Evaluation of Precious Souls Canine Rescue and Sanctuary for Louisiana Pet Pantry
On August 1, 2015, Nick Claghorn (a board member for Louisiana Pet Pantry) and Susan Stringer (a volunteer with Louisiana Pet Pantry) did a site visit at Precious Souls Canine Rescue and Sanctuary. This is a 501c3 organization with Diania Laubacher as president. Board member are Dee Christina (vice president), Allison Hawkins (treasurer), Michelle Guilbeau (secretary), and Tammy Bordelon (member at large).
Precious Souls has 26 dogs in their program. Most are acquired from kill shelters but some come from other rescue groups or from owner surrenders. There is only one feline which is Diania’s personal feral cat. Precious Souls’ mission is to “provide a loving, compassionate home for senior dogs, supportive care for handicapped dogs, and a sanctuary for terminally ill dogs . . . for the duration of their lives.” Adoption is possible if the right family comes along but Diania will keep all her rescues for life if necessary. There are 8 dogs on her website so far but she is still building and adding to it. It is a rare occasion to meet someone with such a huge heart for handicapped, elderly, and/or “hospice” dogs. Dogs for adoption can be found on their website or on Facebook but a stringer adoption process is in place. No dogs are taken to adoption days at other locations since they are mostly special needs dogs. If someone is interested in adopting, Diania makes a detailed inquiry about their interest and pet history. Then a vet check is done, a home visit individually just from Diania, then a home visit with the dog to be adopted. If all seems well, she gives them a trial placement. If successful, a contract is signed.
The organization and cleanliness of her home housing 26 dogs was truly amazing. The kennels were meticulously placed for optimal comfort of the dogs and there was absolutely not foul odor at all. Bedding was immaculately clean even though she did not know we were coming and water bowls and toys were delightfully apparent. All canines live indoors in . . . than 3 hours at a time if Diania has to leave for any reason. None of the dogs are heartworm positive (she gives Trifexis or Advantage Multi) except for the dog who is her present “hospice” dog. This cute dog has liver failure and is not a candidate for intensive heartworm treatment. However, if she procures a dog who is positive, she will certainly treat aggressively. Puppies must be between 3 and 4 months old to be adopted and all her animals are microchipped. Diania will gladly always take a dog back if the adoption does not work out and is in the process of moving further away from town to a 5 acre fenced property where she will have plenty of room for even more rescues.
Precious Souls uses Kleinpeter Animal Hospital for their vetting, specifically Dr. Donna Kleinpeter. She handles shots, spaying or neutering, microchipping, and heartworm testing. Diania uses mostly her own money for all the dogs’ needs, including numerous surgeries (some as much as $5,000 each). She has utilized her retirement pension and personal savings account. After September 5th, she will also have access to social security but with 26 dogs, funds dwindle rapidly since she spares no expense to keep them all happy and as healthy as possible. If a dog has any unusual issues such as aggression, etc., she has used and will use dog trainers as necessary. She spares no expense when it comes to her “babies.” She feeds twice daily and goes outside (immaculate fenced yard) with the dogs for playtime. She has transformed her dining room into her food storage are where it is climate controlled, safe, and extremely organized.
As previously stated, Diania has only one cat that is her personal feral rescue. The occasion has not arisen for her to take in other felines but she is not opposed to the idea. She choses right now to concentrate on her dogs. Protocol for feline rescues will be addressed if the need arises. No doubt she will spoil them too!
Some of Diania’s dogs are probably considered “unadoptable” to others. As stated, she will keep them for life. Only dogs that suffer excruciating pain with not relief possible would be considered for humane euthanasia although she has not had to face that situation yet. She would move heaven and earth to let her precious dogs live long, happy, comfortable lives when otherwise they would have been put down long ago.
Rarely, if ever, have we witnessed such obvious love and compassion for handicapped, elderly, and terminally ill dogs. Her unselfishness is evident as was the happiness of all her dogs!