Parish seeking land for new animal shelter

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 24, 2001

FERRIDAY, La. – If you have one to one-and-a-half acres of land located between Vidalia and Ferriday that’s not being used for anything, a Concordia Parish nonprofit has a suggestion.

The Concordia Animal Welfare and Rescue Shelter Committee, which is working to establish a shelter in the parish for stray animals, is looking for land on which to place the facility.

&uot;We’re looking for a piece of property that’s centrally located between Ferriday and Vidalia,&uot; said Donna Maroon, an organizer of the committee.

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&uot;It would be great if it had a building already on it&uot; but, just in case, the committee plans to pursue grants to help fund construction of a shelter, Maroon said.

Right now, finding a location for the shelter is the committee’s main priority, other than applying with the government for 501(c)3 nonprofit status so donations can be accepted, she said.

&uot;But finding a location is the main thing, because it’s nice to know what you’ll need to pay for&uot; before accepting donations, Maroon said.

The group has already filed their articles of incorporation with the State of Louisiana. Incorporated status is necessary in order for the committee to apply for grants.

Local officials have estimated that a shelter for the parish and the towns of Ferriday, Ridgecrest and Clayton could cost $50,000.

One reason for the high cost is that the Humane Society has detailed specifications for shelter construction.

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 also 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.

Police jurors and other local officials have discussed for more than three years what to do about the problem of stray animals biting people, turning over trash and creating other problems.

In November 2000, more than 1,000 people signed petitions in favor of a shelter.