A public meeting is set for Wednesday to discuss a policy shift to end the euthanasia of healthy cats and dogs at the Lafayette Animal Control Center’s shelter.

Lafayette City-Parish Mayor-President Joel Robideaux, who took office in January, has identified shifting to a “no-kill” shelter as one of his first priorities.

“The response in support of the no-kill goal has been tremendous. I have no doubt we will be successful in our efforts with the entire community behind us,” Robideaux said in a written statement.

“No-kill” doesn’t mean the shelter will not euthanize cats and dogs, but it describes a policy of killing only terminally ill or dangerous animals.

The shelter last year euthanized more than 2,700 cats and dogs, according to figures from city-parish government.

Robideaux said he hopes the animal shelter will achieve no-kill status by 2020.

City-parish government is working with Target Zero, a national animal welfare group that focuses on finding homes for animals, helping pet owners who might feel so overwhelmed they give up their animals and developing a robust spay and neuter program.

Representatives from Target Zero will be at Wednesday’s meeting, which is set for 6 p.m. at the Picard Center for Child Development, 200 E. Devalcourt St., Lafayette.

The transition to a no-kill shelter will rely heavily on volunteers and animal welfare groups, and any residents interested in opportunities to help are encouraged to attend next week’s meeting.

City-parish officials also are planning to build a new 20,000-square-foot shelter to replace the aging and crowded 6,000-square-foot shelter on Pont des Mouton Road.

For more information on the upcoming meeting, visit www.lafayettela.gov.