BATON ROUGE, La. (Press Release) - Five St. Landry Parish teenagers ranging in age from 13-16 years old are accused of stealing two horses and tack from Dominique’s Stockyard in Opelousas on April 4, 2017.
Investigators with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) Livestock Brand Commission say the horses were stolen from the stockyard. Through a tip to law enforcement and in conjunction with the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Department, both horses were recovered. It was also determined that the
horses were physically abused. The saddles and related tack was also recovered.
“Thanks to an alert citizen, our investigators swiftly moved in to rescue and recover these animals from this inhumane treatment. Upon their rescue, investigators say there were signs of physical injuries sustained to the horses and evidence collected at the scene to support this. This is intolerable,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.
The suspects were arrested Monday, April 10, 2017. They were placed in a juvenile detention center in Opelousas. Four remain in detention. One has been released to his parents.
Two of the teens are charged with theft of livestock, one is charged with accessory after the fact to theft of livestock, one is charged with theft of livestock and aggravated cruelty of animals, one is charged with accessory after the fact to theft of livestock and aggravated cruelty of animals.
The charges of aggravated cruelty of animals and theft of livestock are both felonies.