Shelter Spotlight: Companion Animal Alliance of Baton Rouge

by ELYSIAN Magazine

Companion Animal Alliance formed in 2010 to increase the save rate of animals in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, community – a rate that has increased from 20 percent in 2010 to 89 percent annually today. Working in partnership with the East Baton Rouge City-Parish, Companion Animal Alliance operates the parish’s open-intake shelter and cares for nearly 9,500 animals each year, including cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, wildlife, and exotic animals.

The alliance’s mission includes reducing the number of animals entering the shelter by providing resources to pet owners and increasing spay/neuter services; treating animals humanely while they are in the shelter’s care by guaranteeing strong medical care and providing socialization opportunities; finding forever homes, foster homes or rescues for lost or abandoned animals by making information on adoptable animals easily accessible, coordinating volunteers and pet transports, and maintaining strong relationships with local rescue organizations; and returning lost pets to their families by holding lost pets for as long as possible and reviewing microchipped information to make contact with the owner, if possible.

Companion Animal Alliance’s agreement with the East Baton Rouge Parish includes caring for animals during emergencies. In 2021, the alliance provided temporary homes for pets evacuating from Hurricane Ida – many of whom belonged to people living in shelters who had no place to take their pets. Companion Animal Alliance was able to place 70 dogs and one bunny in foster homes in less than 48 hours.

“We are beyond grateful for the families that generously offered up their homes to our pets to safely ride out the storm, and we are glad CAA was prepared enough to take on pets that needed us the most,” board Chairwoman Christel Slaughter said in the organization’s most recent annual report.

The alliance has found success in its Pets for Life Baton Rouge program, which provides free animal care, services and information directly to communities lacking access to affordable veterinary care. With approximately 38 percent of Baton Rouge residents living below poverty, this program removes barriers to resources for those facing socio-economic and geographic challenges. The Pets for Life Baton Rouge program is one way Companion Animal Alliance fights for racial and economic justice and weaves itself into the fabric of a community.

Companion Animal Alliance has also seen promising results with its Trap-Neuter-Release program, held in conjunction with Spay Baton Rouge and the Feral Cat Coalition. So far, more than 4,000 cats have been spayed or neutered and returned to their communities.

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Sponsor: Ann and Jimmy Hunt /

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