Louisiana Youths Charged in Horse Thefts

Two juveniles are facing multiple charges for allegedly stealing seven horses from an animal control shelter in St. Landry Parish, La.

Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, DVM, said the animals were taken from the St. Landry Animal Control Shelter in Opelousas during a series of break-ins that occurred Aug. 8 through Oct. 1. No one from the facility was available to comment on why the horses were located at the shelter at the time of the thefts.

Six of the horses have been recovered. Investigators continue to search for the remaining stolen animal, Strain said.

On Oct. 10 and 11, State Livestock Brand Commission Inspectors and St. Landry Parish Sheriff's personnel arrested two Opelousas youths in connection with the horse thefts, Strain said. One of the suspects is charged with one count of livestock theft and one count of criminal trespass. The other suspect is charged with seven counts of livestock theft, four counts of criminal trespass, and one count of cruelty to animals.

Louisiana Brand Commission Director Carl Bennett said the animal cruelty charge is connected to a recovered horse that inspectors found tied and left without access to food or water.

"It was obvious that he was tied out for several days," Bennett said. "He was dehydrated and in need of veterinary care."

If convicted, the pair will face penalties determined by the juvenile court, Bennett said.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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