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Saving pets is a calling

by Joshua Specht

Lumberjack Rescue needs volunteers

Maria Gonzalez
Special to the Minden Press-Herald

SPRINGHILL – Lumberjack Rescue has been saving animals in Webster Parish and surrounding areas since 2011. Now, they are pleading with the community to get more involved.

“Dogs are abandoned for several different reasons,” said Erica Dawn Leopard, Lumberjack Rescue manager. “I’ve heard everything from ‘It’s no longer a puppy and not cute anymore’ to more legitimate reasons, like the owner has health issues and can no longer take care of it.”

Leopard said the biggest problem, however, is a lack of “follow through.” People start out with the best of intentions, but as the dog grows and requires more attention it becomes too much of a responsibility, she said.

“People should do more research before getting a pet of any kind,” said Leopard. “Think about the costs, not just financial, but animals are very time consuming. They want to be loved on just like people do. And if you believe your ready for a pet, know your options afterwards. The spay and neuter programs, training classes, boarding options if you’re a traveler. Just be prepared.”

Leopard is currently caring for eight bottle-fed pups that were left roadside outside of Webster Parish. In addition, she has four more in her own home, that she just recently weaned off the bottle.

All of this could have been prevented by making use of the Spay and Neuter Program, Leopard said
“She (Erica) has a reputation for being a ‘large breed bottle mama’”, said Lumberjack Rescue’s founder, Justin Thomas. “Nobody really likes to deal with the larger breeds, because it’s harder and makes for a much bigger and longer commitment. But, she’s always willing to take it on. And her track record for dealing with bottle fed pups and Parvo cases, it’s outstanding!”

Thomas said the rescue has only four workers, and is in desperate need of volunteers.

“It gets overwhelming at times,” Leopard said, “Donations are great, very much appreciated, but we need more hands.”

Leopard said volunteers don’t have to be people with “free time.” She said, ”People who are having to do community service [as a legal requirement.] A lot of them probably aren’t even aware, but this counts for them. They can come help clean or feed. We need their time.”

Aside from pet care, Lumberjack Rescue also deals with the placement of animals into new “forever homes”.
Adopting a pet from the rescue is a big deal to the workers who have tended to them, and the animals themselves, Leopard said.

“A rehomed dog will be so grateful to receive love and care, simply because they know what it’s like to be ignored and unloved.” she said.. “You’re saving a life when you choose to adopt from us. A second hand animal can make a first class pet!”

For more information on how to adopt, or how you can volunteer your time, please go to www.lumberjackrescue.com, visit their Facebook page, or call 318-578-7800.

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