Pet Detectives Chase Down Animal Abusers

From: Jeff
Sent on: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 7:57 PM
Permission to Cross Post

May 20, 2009
Contact Person:? Jeff Dorson, HSL Director,[masked]
News Release:? For Immediate Use
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Pet Detectives?Pursue Animal Abusers

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(New Orleans) - - Responding to a record-number of cruelty complaints from around the state, the Humane Society of Louisiana has developed and expanded several of their investigation programs.? To respond quickly to the high volume of incoming complaints, the Humane Society of Louisiana has established a group of volunteer "pet" detectives, two of whom, Erica Hirsch and Carol Lynch, pictured below, recently passed the course work and exam administered by the Louisiana State Board of Private Investigator Examiners.? The Humane Society is also a licensed private detective agency that specializes in solving crimes committed against animals.? The pet detective team is also overseen by Carney Anne Chester, a former prosecutor for the City of Houston, who now resides in New Orleans.? Ms. Chester reviews many of the cases that the volunteer detectives are actively pursuing and examines copies of police reports to determine if any action has been overlooked.
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The team of detectives reviews dozens of complaints at one time and follows up with law enforcement officials in cases located in other parishes.? The pet detective team is also supported by more than 200 other volunteers who have joined the Humane Society of Louisiana's Rapid Response Animal Protection Team, which was formed to respond to animal abuse complaints around the state, especially in rural areas of Louisiana, where few humane societies or animal protection programs exist.? As complaints are forwarded to the humane society, members are activated.? Some are deployed to the actual crime scene to render aid to animals in need.? Others interview potential witnesses.? Other team members canvass neighborhoods, alerting residents of crimes involving animals in their area or help raise funds for the organization's cruelty prevention and investigation programs.?
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As an incentive to encourage people to come forward with information, the group also offers a rewards program and just recently distributed $1,000 to one individual who qualified for the funds.
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The programs have proven to be very successful.? The work performed by the pet detectives and members of the Rapid Response Animal Abuse Team has led to the arrest of several individuals. For example, David Kyle was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals in St. Tammany Parish, when it was discovered that Mr. Kyle's newly adopted dog had been locked in his house, after he allegedly set fire to his residence.? Local law enforcement authorities overlooked the evidence, until it was brought to their attention by the members of the Rapid Response Team.?
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?A Plaquemines' resident?has also recently?been charged with cruelty to animals by Plaquemine Parish authorities, after his horse had been discovered tied to post, malnourished and suffering deep wounds to his neck caused by a rope embedded into his skin.? The rope had to be surgically removed, and the humane society paid for the horse's medical treatment.
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The group also attended the recent hearing involving Mr. Emile Delaneuville, in St. John Parish.? Mr. Delaneuville had been charged with cruelty to animals, for allegedly setting out three steel-jaw leghold traps to capture a small dog who had wandered onto his property.? To avoid trial earlier this week, Mr. Delaneuville entered into the district attorney's diversionary program.? As part of the agreement,? Mr Delaneuville also paid the Humane Society of Louisiana restitution in the amount of $428.00 for the medical care performed on the injured dog.? These cases represent only a fraction of the open cases that are being investigated, some still working their way through the court system.

To join the Rapid Response Animal Abuse Team, visit the Humane Society of Louisiana's website at www.humanela.org and register under the link called "stop cruelty."? For more information on this and other programs, call[masked]-humane. To make a donation, please send check or money order to HSL, P.O. Box[masked], New Orleans, LA 70174.

Photo:? Front, left to right:? Carney Ann Chester, Jeff Dorson, Back:? Carol Lynch, Erica Hirsch


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