"This is something that's been going on in our community for a long time," says Anna Dunn to the nearly forty people gathered on ULM's campus Thursday night. They're fighting for the humane treatment of animals and for them it's not just an interest, it's a passion.
"This is a huge, big important issue."
Folks representing several parishes are speaking up for animals. Many live in Monroe, where the animal control officer position has been vacant for months.
"We're concerned about our rights as citizens. Is it ok to go on a property if animals are left behind? That's one thing that happens all the time," says Ginger Padgett.
She hopes the city find a person who is compassionate toward animals. Now this group wants to be involved with hiring process.
"I know that there's enough of us in this community to make our voices heard," says Dunn.
She believes more community meeting and a heavier presence at city council meetings is how to turn up the volume. And District One Councilman Ray Armstrong says he'll serve as the mega-phone.
"Look and see what other people have done to see what's reasonable for our area to do and to work with the police and the administration to do that. If it involves ordinances, I believe we can develop the proper ordinances and laws to do that and I'll bring them up," says Armstrong.
And while Monroe Police Chief Quentin Holmes says he was not invited to attend this meeting, the group says they want to work with him on developing ways to better enforce the laws already on the books.
"We just want to do the right thing. And the right thing is, regardless of if you're an animal lover or whatever your passion is, these animals, they need a voice to speak for them," says Padgett.