The Humane Society of Louisiana
  E.J. Donaldson
 Animal Sanctuary

Breaking News & Stories

Jeff Dorson on Louisiana Newsmaker on 7/6/2015

Lemon-AID Day for Animals

Pet owners at Lafreniere Park have something to smile about

Winnsboro dog owner to be charged with animal cruelty

Humane Society of Louisiana reminds pet owners to keep safety in mind

Restaurant news: Oxalis debuts late-night menu, Dotís Diner hosts food drive to benefit Humane Society

Humane Society Issues Statewide Heat Advisory Warning for Pets

Animal groups remind pet owners to keep pets cool

Birds disappearing from Metairie canal, Humane Society says

Have you noticed hundreds of birds missing from Metairie canals?


Media Alert: For Immediate Use
Contact Person: Jeff Dorson, HSL Director, 901-268-4432

Humane Society of Louisiana Issues Statewide Heat Warning for Pets.
One Fatality Recorded in Winn Parish.

(New Orleans, LA) - With temperatures in the mid- to high 90s for the past few days, the Humane Society of Louisiana is urging all pet owners to provide sufficient shade, shelter, or a cool inside area for their companion animals. The group is receiving a high number of reports of animals, especially dogs, tied out in the direct sunlight, which can prove to be fatal.

On Monday, July 27, 2015, the group received one report of a dog staked out for long periods of time in the direct sunlight on the 900 block of Hickory Avenue in Winnsboro, in Winn Parish. Neighbors noticed that the dog, a gray pit bull, was staked out for several days without any shade or water. Both the Winnsboro City Police and the local animal control officer were called to the scene. Unfortunately, before the dog could be removed, it had expired from heat stroke. The owners, who were not home at the time the officers arrived at the scene, will be charged with cruelty to animals, according the Winnsboro Chief of Police, George Wilhite.

"Imagine wearing a fur coat, tied up in a front, side, or back yard without any shade during these hot summer days. Couple that with no access to water, and it's easy to see how dogs or other animals can die from heat," says Jeff Dorson, HSL Director.

The Humane Society reminds pet owners what symptoms to look for if a dog has been exposed to high temperatures, otherwise known as hyperthermia (as opposed to "hypothermia"). Look for excessive panting, excessive drooling, rapid heart rate, shock, tremors, seizures, bright red tongue and pale gums, and sudden and acute kidney failure.

Quick actions can often save the life of a dog. When you notice your dog exhibiting any of the aforementioned symptoms, quickly do the following:

  • remove your dog from the heat
  • give it cool water and cool him or her down with a garden hose (do not submerge him or her in water or try to "ice" the dog down. The sudden change in temperature may cause more damage)
  • you many also cool him or her down with damp towels
  • apply rubbing alcohol to the pads of the dog's paws (this can safely release some of the built-up heat in the dog's body)
  • transport the dog to a veterinarian in an air-conditioned vehicle for a check-up.



Media Alert: For Immediate Use
Contact Person: Jeff Dorson, HSL Director, 901-268-4432

Humane Society: Pets Deserve Extra Care During Long Summer Months

(New Orleans, LA) - The Humane Society of Louisiana is urging pet owners locally and around the state to pamper their pets during the long 'Dog Days of Summer.' The group has recently received an increase in the number of complaints they usually receive regarding dogs staked out in the backyard on short chains. With temperatures often exceeding 90 degrees in July and August, the Humane Society would like pet owners to provide extra care for their dogs and other outdoor pets.

"We continue to see and receive reports of lots of dogs staked out in the backyards or tied to side fences on short chains and leads. Often these dogs become what we call 'forgotten backyard dogs.' Family members tend to stop socializing with them, walking them or bringing them inside, so they are relegated to a life lived on a short chain, often in the very back part of the property. Apart from the physical deprivations they often face of not getting enough food, water or space to run around, these 'backyard dogs' also suffer mentally and emotionally, since they rarely get the socialization they crave from their owners. Often, these backyard dogs are starving physically for lack of adequate food and emotionally from lack of social stimuli."says Jeff Dorson, HSL Director.

Terrebone, Jefferson and Orleans parishes have ordinances that prohibit the tethering of dog as the primary means of confinement, but the law is often ignored by pet owners.

The group has volunteers locally around the state who regularly respond to complaints and many of them spend time educating pet owners on the basic tenants of pet care. The group also hosts cruelty investigation workshops around the state with other agencies, to train other humane societies, concerned citizens and law enforcement officials what constitutes cruelty, how to build a criminal case for prosecution and ways one can intervene to improve the living conditions of animals.

Mr. Dorson is available for interviews though out the day. The photos attached were taken from their complaint files and some were taken as recently as this week. Mr. Dorson can be reached by calling 901-268-4432.

Established in 1988, the Humane Society of Louisiana is one of the state's largest animal advocacy organizations and operates the 47 acre no kill sanctuary in Mt. Hermon, Louisiana. For more information, visit their website at or call 1-888-6-humane.





Butterbean at the vet's office with Dr. Riedel.
The sweet girl is doing very well but has heart worms and will need to undergo treatment.

Last week, the story of a dog allegedly abandoned in Slidell went viral. Upon further investigation, we found that that the dog, Butterbean, was not abandoned in the classic sense; she had instead been abandoned as a puppy and had been living primarily at large in a nearby neighborhood for over 6 years. It's miraculous that she survived for so long running in highway traffic!

'We're delighted that this story will have a happy ending," said Dorson.

While we don't have law enforcement powers, we work with animal control agencies to help dogs like Butterbean. In this case, the dog's 'owner', aware of the national publicity surrounding the case, at first said she intended to keep the dog tethered outside. When St. Tammany Animal Control issued a warning however, she agreed to release the dog for cash, rather than provide a shelter or vet care for the dog.

"We certainly don't like to reward this kind of behavior, but sometimes it simply takes too long for cases to move through the legal system," said Dorson, "Our first concern was Butterbean's safety. We were convinced she could be let loose again to run in traffic at any time, and we might miss our opportunity to intervene." Humane Society donors stepped forward to provide $400 to secure the dog's release.

The 'owners' have also signed an agreement not to chain or tether any animal in future or allow them to roam at large," Dorson says. By claiming ownership, the family in question may still be held accountable for violating several ordinances relating to the dog's behavior.

Several people have already come forward wanting to adopt Butterbean and give her a new life, where she will live like part of the family. Applicants will be interviewed to find the perfect home.

Dorson says that Butterbean's story can help shed light on the fact that countless thousands of Louisiana dogs are chained, abandoned or are otherwise neglected each year. The situation is compounded by the fact that half of the state's parishes are without shelters and/or animal control agencies. To help reach more deserving dogs in need, we're launching a 'Butterbean Buddies' campaign.

"If only a handful of people concerned about Butterbean pitched in to help, we could save thousands of dogs here in Louisiana," Dorson says. Donors to the group's 'Butterbean Buddies' year-long campaign will receive stories by email or mail highlighting stories of other rescued Louisiana dogs.

Donations of any size are encouraged. "Typically, it costs us about $500 to rescue, vet and neuter a homeless dog, including the cost of heartworm treatment. If we house, feed, care for and place the dog through our our cross-country adoption program, TransPUPtation, we're looking at another $500 per dog," Dorson says.

"We'd love to save 500 dogs or more through our Butterbean Buddies during the next year," says Dorson. The Humane Society of Louisiana helps animals through cruelty cases and through its TransPUPtation program, which rescues dogs from kill-shelters and helps place them through cross-country adoptions. They are working to expand their new Enoch J. Donaldson Animal Sanctuary, which is the state's largest no-kil refuge.

Donors may give to the 'Butterbean's Buddies' HERE or by sending a check to: Humane Society of Louisiana, PO Box 740321, New Orleans, LA 70174.