Inmates assist with sheltering animals during Beauregard wildfires

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Published: Aug. 27, 2023 at 10:51 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Wildfires in Southwest Louisiana have created a need for shelter when it comes to pets. In Beauregard Parish, animals were evacuated overnight from the Beauregard Covered Arena to Burton Coliseum In Lake Charles.

But with the help of the community, Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Krista West said there has been progress.

“If they can’t get out fast enough, we will go and get them, we have and we understand,” West said.

That was the attitude of many and whether it was their duty or not, all hands were on deck, and this included the assistance of inmates.

“I feel like it’s a way I can give back to my community, to help out any way that I can,” Inmate Keith Seal said

And that’s exactly what was done from the crack of dawn till dusk. Seal explained what the last 24 hours have been like.

“We was carrying cages, cleaning them, hauling chips and stuff for the horses’ pen, feeding, you know, water and things like that, anything just anything that we can do,” Seal said.

“We have livestock transports on stand-by, Calcasieu Parish office livestock transport is on the ground moving animals,” West said.

Attending to 41 dogs and 11 cats behind their cage was all the motivation these inmates needed - a reality they understand and face daily, except behind bars.

“We try to treat these dogs and animals like their owners would treat them, you know, we take them out to go to the bathroom and stuff because a lot of them are house dogs and they need special attention and care so we try to do what we can to make them as most comfortable as they can to be in here,” Seal said.

For now, these heroes behind bars say they’ll be sticking around to help, for as long as they can. With everyone coming together during dire times, West said they are very grateful.

“That was a beautiful moment to see everybody band together to move all these animals out in the wake of a fire, I mean the fire was very close,” West said.

For the latest on the Tiger Island Wildfires, CLICK HERE.