As the new shelter manager for Iberia Parish Animal Control, Lafayette native Erica Capak has been working closely with local volunteers and Iberia Parish Government staff to get the animal control center in top shape.
As a lifelong animal lover, Capak has been working with animals since she was a teenager. During her time so far at IPAC, Capak has been working to build up a consistent volunteer group to help at the shelter, and to network with animal rescues across the country in order to find spaces for the animals that IPAC takes in every day.
Capak said during a pet adoption event Saturday that she is pleased with the work being done so far, and hopes to continue the trend of properly caring for the animals that need it most in Iberia Parish.
What’s your history with animal care?
I started out as a kennel person when I was 16 at an animal hospital in Lafayette. All the way through college I was either a veterinary technician or a receptionist at every single place I worked until I graduated from college with my marine biology degree at the University of West Florida.
I was about to start my masters program but my dad fell in with stage 4 cancer and so I came back to take care of him for several years. He passed away and two months later I met my husband and we moved here.
How long have you been involved with Iberia Parish Animal Control?
I’ve been working there for a few months now. It’s going great, we have 98 animals rescued including feral cats and regular dogs. At this event we’ve gotten two dogs and three cats adopted.
We have volunteers taking pictures which really helps. If we don’t have good pictures they pass them over.
What’s the process for local residents who see strays in their neighborhood?
They can either bring the dog in themselves and surrender it, or we go on call and pick them up ourselves. Right now we have only two animal control officers so it’s been kind of tough. I’ve had three interviews to hire more employees. We have two ready for part-time positions who are starting the process but it takes a long time.
How’s your time as shelter manager at IPAC been so far?
It’s going good so far, we’ve got 17 dogs here this morning and 15 cats in the back. A lot of people are coming out and volunteering so that’s really awesome to build that back up.