parakeets. The shelter has also received everything from bunnies, guinea pigs and hedgehogs to horses, goats and chickens.”
CAA takes special care of every animal that comes into the shelter. “Upon arrival, each animal receives a health check, vaccinations, deworming and flea preventive, as well as heartworm and other species-specific tests,” Brewster said. “Before they can be considered for adoption, dogs receive a temperament test.” All of the dogs and cats are spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped prior to adoption. Adoption fees range from $80 to $300 depending on species, age, breed and health.
In addition to finding animals new homes, CAA also cares for pets who have wandered away from their owners. “We are the go-to organization to reunite families with pets,” said Cathy Coates, a CAA board member and volunteer. If you lose your pet or find an animal who may have a home, turn to CAA for assistance.
Here are some of the beautiful dogs available for adoption at CAA:
Olive is young Border Collie mix. When she first arrived at CAA, she was terrified to interact with anyone. This gentle girl has come out of her shell and is now a wonderful canine companion. She cannot wait to find a human of her own!
Goofy and his seven siblings were a complete surprise to their family—they thought his mother was spayed. These happy accidents are well socialized and healthy. Their mother is a petite short-haired German Shepherd, and it appears that these babies will quickly grow larger than her. At a mere five weeks, these puppies are huge! Their size and distinctive coats indicate they are most likely Bernese Mountain Dog mixes.
Belle is a 10-year-old full-blooded Shih Tzu. She is sweet, gentle and loving. She was a breeder dog for the first five years of her life and sold once she was no longer needed. When she was found as a stray and brought into the shelter, she was weak, matted and ready to give up. Today, Belle is a healthy 15-pound girl who loves following her foster family around the house. However, she spends most of her time catching up on her beauty rest! Belle is house-trained and gets along with other dogs, cats and kids.
Chevy is a one-and-a-half-year-old black lab mix. A staff favorite, this bouncy boy has a playful personality and happy demeanor, characteristic of his breed. This spunky pup can’t wait to find a human of his own to play with and love!
Haiku is a beautiful tan and white terrier mix. He is approximately one-and-a-half years old and has a heart of gold. He is reserved, easygoing and very sweet. All he needs is a home and a human to make his life complete!
Apple is a charming six-week-old Black Mouth Cur mix. With a little patience and lots of love, this little girl will be a wonderful companion! She is looking for a human to teach her manners and give her lots of love!
Here are a few cats looking for their forever homes:
Many other adoptable dogs are also available through Companion Animal Alliance. To view them all, visit http://www.petfinder.com/pet-search?shelterid=LA65. If you can’t adopt, consider donating or volunteering with CAA, either at the shelter or local adoption events.