Plans for new animal shelter in Ouachita Parish

Save our Shelter Pets of Ouachita Parish broke ground on the donated property in West Monroe back in June of 2021, but there’s no sign of construction yet.
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 7:21 PM CDT
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WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Concerns grow over getting a new animal shelter in Ouachita Parish. The Ouachita Parish Police Jury said the area has outgrown the current one but finding the right location to build a new facility has become a challenge.

Meanwhile, Save Our Shelter Pets of Ouachita, also known as SOS, has been working with the police jury to put a new shelter on the map. It’s being funded through donations and it could work in conjunction with the parish’s facility, but they’ve had challenges too. Theirs is not a location problem but a financial one. After breaking ground on the donated property in West Monroe back in June of 2021, there’s been no sign of construction.

“The reason for the delay is that we were expecting, highly-anticipated state capital layout funding, that did not come through, and so that was one blow, Covid, in general, slowed us down, and as a result of Covid, the cost of building materials almost doubled,” said the president of SOS, Joan Hampton.

Despite the speedbumps, Hampton said, for now, they plan to start construction next spring at Frost Commercial Drive. The parish’s animal control facility would continue to operate at its current location on Well Road for now.

“The plan would be to start building at that facility and maintain the animal control facility at its existing location operated by the police jury and that at some point in the future, our agreement with them states they will be responsible for building an animal control facility,” said Hampton.

For their part, Police Jury President Shane Smiley said the new location is not necessarily set in stone for the animal control side of things.

“If we were able to build a new shelter, we would want to look at another location, whether it be the location that the SOS has or some other location that we can all agree on, that would have better accessibility, better visibility, and more green space for people who are wanting to adopt animals,” said Smiley.

Ideally, they would like the shelter and intake facility at the same location. Smiley said recently, that the jury has spoken about possibly needing more space than the four acres at Frost Commercial Dr.

It’s important to note, that once the shelter is built by SOS, it will be gifted to the police jury to run and maintain.

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