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Louisiana ranked as #5 for dog friendliest

According to a new report, Louisianians are dog people. The study, conducted by market research firm Euromonitor puts Louisiana in the top 5 states in the nation who favor dogs over cats.  Louisiana SPCA CEO Ana Zorilla says the state is tailor made for dogs.

"We're such a festival rich state, and so many of us bring our pets with us. If it is appropriate, and it's pet friendly, your dog can go with you."
The study shows several trends in worldwide pet ownership, dogs are preferred pet in the south, cats in the northeast, and a massive preference for dogs across most of Asia. Zorrilla says the explosion of dog centric locations has created a unique opportunity for people to embrace their love of canines.
"There's more doggie day cares, dog boarding facilities, as well as places like the bulldog and canine connection that really cater to dog lovers."
The study shows several trends in worldwide pet ownership, dogs are preferred pet in the south, cats in the northeast, and a massive preference for dogs across most of Asia. But Zorilla says  Louisiana is a great state for all kinds of pet ownership.
"well i think we love animals in general here, and i think that comes through in the number of people who own pets, and specifically the number of people who own dogs."


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Hot sauce sales are hot

As the spicy food trend spreads across the country, the hot sauce market is growing by leaps and bounds.  Since 2000, the US hot sauce market has grown by 150 percent, according to a story by Atlantic Media's Quartz. 

President and CEO of New Iberia-based Bruce Foods, Si Brown, says they have definitely noticed the trend.
"Hot sauce has just been a condiment that has excelled above others, in terms of customer appreciation.  And it fits right in with the trend of spicy food."
Bruce Foods, which produces Original Louisiana Hot Sauce, along with other Louisiana companies are profiting from the nation's growing appetite for heat.  Brown says his company has expanded distribution since the boom began.
"We've been in business for over 80 years, so our product has been in distribution coast-to-coast for many years, and internationally.  So, whereas we have had distribution, we have seen an increase in consumption."
Hot sauce sales have increased 6-percent annually for the past 10 years  according to the market research firm I-R-I.  Brown says hot sauce is becoming a condiment on par with mustard and ketchup.  He says hot sauce aficionados are even more determined about having the product than almost any other condiment.
"People have to have it.  And you can see in restaurants, sometimes, when maybe the bottle may not be on the table.  Consumers will stand up and walk over to a table where hot sauce is available and pick it up and go back to their table."
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New VA clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles closer to reality

Authorization for new VA clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles is one step closer to reality according to Lafayette Congressman Charles Boustany.  Boustany received confirmation that authorization for the two new clinics will be included in the final draft of a bipartisan bill on VA legislation. 

The Congressman says he's worked hard to get these clinics authorized and is thrilled about the news.
"This is a big step forward to get these clinics built.  Getting this legislation agreed upon, voted upon this week is a very major step forward."
Boustany expects both houses of Congress to vote on the measure this week.  He says funding for the construction of these new clinics is not included this legislation.  But Boustany says if this bill passes, it will clear the way for funding.
"And I've been in conversations with the chairman of the sub-committee dealing with funding for our military and VA construction.  He's actually been to Lafayette to do a town hall with me with the veterans.  And he's very, very open to working with me on this."
Boustany is confident that this legislation will pass before Congress breaks for the August recess and move to the President's desk to be signed into law. 

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