RINGGOLD, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Bienville Parish leaders say the parish can not afford to house stray or dangerous animals which is why 26 dogs in the village of Ringgold became an unmanageable nuisance.
After the mauling of two men on Pine Street, four people were arrested after one of those men’s remains were found. These incidents have raised the question of why the parish has no animal control facility.
One reason Bienville Parish Police Jury Secretary Rodney Warren gives is that the parish is poor, he says twenty-six percent live below the poverty level, so there just aren’t the funds available and he doesn’t feel voters would support a new tax.
Jeff Dorson with the Louisiana Humane Society sees it differently telling us that they received many calls for help from Bienville Parish residents and after Donovan Brooks’ death, now is the time to rally people to educate voters on why this is important. If no animal control is put in place he thinks more people could be injured, because local police and the sheriff have no place to put a dangerous dog or even a neglected one.
Warren did want to point out that Bienville is not alone and many neighboring parishes have no animal control either.
The Humane Society says it is just a fact that animals rank low on the scale of importance when it comes to parish governments.
The Police Jury said that Bienville Parish Sheriff John Ballance could himself establish an animal shelter for the parish, they say he has the power to do that and the power to get something on the ballot to support it. We reached out to Ballance but have not received a response.
For now, the police jury has a plan, the secretary says he will introduce a plan at the jury meeting to retain a veterinarian from a neighboring parish to hold vicious dogs for the parish and if ordered euthanize them. But it only covers vicious dogs in the parish, not in city limits, although he said they would be willing to work with cities.
The Humane Society will continue to push for shelters in parishes without them. Leaders in Bienville Parish say they are willing to work with any entities who can help.