WPSO Animal Control experiencing increase in animal complaint calls

By Paige Nash

The Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office has a parish-wide animal control division and they have been extremely busy this last month. They have had Deputy David Robinson who is over the program covering the most northern part of the parish all the way to the southern end.  

Since January 1 they had 97 calls regarding dogs at large, 89 calls about free-ranging livestock, 21 cases of cruelty to animals and over 400 miscellaneous calls over this period. 

Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker said, “When we first started doing this it was just going to be dogs and cats, but with all the cows and horses getting out and causing possible safety issues on the roadways, it has turned into something a lot bigger than we originally thought.” 

At Tuesday’s Police Jury meeting, Parker mentioned a crucial need for hiring someone to help Deputy Robinson with this program, since he is the only one currently taking these calls. 

“This is something I will have to revisit when next year rolls around and we are discussing our budget again. I am thinking we maybe could start with a part-time person to help out,” said Parker.  

This animal control program is operated under the sheriff’s office and separate from the animal services offered by City of Minden, Springhill and the other municipalities in our parish.  

“This is a big operation that we are happy to provide the citizens. The city has their own animal control, and we have a separate one that is parish-wide, but we are always willing to help other municipalities if they need it.” 

Parker has been intent on helping to control the issues the parish has been experiencing with the increase of animal complaint calls. Throughout the entire parish, Minden is currently the only city with an animal control officer. Deputy Robinson was brought on board from Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center in 2020, undergoing training in this particular area and has proven to be a great asset to the department.  

“He cares about the program and the animals. It takes a special person to do this job,” said Parker. 

A future goal for the sheriff’s office is to eventually establish an Animal Shelter at Camp Minden.