The Vermilion Parish Animal Control facility, located off of Highway 14 between Abbeville and Kaplan, is almost at capacity again.

Just two short months ago, an animal rescue agency in the northeast was able to work to totally adopt/foster all of the animals housed in the shelter. Every one of the animals was either adopted or fostered and the staff was able to breathe a sigh of relief, if for only a moment.

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Since then, so many animals were surrendered or picked up as stray that the facility is looking like it did a few months ago. KLFY TV10 is reporting the shelter to be near capacity already. The numbers: more than 50 dogs and more than 30 cats.

According to the story, the manager of the Vermilion Parish Animal Control, Debbie Garrot, said that animals are coming into the shelter much faster than they are being adopted or fostered.

Aside from people adopting or fostering dogs and cats from the Vermilion Parish facility, Garrot believes that there is a remedy to the problem: a spay and neuter program.

The average female dog can reproduce twice per year, giving birth to anywhere from 1 to 12 puppies per litter. The average number of puppies per litter is 5 or 6, according to the American Kennel Club.

This means that each female dog can give birth to more than a dozen puppies each year.

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

The average cat can reproduce 2 or 3 times a year and produce an average of 4 or 5 kittens per litter, possibly giving birth to more than a dozen kittens per year.

You can see how, without interference, the cat and dog population can spiral out of control in a short period of time.

Garrot told KLFY that she is hoping that she can find a private donor (or a group of donors) that would be willing to fund a spay and neuter program for Vermilion Parish.

Another issue that Garrot says contributes to the overcrowding issue is rental properties. She says that when people move out of rental units, any pets left behind get sent to the Vermilion Parish Animal Rabies Control Unit.

Many of those pets left behind are not spayed or neutered.

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Politifact estimates that, if the cats stay healthy, one female cat can give birth to 2 - 3 litters per year. Of those litters, if every female reproduces 2 - 3 times per year, after 7 years there would have been born over 6,000 kittens.

The numbers for dogs are similar, though maybe a little lower as they can usually have no more than 2 litters per year.

Still, you can see how the dog and cat population can spiral out of control quickly.

Manja Vitolic via
Manja Vitolic via

It is our hope that Debbie Garrot can find a donor or group of donors to fund the implementation of a spay and neuter program in Vermilion Parish.

A program of this nature could reduce the number of stray or unwanted dogs and cats. In turn, that will alleviate the stress on animal control centers and animal rescue organizations.

If you have the means and want to be a part of helping control the pet population, please contact Debbie Garrot. They are looking for more funding to get the spay/neuter program off the ground.

In the meantime, if you'd like to adopt a cat or a dog from the Vermilion Parish facility, get in touch with Animal Aid for Vermilion Area, as they are the sole agency with access to the animals in that facility.

If you can't foster or adopt, please consider donating food or other supplies. You can call Debbie Garrot for details: 337-652-6148.

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