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Last animal shelter in Ascension facing possible closure, considering tax for funding

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ASCENSION PARISH - Cara's House, the only remaining animal shelter in Ascension Parish, will be in trouble if they are not able to get additional funding. According to officials from the animal shelter, they would have to shut down by the end of the year if more money is not made available for their services.

Back in 2015, the non-profit took over the parish's animal shelter in Sorrento, but the funding, which currently comes out of the parish's budget, did not expand with additional services.

“In the summer months, we take in roughly 73 animals a week. So the demand has just grown, and our budget from the general fund just hasn't been able to keep up,” said Jolie Culpepper, vice president of CARA’s House.

The funding is also for the actual no-kill facility, which only holds about 200 animals and is almost always at capacity.

According to Culpepper, the facility needs to double that capacity in order to handle the more than 3500 animals it takes in each year. And she said they already have plans for a new building.

“We transport them to the east, to the north, anywhere but here,” said Culpepper. “Just because the record number of animals that are coming in far out weighs the number of animals we could adopt out to the public."

Culpepper expects some opposition to the tax, but without more money, operations at the animal shelter will go under.

"We have shown over the past four years, since we took over for the animal shelter, exactly how much money we can save and how much more we can do with the money we do get.”

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