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St. Tammany Parish’s Animal Services receives prestigious award from national leader in no-kill movement

St. Tammany Parish Government’s Department of Animal Services has been recognized with the Touchstone Award from Best Friends Animal Society, a national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters.

The Department of Animal Services is a member of the Best Friends Network, which comprises more than 3,700 animal shelters, spay/neuter organizations, and other 501(c)(3) public charity rescue groups across the country working to save the lives of dogs and cats in their communities.

“This award is a testament of the hard work and dedication of our Animal Services team over the last two years,” said St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper. “I made a commitment to allocate resources and improve the services offered at our shelter, which has saved the lives of pets in St. Tammany Parish. Please join me in congratulating our staff, volunteers, adopting families and all individuals who helped make Animal Services a ‘no-kill’ shelter!”

Within two years, Animal Services has taken their live release rate from 45% to 97%, meaning that 97% of all animals who come through the shelter are saved.

Together, Best Friends and its network partners are working to achieve no-kill for dogs and cats nationwide by 2025. Reaching this goal will mean that every shelter in America is getting the community support it needs to save every dog and cat who can be saved. It means healing the animals who can be healed, treating behaviors that can be treated, and prioritizing public health, safety, and a high quality of life for both pets and people in our communities.

When a shelter is saving at least 90% of the dogs and cats that comes through its doors, that shelter is designated as no-kill.

St. Tammany Parish Government’s Department of Animal Services was selected for the Touchstone Award based on national shelter data and work from the calendar year 2021. National, state, and shelter level data can be found on the pet lifesaving dashboard published by Best Friends.

"It's incredible to see so many shelters around the nation taking dramatic steps to increase lifesaving,” said Brent Toellner, senior director, national programs for Best Friends Animal Society. “Whether it be through new programming, progressive leadership or better collaborative partnerships, these groups are showing that lifesaving success is possible regardless of a shelter’s size or location.”  

“While our day-to-day efforts to establish life-saving care for our pets are rewarding, this honor is incredibly humbling,” said Robert Bremer, Director of Animal Services. “Our staff have overcome monumental obstacles over the past two years; however, they remained devoted to saving the lives of our animals. We look forward to continuing the life-saving care that we have established for years to come.”

Toellner added: "It's going to take embracing all models of lifesaving, as well as maximizing collaboration with and support of each other to reach our goal of ending the killing of pets in shelters by 2025. But with so much progress being made, getting our nation to a point where it has finally put a stop to the unnecessary deaths of animals in shelters not only seems possible, but inevitable.”

Animal Services provides a safe, clean facility for stray animals and unwanted pets. The shelter offers a wide array of animals for adoption throughout the year. Adoption hours at the Animal Services Shelter are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

About Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to about 355,000. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs all across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 3,700 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. For more information, visit bestfriends.org.

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