Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Dilapidated cages blamed in shelter dog death

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BATON ROUGE - A pit bull that got out of its cage killed another dog at the East Baton Rouge Parish animal shelter today, and volunteers there are worried more animals are in danger.

Susan Aronson was at the shelter when a worker discovered the dead dog. She says the pens are in such a state of disrepair that dogs are able to get at others in nearby pens.

"These animals are stressed to the hilt being in cages," she said. "Some of them are aggressive dogs in with non-aggressive dogs and they've got to fix these cages and these runs to make sure they are secure."

Debbie Pearson with Companion Animal Alliance, which took over sheltering operations for the parish, said the cages are so dilapidated that dogs are able bite holes in the metal, or use their heads to bash their way out.

"We have a very dilapidated building, it's a very old building in much need of repairs," she said.  "That's why Companion Animal Alliance stepped in to take over operations to be able to raise funds for a new shelter."

Pearson said they've tried to make fixing the pens a priority, but can't get a straight answer from anyone with the city or parish about who actually owns the building and would need to authorize repairs.

"We have... a contractor ready to donate their time to fix the cages, but we're waiting to get approval for it," she told News 2. "It's taken much longer than we would have liked."

Mike Walker, mayor pro tem on the EBR Metro Council, referred News 2 inquiries about the shelter to the parish attorney's office, which was closed for the New Year's holiday and were not available for comment.

Mike Shingleton will have more on the situation tonight at News 2 at 10.


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