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Logo for West Feliciana Animal Humane Society

The seventh annual Wags & Whiskers Gala will be held at Hemingbough just south of St. Francisville from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. July 27. This is the West Feliciana Animal Humane Society’s primary fundraiser.

Tickets may be purchased online at bontempstix.com or in person at the Bank of St. Francisville. Price is $25 a ticket.

The gala offers finger foods and a cash bar, dancing to music by the Delta Drifters, a silent auction, plus bargains on gift cards and wine, a Smooch a Pooch booth, and a parade of prospective pets from the shelter, a release said.

Located at 9946 West Feliciana Parkway off U.S. 61 in St. Francisville, the James L. “Bo” Bryant Animal Shelter opened in the summer 2012, replacing a makeshift pound attached to the parish jail. Today the shelter strives to be no-kill: Of the 404 dogs and cats taken in during 2018, 331 were adopted and 27 died of natural causes or had to be euthanized due to severe life-threatening medical issues or aggression, the release said.

The shelter volunteers and staff have seen 2,055 dogs and cats (plus the occasional horse or pig) pass through its kennels since computerized record-keeping began in 2014, and of that number, permanent homes were found for 1,573. Nearly 300 lost animals have been returned to owners, the release said.

Shelter programs

  • The shelter has foster programs, including Forever Foster, designed to place older animals, some with medical problems, in homes by providing free vet care and medication.

  • The Trap, Neuter, Return program, an attempt to reduce pet overpopulation in the community, has allowed the trapping and fixing of more than 65 feral cats by dedicated local vets for no charge in exchange for a promise to return the cats to their usual location and keep feeding them.

  • Shelter personnel have established relationships outside the parish, so some dogs are flown to the Northeast; others are screened for potential training as service dogs.
  • Volunteers include photographers, many of them professionals, whose portraits attract prospective families, even a couple from California who adopted Ole Red, a speckled hound dog whose image led them to fall in love and fly to Louisiana to pick him up and drive him to the West Coast. And Rowdy, a brindle Catahoula mix turned school therapy dog is the current “cover girl” for the “Dog Days of Summer” issue of Baton Rouge’s social commentator In-Register magazine.

The shelter welcomes donations and volunteers. The news release lists opportunities including the Amazon Smile Wish-List, Guardian Angel Program (tax-deductible financial assistance for various services), grant writers and fundraisers, carpenters, photographers and seamstresses.

Adoption fees, which include spaying and shots, are $75 for a dog, $50 for a cat, with discounts for more than one. Diamonds in the Ruff dogs are $50. Applications are available online or at the shelter. For information, contact the West Feliciana Animal Humane Society shelter at (225) 635-5801 or email wfahsociety@gmail.com. Visit the website at www.wfahs.org or the group's Facebook page. Visits can be made from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily Monday through Friday. On Sundays, the hours are 9 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.