ARCADIA, La. – For the second time in less than a month, Bienville Parish sheriff’s deputies have made arrests in an animal cruelty case.
Earlier this week, the sheriff’s office seized several animals that had been left to fend for themselves after their owners went to jail on unrelated charges. Those owners now face additional charges for failing to make arrangements for the care of the animals, Sheriff John Ballance said.
The sheriff’s office was notified Nov. 26 about the malnourished animals abandoned at the house on Bridges Road on Lake Bistineau by a family member who went to check on them. At some point, some of the family removed some of the dogs but left the others, Ballance said.
The sheriff’s office once again worked with the Humane Society of Louisiana to seize five dogs and two ball pythons. Two area veterinary clinics – Jonesboro Vet Clinic and PetStar Vet Clinic in Bossier City — also volunteered to help by temporarily housing them and providing care.
A veterinarian said the animals had been without food and water since before Nov. 26, Ballance said.
In all, there were 11 dogs, a cat, and the two snakes. A dead iguana and chameleon were found in the house.
Cody Ryan Murry, 27, of Greenwood, is charged with 15 counts of aggravated cruelty to animals. He is free on a $150,000 bond.
His partner, Heather Brooke Hodge, 27, of Ringgold, is being held in the Caddo Correctional Center on a state probation hold. Once she’s released, she’ll be arrested on the same charges.
This is the second time the sheriff’s office has worked with the Humane Society of Louisiana on an animal cruelty case. Last month, four Bienville Parish residents were charged in connection with the seizure of 14 abandoned dogs.
“We thank our wonderful partners for helping to coordinate the transfer of these animals to different facilities where they can be treated and recover from their ordeal,” HSLA Director Jeff Dorson said of this week’s seizure. “These animals were saved by the quick action of the deputies who investigated the crime and the two veterinarians who provided their expertise and clinical support to help these survivors. It’s very difficult for the parish to seize this many animals at one time since Bienville does not operate a public animal shelter or have paid animal control officers who typically would have responded to this type of complaint. But we are grateful for this opportunity because we get to meet some extraordinary individuals who are working very hard to improve Bienville Parish.”
HSLA estimates that it will cost more than $10,000 to treat and house the dogs seized from these two cases. Those wishing to donate toward their care may send a check or money order to the Humane Society of Louisiana, P.O. Box 740321, New Orleans, La. 70174, or donate on its website at www.humanela.org under “Donate.” All contributions are tax-deductible.