SORRENTO, La. (BRPROUD) — As Ascension Parish has grown in population, so has the number of animals in shelters.

The parish wants to expand its shelters, but high prices in real estate have caused quite a problem.

Animals at Cara’s House will soon be getting a new $6 million home.

Ascension Parish leaders have been for land to start this new project, but it hasn’t come without its challenges.

Making the place more attractive to animal lovers is the parish’s goal, which is why they are on the prowl for another location.

“We really anticipate this shelter being kind of a gem in the parish and somewhere where you want to go and people want to volunteer more, they want to go walk the dogs, and they want to adopt,” said Ascension Parish Chief of Staff Ruth Phillips.

They were able to pass a tax in 2019, which gave more than a million dollars a year to fund this move.

“We anticipate having probably a detention pond area that we can have a trail around so that families can go with the animals and even bring their animals so they can do meet and greets outside and things like that,” Phillips said.

Phillips said they know exactly what they want, but they’ve been having a hard time finding a location that fits their requirements and budget.

“We need it to be high and dry and need at least five acres,” she explained. “The parish can’t pay past an appraisal value right now. Well, it might appraise for $300,000, but people are selling them for a million, so that has created quite the challenge.”

The rescue focused on getting more space. They are calling on anyone who would like to sell or donate their land.

“This new shelter will be able to handle the growth that we foresee for Ascension Parish,” stated Phillips.

“I think it’s good. I think if they keep going away, they’re going to get bigger and more adoptions will happen,” added Sorrento resident, Russell Allen.

They are looking to start the project in 2023.