Concordia animal shelter gaining more support

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 14, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – Those working to establish a shelter for stray animals in Concordia Parish are proceeding with the project – but they said most of the necessary work is being done behind the scenes.

The committee recently chose a board of directors and is expected to elect officers as soon as its next meeting, now scheduled for the week of April 23, said organizer Donna Maroon.

And the committee is working to set up a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation to operate the shelter. &uot;We’re working on bylaws and articles of incorporation to apply for nontax status,&uot; Maroon said.

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The necessary paperwork should be filled out and submitted soon, but it could take seven or eight months for the federal government to grant the organization tax-exempt status, she said.

&uot;People don’t understand how much paperwork we’ve got to go through,&uot; said Kally Dennig, a member of the board of directors.

Setting up such a corporation is necessary in order to qualify for grants to help build a shelter. Local officials have estimated that a shelter for the parish and the towns of Ferriday, Ridgecrest and Clayton could cost $50,000.

One reason is the Humane Society has detailed specifications for shelter construction, according to information from the Humane Society of the United States.

In March, the Concordia Parish Police Jury voted to allocate $3,000 to help fund construction of an animal shelter to serve the entire parish.

Jurors voted to write officials of Ferriday, Clayton and Ridgecrest, asking those towns to donate $1,000, $500 and $500, respectively, to help build the shelter.

One thing the committee does not yet have is a location for its proposed shelter. Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin has said the town could donate land it owns on Poole Road in unincorporated Concordia Parish as a site for the shelter, but a donation has not yet been made.

Governmental bodies in the parish, most notably the police jury, have discussed for more than two years what to do about the problem of stray animals biting people, turning over trash and creating other problems.

And in November, more than 1,000 people signed petitions in favor of building a parishwide shelter.

&uot;People call me all the time saying they have a stray dog in their yard and they want to know where to take them,&uot; Maroon said. &uot;I&160;tell them we don’t have a place to take them – yet.&uot;

Members of the group’s board of directors include Maroon, Dennig, Mary Sue Hanna, Billy Rucker, Bobby Sheppard, Wanda Wiggins, Joe Bairnsfather, Glen Daniels, Rena Pitts, Kay Goeggle and Chris Vaughan.