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Allegations of abuse at animal shelter

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BATON ROUGE- An investigation by Animal Control alleges the Companion Animal Alliance, who runs the parish's animal shelter, committed some form of animal cruelty while caring for sick and injured dogs & cats. 

The allegations come from employees of the shelter who say at least two dogs weren't euthanized quickly enough and instead left in pain.

The report says in one case, a dog covered in mange was allowed to sit in a cage without adequate food or water for days before it was destroyed.

Kim Sherlaw, the director of the Companion Animal Alliance, said those allegations aren't true.

"That puppy came in and was reported to have a mange condition, [it] was in good shape other than the skin," said Sherlaw. "We wanted to verify the impound record ticket with that puppy, the next day, the very next day, the puppy was always made comfortable through veterinary observation, and the puppy was euthanized the very next day."

Animal Control Director Hilton Cole, who oversaw the investigation, says the problems with CAA could stem from a lack of expertise at the board level and a lack of communication between management and employees.

"There was no intentional cruelty that we could find, there was a lack of supervision on the board's behalf, there was a lack of management expertise, there was a lack of the realization that this is an open intake animal shelter, and it's very difficult to run it," said Cole.

Sherlaw said she plans to improve communication with employees as changes are made within the shelter.


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