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Re: Rapid Response Update

From: Jeff
Sent on: Monday, August 18, 2008 2:37 PM
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Several months ago, we launched a new program, called the Rapid Response Animal Protection Team.  This group of volunteers from around the state help us respond to animal abuse complaints in different neighborhoods throughout Louisiana.  Here is a copy of our latest report.  To join or volunteer, please visit our website at

Please Cross Post Widely

August 18, 2008

Dear Rapid Response Animal Protection Team Members,

During the past several weeks we have responded to dozens of calls for assistance, and with the help of some of our members and colleagues, three owners have been cited for cruelty to animals in different parts of the state. We have also begun a long overdue inspection of some of our state's rural animal shelters where animals are often kept in squalid, unsanitary conditions. Assisting with these tasks is our newest volunteer, Mary Beth, who  forwards information to law enforcement officials and updates our complainants with current information.

Here is a summary of some of our cases:

Case #5: Cat Poisoning in Kenner

With the help of the owners whose cats were victims of suspected poisonings, we have pieced together a strong case against a neighbor.  Suspecting that the next door neighbor intentionally placed outside a dog bowl full of cat food that had been laced with anti-freeze, we recovered the bowl and had tests performed at the Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Baton Rouge (see attachment for example of form). The test results were positive for the presence of Ethylene Glycol (anti-freeze) and we plan on filing charges of animal cruelty against the suspect within the next few days.  In addition to filing criminal charges, the cat's caretaker, Mr. Joseph Franklin, also wants to file a petition in small claims court against his neighbor for the loss of his feline companions.
Case #6:  Duchess and Max

We also investigated the case involving two underweight Boxers who belonged to a young woman in Belle Chasse.  After examining the Boxers, we took photos and submitted our report to the Plaquemines Animal Control Department. The quick work of volunteers from the Plaquemines Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) eventually led to the transfer of the dogs to their care and to the arrest on cruelty to animal charges against the owner, Christina Fayoux.

Michelle Falgout and her husband, Brian, who were actively monitoring this complaint, felt that the parish should have responded more quickly and forcefully in this case.  The Falgout's called a meeting on this issue with high-raking parish officials, including the parish president, the sheriff, and the supervisor of the animal control. Please read Michelle's notes from this meeting and the response of the parish officials:
Included in the meeting was Billy Nungesser, Sheriff Hingle and two members of his staff, Gary Ragas, Keith Hinkley, Raymund ( Director Animal Control) Sherri and Susan (representative of PAWS), and Brian and myself. The meeting went very well. We all discussed this case in particular and then any future cases that may arise. I believe that everyone is in agreement that we are all sorry for Duchess and Max's ordeal, but that we can all learn from it and hopefully keep this from happening again. Billy Nungesser is personally going to pay the hospital stay bill for both dogs and Sheriff Hingle is personally going to pay for both dogs' heartworm treatment. We are going to continue to put the donations on their account at the clinic due to a very long process of fostering, feeding and any other medications they may need until hopefully they can be adopted. On the legal end until there is a resolution to the case both animals will continue to be fostered.
Mr. Nungesser, the parish president, stated that he will have a meeting with the animal control personnel to review their knowledge and maybe do some classes to help them better serve the animals. Mr. Nungesser also stated they will put some type of ad in the Gazette letting parish residents know who to call and how this will be handled when a complaint is received, including the fact that you can call and NOT give your name.  Sheriff Hingle stated that he will review the procedures for handling this type of complaint with his deputies and both Nungesser and Hingle will work together on making sure this is followed up on. department reviewed their handling of the case and vowed to improve their response time and effectiveness.

Case #7:  Cookie

This complaint involves the mistreatment of Cookie, a six month old Labrador Retriever mix, who lived her life on the end of a short chain in an affluent neighborhood in Slidell.  Thanks to the efforts of Allisa Johnson, a veteran animal rescuer and engineer, Cookie was given a second chance at having a better life.  After several discussions, Alissa convinced the owner to surrender Cookie to her care.  Cookie, who favored one of her paws, was immediately taken to a veterinary clinic. An examination showed that Cookie was underweight, suffered a broken leg (femoral head), tested positive for a multitude of parasites, and had a yeast infection in both ears. Contacting our agency with the results, we made arrangements to meet with Tracey Powell, Justice of the Peace for Slidell. 

Please be advised that with sufficient evidence any citizen can present findings to the local Justice of Peace and ask that an arrest warrant be issued against a suspect.  In this case, Justice of the Peace Powell reviewed the facts of the case and issued an arrest for Ms. Tysha Bryant who had recently been charged with her third DWI offense weeks prior to the surrender of Cookie (pictured below).  We deeply regret to report that Cookie passed away during the surgery to repair her broken leg.   We thank Alissa for doing everything in her power to alleviate Cookie's suffering.

To support our anti-cruelty efforts, please consider giving a donation to the Humane Society of Louisiana, P.O. Box[masked], New Orleans, LA 70174 and please join us at our upcoming memorial dedication ceremony, which will be held in the chambers of the New Orleans City Hall, 1300 Perdido Street, on Friday, August 29th, at 10: 00 am. For more details, please visit our website at  To join our Rapid Response Animal Protection Team, please register on-line at

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