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Louisiana legislation aims to end euthanizing healthy pets

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BATON ROUGE - Currently, the state allows animal shelters to administer euthanasia to animals that have not been adopted, but legislation aims to stop this in 2025.

Sydney Poulos adopted Prancer from Companion Animal Alliance to help her anxiety.
 
“I was walking around, looking at all of the dogs, and I saw him again,” Poulos said. “It just felt like fate. And so I was like, I'd like to meet with him. And, then, he came home with me.”
 
Now, Prancer has a new home, and Poulos has a new friend.
 
“He's like giving me a reason to get up and have to go do things,” Poulos said. “And I just love having him around.”
 
But Prancer is one of the lucky animals in Louisiana.
 
Louisiana has the fifth-highest number of euthanasia-related deaths in the nation with 30% no-kill shelters and a 70% save rate, according to Best Friends Animal Society’s State by State No-kill Rankings.

But the Louisiana state legislature initiated plans to boost these rates. Introduced in the 2021 regular session, the legislature passed a resolution to make Louisiana a no-kill state by December 2025.
 
One open-intake shelter in Baton Rouge is already adopting alternative solutions.
 
“Something we're doing outside of the transports is providing resources for families that are considering surrendering their animal when they can no longer care for them,” said CAA Communications and Grants Director, Emily Jackson.
 
CAA is also educating youth about caring for pets and approaching strays while banishing negative stereotypes surrounding aggressive breeds.  
 
“We believe that education is crucial and that ultimately can assist with reducing intake, and that, in turn, should reduce euthanasia,” Jackson said.
 
In the meantime, Poulos hopes she can inspire others to adopt adult pets like Prancer.
 
“Have a plan in place,” Poulos said. “Know the responsibility that it takes to own an animal. And it'll benefit you, and you'll benefit them as well.”
 
While the resolution is official, Louisiana is still a kill state for four more years, so more adoptions will benefit the state in moving forward to a no-kill future.

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