Stray dog problem in Livingston Parish leads residents to plead for help
POSTED: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 4:00am
UPDATED: Monday, November 4, 2013 - 2:55pm
Denham Springs, LA (NBC33) — UPDATE: Volunteers from the SPCA of Livingston contacted Gibbs Tuesday and agreed to donate food to him to give to the puppies. Since he specified that he only wants the dogs to go to a no-kill shelter, volunteers could not take them to the Livingston Parish Animal Shelter.
ORIGINAL STORY: Stray dogs are running through a neighborhood near Denham Springs. People have tried to take care of some of them, but two litters of puppies are making that impossible now.
Howard Gibbs lives in the Eastover Estates subdivision off Vincent Road. He and his next-door neighbor look after a dozen puppies. They are less than three weeks old, adorable, playful, everything a puppy should be.
"As much as I like them dogs," Gibbs said, "I can't keep them."
The puppies are strays, born to two different mothers. They come from a group of dogs that has stayed near Gibbs' home for several years.
Eastover Estates has a reputation for being a dumping site for dogs and cats.
"People in this neighborhood, they get these dogs as puppies, and then when they get big, they just let them run loose," Gibbs said.
"And they're starting to get in the habit of running after trucks, and I'm afraid that I'm going to find a dead dog because of somebody speeding through and don't care."
Gibbs and his neighbor feed the dogs and let the puppies stay under their trailers. But he knows they cannot take care of them any longer.
"I don't have the money to go and take them all to the vet. They need shots," Gibbs said. "They're great dogs, but they're street dogs."
That pack is not the only one that concerns Gibbs.
"Behind us, there's 10 more," he noted. "Down the street, they've got five more.
"It's not just happening here, but Livingston Parish needs to do something."
Denham Springs has animal control officers, but since Gibbs lives outside the city limits, they cannot help him. The Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office is responsible for picking up strays when it can, but only if the animals are vicious or abused.
"These dogs don't know what a cage is," Gibbs stated. "They're beautiful dogs. They just need a good home."
Whoever takes the dogs would need to get them looked over by a veterinarian, especially the older dogs.
"They've got mange, they've got fleas, probably heartworm," Gibbs said. "None of them have ever had any vaccinations."
So he is looking for anyone who might be able to take a dog, especially the puppies, to give them the family they've never had.
"As a human being, it just makes me sad," he said. "Makes me really sad."
NBC33 reached out to the SPCA of Livingston, which said it would speak with Gibbs about helping those dogs.
For more information about the SPCA, including volunteer opportunities, visit its website or call (225) 788-6940.