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September 30, 2014
Charity is one of the dogs cared for by 4 Paws Rescue. According to the ASPCA, 7.6 million companion animals enter shelters each year.

Charity is one of the dogs cared for by 4 Paws Rescue. According to the ASPCA, 7.6 million companion animals enter shelters each year. – Photos by Jaclyn Perry

IAN EDWARDS
Staff Reporter

Louisiana Tech’s campus was not the only place to have seen an influx of new faces in the past month.

 

Because of the increase in numbers of Tech students, 4 Paws Rescue, Inc. has also seen a jump in pet housing numbers, and they are finding themselves short on space to accommodate new arrivals.
Sue Martin, President and Director of 4 Paws, said the facility usually sees a population increase during the interval of time between quarters.
“We have noticed at the end of quarters that we have a very large influx of animals,” Martin said.
Martin said she connects the arrival of new animals at 4 Paws with the arrival of new college students.
“Because so many of our new arrivals are smaller dogs, we are led to believe that they were once owned by newer students who may have had pets at home,” she said. “Chances are, their new living arrangements do not allow pets, so they no longer have a place to stay.”
Gladys Meredith, a caretaker at 4 Paws, said the facility was over its limit.
“We are comfortable with 50 dogs,” Meredith said. “Right now, we are housing upwards of 80, and it costs about $400 a month to take care of just one dog. However, we can’t turn any animal away, even if it begins to get tough to manage at times.”

Laura Lefevour, a junior psychology major, spends her spare time volunteering for 4 Paws Rescue.

Laura Lefevour, a junior psychology major, spends her spare time volunteering for 4 Paws Rescue.

 

Martin said 4 Paws has a surrender system in place, which allows owners to turn their pets over to the facility if they can no longer care for them. However, she also said some people tend to panic and just leave their pets.
“We have found quite a few small dogs in our driveway and, for the second time this month, we have found a dog tied to our mailbox,” Martin said. “Abandoning an animal is considered abuse, which is a felony crime. Sadly, I have found that if people want to get rid of an animal, they will.”
Martin said she encourages students to always make informed decisions regarding their pets.
“Owning a pet is essentially the same as having a child,” she said. “You’ll have to feed them, play with them and ensure they get proper veterinary care.”
Kailee Hervey adopted a dog from 4 Paws one year ago.
Hervey, a sophomore pre veterinary medicine major, agrees with Martin about the responsibility factor.
“It’s something that you definitely have to have time for, especially when the dogs previously lived in a shelter,” Hervey said. “Puppies really do require the same amount of care that babies do.”
Hervey said the reward of caring for a puppy far outweighed the more tedious tasks of dog training.
“My last residence actually did not allow pets,” she said. “Since I couldn’t really bring her outside, I had to work harder to feed her, play with her and clean up after her. I feel like the bond between us grew, though, and I’d do it all again.”
Martin said the college students who take interest in 4 Paws make all the difference.
“We absolutely love the students, from both Tech and Grambling,” she said. “They make up the core of our volunteer workers, and without them, we would not be able to continue operating as we have.”
Email comments to ije001@latech.edu.

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