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Stray dog debates spark in Livingston

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LIVINGSTON - While Livingston Parish officials seek ways to fund a parish-wide animal control center, the Humane Society feels the parish should do a better job with stray dogs.

Right now the Livingston Parish Animal Shelter can only take in stray dogs from the town of Livingston. But there's been a push to find funds for a parish-wide, full-service animal shelter.

"The parish is really behind it. They want it to happen. It's just a matter of finding the funding," said animal shelter assistant Desiree Green.

Parish President Layton Ricks says there are a few options to fund the shelter.

"One of the ways is to ask for a tax. I don't think the people in the parish would support that. Also there's also different types of millages to come up with, and I don't know that they would support that either," said Ricks.

The Humane Society says the residents have nowhere to bring stray dogs, and the parish is mandated by law to take the strays in from citizens.

"If you are a fully operational, functional facility it is the law, absolutely. But we're not, so we don't fall under that guideline in my opinion at this particular time," said Ricks.

"Our position is that it is an animal control facility and they shall intake any of those animals," said Humane Society investigator Beau Gast.

Currently the Livingston Parish Sherriff's Office is tasked with handling any case that sends a dog to the animal shelter. Officals say opening a full-service animal control center would free up those deputies. Ricks says a fully-functioning animal control center would cost the parish $700,000 a year.


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