KLFY News Ten reported the story of Sasha, Pepper and Ringo on Friday, March 7, when it was discovered the three dogs were euthanized by the Vermilion Parish Rabies Animal Control; even though a rescue organization was in route to rescue them.
A rescue, called CARA out of Ascension Parish called to begin paperwork on the animals at 11:57 a.m., Thursday morning, but were told that the animals were “unavailable.” Since then, the story has received major attention from rescue groups, concerned citizens and the Vermilion Parish Police Jury.
On the Animal Aid For Vermilion Area's Facebook page, content creators are calling for change, hoping to spread the word about an online petition and draw support of the community to join CARA and AAVA at the Vermilion Parish Police Jury, 208 South State Street, Abbeville, meeting Wednesday night
The online petition on change.org calls for change at the shelter after the “after the unnecessary killing of Sasha, Pepper and Ringo.” It further reads, “We support the following changes which could be made immediately and with very little or no cost.”
Addressed to Billy Noegel, Public Works of the parish, it states the following issue community members wish to have addresses.
“1. ALL animals to be posted on the VPRAC Facebook page with intake date irregardless of breed unless they have shown documented signs of aggression.
2. A weekly e-list to be posted on the VPRAC Facebook page so people can be informed of exactly which animals are in danger and exactly how long they have to aid in networking and decreasing the need to kill healthy animals. No euthanization of animals unless shelter is at capacity.
3. Volunteers to be allowed to help with photographing animals and temperament testing to help with networking. This will also improve the quality of life of the animals in the shelter as they will get much needed socialization.
4. Volunteers to be allowed to help with the running of the Facebook page in order to not place additional workload on the staff.
5. Better communication with approved rescues. Many emails from rescues are not answered in a timely manner.
6. Faster approval of rescues. Many rescues send in their 501c(3) paperwork and never receive approval.
7. Allowing approved rescues to tag animals to be saved within 48 hours without them having to be placed in one of the few safe kennels. “
The petition currently has over 5,000 supporters and states “'recent figures received from your office indicated 1,425 animals were euthanized.” The petition claims over 1,300 animals were never posted for rescue. Noegel said in a phone interview that he and attorney for the police jury, Paul Moresi, will prepare a statement after Wednesday's meeting to respond to all allegations. He said the statement should be released to the press soon after.
Moresi commented on the pending issue. “The animals were euthanized according to proper protocol.” He explained all animals are only to be kept at the shelter for four days, but that Sasha, Pepper and Ringo were kept for over 30 days each.
“A court order advises us to euthanize animals to control over-crowding,” Moresi explained over the phone.
Although not involved in day to day operations at the VPRAC, he said “Animals are sometimes euthanized according to the needs of the shelter and in anticipation of more animals arriving.”