Opening the Dog House

Since founding Friends of the Animals Baton Rouge in 2010, Paula Schoen has wanted a location convenient to the southern end of the city. Now, FOTA has one.

The Dog Adoption House opened in June at 8476 Highland Road, about a quarter-mile northwest of Staring Lane. It is open six days a week to assist those seeking to adopt rescued animals.

“The adoption house has been a dream of mine, because we wanted a more home-like environment for the dogs to be shown to the public, and we wanted it in a part of south Baton Rouge where it might be more accessible,” Schoen said.

“This allows us to do our adoptions every day of the week, and it’s been really successful so far.”

Since its origins, FOTA has been facilitating animal adoptions, first for East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control, then for the non-profit Companion Animal Alliance, which has run the animal shelter since August 2011.

In addition to working to make the shelter more humane, FOTA has conducted off-site adoptions for CAA, primarily on weekends at the Perkins Rowe location of Orvis outdoor outfitters, and on the first Saturday of each month at the Baton Rouge Arts Market downtown.

Since January 2013, FOTA has been classified as a shelter, which means it accepts full responsibility of animals it receives from CAA, including taking care of the animals’ medical needs. Both CAA and FOTA recruit volunteers to serve as foster families for animals up for adoption.

FOTA also coordinates the Positive Alternatives to Shelter Surrender program for families who need to give up their pets. The families agree to keep the pets until they can be adopted, but bring them to the Dog Adoption House so those seeking dogs can consider adopting them.

The Dog Adoption House is open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays. For information, call (225) 384-0299 or go online to