Zoo deaths trigger animal control debate - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Zoo deaths trigger animal control debate

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MONROE, LA. (KNOE 8 News) - Groups of cows remain safe inside this Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo enclosure, but the same can't be said for the three goats that used to live there.

"It happens on occasion," Zoo Director, Joe Clawson, said. "You do your best to protect the animals, but every once in a while, they'll find their way in."

A pack of stray dogs dug under the fence of the enclosure around 9 a.m. Sunday morning, killing two goats and injuring another, bringing a gruesome end to what had been a peaceful morning.

"We had already done a walkthrough and checked on the condition of the animals and they were OK," Clawson said. "We did not see the dogs."

Those three goats were on loan from a private owner and though the zoo says they're working with the owner and no charges are being pressed, the loss is still great.

"You feel like you failed the animal," said Clawson. "People work with them every day, they know these animals, the animals respond to them. It's a traumatic as anyone else losing a pet."

Since those goats were killed, the zoo said the fence has since been secured and the goats have been moved out of the enclosure and now they said they're working with Monroe Police for a larger effort for animal control.

Monroe Police told KNOE 8 News they are not trying to catch the dogs, but that they have been working on the position of animal welfare officer for nine months now.

In the meantime, zoo leaders are urging everyone to help solve the stray problem.

"Part of the issue here is responsible pet ownership," Clawson said. "Don't take animals unless you are certain of your ability to take care of them."

Monroe Police said the position of Animal Welfare Officer will be open for city employees for 10 days starting at some point next week. After that, the position will open for the public to apply.

Ouachita Parish Animal Control told KNOE 8 News that Monroe Police are in charge of this case but they stand ready to assist if they're called upon by the police.

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