All of us have seen a neglected pet at one time or another. The dogs that look too thin or sick, have no shelter in the cold or scorching weather, or no food or water present.

What do you do?

You can call the parish animal control shelter and report what you see, giving the exact address and your concerns. The complainant always remains anonymous.

An animal control officer will go to the address to see what’s going on with the pet. If a problem exists, the pet owner is told what the law requires.

A follow-up visit is done, and if the pet owner is not compliant, the dog can be seized.

But do we really want another pet to go to an already overcrowded shelter system?

A compassionate option is to leave a big bag of food on the porch (if you don’t have the courage to knock on the door).

Place a note with your first name and phone number, stating that you will be glad to help with their pet if they will let you.

These days many people are so financially strapped that they must make hard choices on what they can afford just to survive.

This time of the year, we remember to give thanks for what we have.

There is nothing more rewarding than doing for others, particularly when it involves a helpless animal.

Charlotte Bass Lilly is CEO of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a 501c3 nonprofit. ARNO operates a volunteer-based no-kill shelter in the Elmwood Industrial section of Jefferson Parish. For more information, go to