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Dropping Temperatures Trigger Cold Weather Preparations

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From St. Tammany Parish Government:

With predictions from the National Weather Service of sustained freezing temperatures early next week, St. Tammany Parish Government has instituted its severe cold weather protocol.

“Citizens should prepare now for freezing temperatures early next week. Plan to protect your pets, pipes and plants, and ensure elderly neighbors and family members have a safe and effective way to heat their homes,” said Mike Cooper, St. Tammany Parish President. “Citizens should stay tuned to local weather and monitor road conditions as the temperatures drop.”

The National Weather Service forecast indicates the coldest temperatures in our region will occur early Tuesday and could drop into the low twenties. Wintry precipitation remains in the forecast for late Sunday for areas in the state north of St. Tammany, but forecasters remain uncertain as to whether or not it will reach our area.

The Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is in close contact with the National Weather Service and is continuing to monitor the situation. Tammany Utilities advises that in the event of a Hard Freeze Warning, all residents should take the necessary precautions, like wrapping their pipes to prevent pipes from freezing and potentially bursting. The Parish’s Department of Public Works has placed designated employees on notice for activation if the weather dictates, and it becomes necessary to prep roads for freezing conditions.

Residents with elderly individuals in their families are asked to make certain they have a safe and effective way to heat their residences. Residents who know of at-risk families or neighbors that could fall victim to severe cold weather should plan to check on them during the duration of the predicted winter weather to confirm their safety.

The Department of Animal Services asks pet and livestock owners to take precautions to safeguard the wellbeing of animals in their care, including bringing pets indoors and preventing water sources from freezing over for livestock.

Local News

New Leadership Brings New Vision at The St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services

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From St. Tammany Parish Government:

Beth Brewster, new Director of Animal Services

During the first month of her tenure at the St. Tammany Parish Animal Shelter, Beth Brewster has implemented change, laid out her vision, and built upon initiatives that were already in place when she assumed her role.

“Beth is a natural fit for our shelter. She has a deep appreciation for our dedicated employees, she is hands-on, and she brings a fresh perspective to this department,” St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper said. “From increased play and exercise for animals, to changes in hours of operations, to continued partnerships with credible rescue groups and animal welfare non-profits, Beth has created a palpable atmosphere of renewed energy and positivity.”

“We could not have achieved these results without a great team of employees, Dr. Sandy Robbins’ dedication to our animals, and the help of our tremendous partners Wings of Rescue, Big Sky Ranch, and Denise Gutnisky of Mardi Paws,” Brewster said. “I am looking forward to what is yet to come.”

72 adoptions were finalized during the month-long, fee-waived, “Adopt and Donate,” 2020 Clear the Shelters event in August. Shelter partner Mardi Paws lent a paw to this event by giving away a free backpack of Summer Lovin’ swag to everyone who adopted a cat or dog from the shelter during the event. In addition, over 200 animals have been transported through the Wings of Rescue flights in 2020.

As the shelter population decreases through adoptions, fosters, and transports, Brewster has begun the implementation of an enrichment program designed to increase play, socialize dogs in groups as well as individually, increase walking of dogs on leashes, and implement positive reinforcement training methods with treats. Additional pens are currently under construction to provide added exercise resources. The shelter has purchased toys for the kittens, added scratching posts to the adoption room, and purchased feral cat dens for the isolation room.

Future initiatives set to launch include: broadening the volunteer base; expanding the foundation of credible, compassionate rescue programs already in place; purchasing new beds for all shelter animals; educating and more greatly utilizing fosters; and the acquisition of new caging for the isolation room to increase prevention of the transfer of disease.

As part of the continued partnership with Mardi Paws, the Let the Fur Fly fundraising initiative was recently announced and is underway. This effort is a partnership with Wings of Rescue and sponsors, and thus far has secured $25,000 in funding for a late – September flight for the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services, and other high-intake shelters in neighboring parishes out of Top Gun Aviation at the Hammond Regional Airport. Their goal is to fund a second flight during the month of October, as well as secure funding for the purchase of much-needed items for the shelter. Anyone wishing to become a sponsor, or donate may view the link here.

St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper wishes to thank Mardi Paws non-profits for their continued partnership and support, Wings of Rescue, and the top Fur Fly sponsors: Tito’s Handmade Vodka for Dog People, Baldwin Subaru, and The Meraux Foundation; as well as all of the sponsors who helped to fund the upcoming Wings of Rescue transport flight. See the entire list of sponsors here.

President Cooper also wishes to thank St. Tammany Parish citizens for their continued support of the Animal Shelter through fostering, volunteering, and adopting to continue to reduce the shelter population.

Animal Services is open for adoptions from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Learn more at www.stpgov.org/pets. To purchase a bed for donation to the St. Tammany Parish Animal Shelter, click here.

Local Events

‘Clear the Shelters 2020’ Animal Services August Adoption Initiative

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St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper announced exciting news about events taking place during the month of August and beyond for the St. Tammany Parish Animal Shelter. The shelter gratefully welcomes as a partner Mardi Paws, the super krewe for k9s. Together they will host several initiatives to increase adoptions, expand education, and raise awareness about the shelter.  The kick-off to this partnership will be joint participation in Clear the Shelters 2020, a nation-wide, month-long fee-waived “Adopt and Donate” effort starting Saturday, August 1, 2020.  Mardi Paws will lend a paw to this event by giving away a free backpack of Summer Lovin’ swag to everyone who adopts a cat or dog from the shelter during the month of August.

“We are very excited about Clear the Shelters 2020. The expansion of the event to the entire month of August will undoubtedly help many of our animals who need homes. In addition, this event will truly highlight our relationship with Mardi Paws as they work so closely with us to feature the work of our committed shelter employees and to partner with us in finding homes for these animals,” Cooper Said. “Our shelter accepts every animal brought in, and we work every day to place adoptable animals in loving forever homes. This is an opportunity for citizens to help us find homes for these animals. With adoption fees waived for the month of August, we hope to surpass our monthly adoption records.”

“Mardi Paws is all about pups and we’re excited to partner with our St. Tammany Parish open admissions Animal Shelter this summer. They take in thousands of abandoned, surrendered and stray animals each year, they can’t possibly re-home all of these animals without the community’s help,” said Denise Gutnisky, Founder Mardi Paws. “We know this partnership will mean positive outcomes for the animals, and hopefully raise awareness about how the community can make a difference, and this is what we hope to achieve.”

Mardi Paws has donated over 70 crates to Support the recent Wings of Rescue Transport flights, and is currently raising money to fund a fall 2020 flight for St. Tammany and Tangipahoa Parish Shelters. Over 100 animals —including cats and dogs — from the St. Tammany Parish Animal Shelter, on four separate Wings of Rescue flights, have been rehomed in 2020.

This year’s Clear the Shelters event will be virtual. Anyone wishing to adopt can make an appointment with Animal Services by calling 985-809-0183. This year, GreaterGood.org is joining with Clear the Shelters to raise money for shelters around the country. To support the St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services, follow this link.  Money raised for the St. Tammany Parish Animal Shelter will fund costs such as crates for pups for rescue transports; foster supplies such as: crates, bottles, puppy/kitten milk replacer and heating pads; toys; treats; and cat hideaway boxes, to name a few.

The Summer Lovin’ Swag backpack from Mardi Paws includes: Summer Lovin’ T-shirt, three free days of camp + bath for dogs at Camp Bow Wow, Covington, MedVet Leading Specialty Healthcare for Pets pop-up water bowl, Tito’s Vodka for Dog People Bandana, and a Bag of Marsh Dog treats.

To learn more about Clear the Shelters 2020, and to see adoptable pets, visit, www.cleartheshelters.com.

Also, look for these ongoing and upcoming events with Mardi Paws: Mutts to the Rescue— www.MuttsToTheRescue.com; #LendAPaw — donate supplies, or become a sponsor; Bark Week — a Barky & Sharky spoof of the The Discovery Channel’s ever-popular Shark Week to promote shelter adoptions — www.barkweek.org; and Wings of Rescue donation campaign to raise money for a St. Tammany Parish/Tangipahoa Parish Transport.

To date, in 2020, over 451 animals were rehomed through compassionate, credible rescue group partnerships and 432 animals have been adopted directly from the Animal Shelter.  All animals who leave the shelter for adoption have a complete checkup, are spayed or neutered, microchipped, and vaccinated. The Department of Animal Services is open by appointment for anyone wishing to adopt and animal, or foster an animal to adoption. Call (985) 809-0183 to make an appointment, and visit,  www.stpgov.org/pets to view animals available for adoption.

Adoption hours at the Animal Services Shelter are Monday through Saturday from 10AM to 12PM and 1PM to 4PM.

Local Events Local News Non Profit Spotlight

STHS’s Annual Fundraiser “Woofstock” Introduces Mega Pet Adoption Event

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Woofstock 2015 STHS posterJoin the St. Tammany Humane Society for their 26th Annual Spring Festival “Woofstock 2015”, low cost clinic and fundraiser. Admission to the festival is free, and families along with their canine companions are invited to enjoy the many activities for which Woofstock is famous, including canine contests, humane education, children’s entertainment, basket raffles, a Woofstock vendor marketplace, food, drinks and music. This year’s canine contests include: Best Hippie Costume, Best Celebrity Look-alike, Fastest Tail Wag, Cutest Dog, and Best Canine Trick. The winners of each individual contest will then compete for the coveted title of “Best in Show.”

For the past 26 years, our low-cost vaccine clinic allows dogs to receive vaccinations, heartworm tests and microchips, while their owners purchase preventatives and take advantage of other services at deeply discounted rates. The hours for this year’s vet clinic are 10 am to 2 pm.  Supplies are limited.

Part fundraiser, part festival, Woofstock 2015 will be breaking new ground by becoming the Northshore’s first Mega Pet Adoption Event, featuring over 200 adoptable dogs and cats from STHS and other area rescue groups and shelters including St. Tammany Department of Animal Services, St. Francis Animal Sanctuary, Big Sky Ranch, Animal Assistance Lead with Slidell Animal Control, Hokie’s Hounds, Humane Society of Louisiana-Magnolia Chapter, Jefferson SPCA, CATNIP and St. Bernard Animal Services. STHS states this is the first time these organizations have come together for an event of this magnitude, and they have set a combined goal to find permanent homes for at least 100 animals during this event, offering a special low adoption fee of $40.

Woofstock 2015 will be held this Sunday, March 1st from 10 am – 4 pm at the Castine Center in Pelican Park, Mandeville.         www.sthumane.org