Stella York of Denham Springs will soon start working again, but before she does, there’s still one item of business she needs to attend to.
She has to — she must — find a new companion for 3-year-old Roo.
“She’s my anxiety medicine,” York said, motioning to the white chihuahua mix running around her legs. “I’m going back to work soon, so I really want to find her a friend so she won’t be lonely without me.”
This weekend, Roo, whom York’s mother rescued from South Korea, got to meet a few prospective playmates.
The Denham Springs Animal Shelter (DSAS) put on its weekly “Pet Adoption Event” for the final time at Team Toyota off O’Neal Lane in Baton Rouge on Saturday, June 17.
DSAS director Rachel Boutwell was there along with staff members Amy Zachary and Brittany Russell, who all arrived a little before 11 a.m. to set up the adoption day.
Four dogs were available for adoption: Nala, a five-month-old black labrador mix; Henry, a six-month-old black labrador mix with a white chest; Gidget, a 2-year-old charcoal schnauzer; and, the youngest of the group, eight-week-old Axel, a blonde retriever-labrador mix with a white stripe down his nose.
But Nala, Henry, Gidget and Axel aren’t the only animals the DSAS has up for adoption.
The animal shelter, located at 600 Bowman St. just off River Road in Denham Springs, houses about 45 dogs and just as many cats, though most of those are in litters.
Almost all of the animals are available for adoption, with the only exception being the ones too young to be spayed and neutered.
The DSAS has a partnership with PetAid, which provides a low-cost spay and neuter program for the DSAS — as well as the general public — through the Baton Rouge Spay and Neuter Clinic since Livingston Parish doesn’t have a parish-wide animal control service.
Boutwell joked that she and her staff have mostly brought kittens in recent weeks.
“It’s kitten season right now,” Boutwell said, “so you can call any animal shelter anywhere, and there will be kittens everywhere.”
The DSAS’s “Pet Adoption Event” has seen major upheaval since the Great Flood of 2016, but things appear to be heading back toward some semblance of normalcy after a period of scrambling.
The Petco in Denham Springs, where the DSAS normally held its adoption days, had to undergo construction following the historic flood last August, forcing DSAS to bring their animals to the Petco in Baton Rouge — a 30-minute drive as opposed to a 10-minute drive — until June 10.
But Boutwell said she was grateful for Petco’s willingness to accommodate them in their need, and Petco wasn’t the only business to step in.
Team Toyota on O’Neal Lane in Baton Rouge contacted DSAS a few months back wanting to do something to help the shelter, agreeing to host the adoption days one Saturday each month for four months.
The car dealership also agreed to chip in financial support. Boutwell said that anytime someone purchases a car, Team Toyota will ask that person if he or she would like to make a donation to DSAS, which the dealership will match up to $500.
But after Petco’s grand reopening in Denham Springs last week, the DSAS adoption days are back where they started, with a new and improved venue for the animals.
And as long as she keeps looking, York believe she’ll find the right playmate for Roo.
“I know we’ll get the right one eventually,” York said as an energetic Roo ran in circles. “Just got to keep searching.”
The Denham Springs Animal Shelter is located at 600 Bowman St. just off River Road in Denham Springs and is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Adoption fee is $60, and the pets will be current with age-appropriate vaccinations and worming. They’ll also have been given flea medicine and spayed/neutered before leaving the shelter.