Advocates blame authorities for inaction on alleged puppy mill in Ragley

By By Lauren Manary / American Press

Several Beauregard Parish residents,

along with members of animal rights groups, want authorities to shut

down a Ragley puppy-breeding

business and charge the owners with cruelty to animals.

But Sheriff Ricky Moses said it’s doubtful the breeders will face charges. “At this point, I don’t see enough evidence to

press charges for animal cruelty,” he said.

The breeders in question, Cathy and Ricky Greene, voluntarily surrendered 22 dogs on July 24. One of the dogs reportedly died

after surgery to treat a uterine infection; others were found with severely matted fur; and one had an infected eye.

Ann Duhon said she is unable to barbecue in her backyard because the smell from the breeders’ property — 200 yards from her

home — is too pungent. She said she has complained to the Sheriff’s Office about the conditions for almost a year.

“I am just in disbelief,” she said. “This is unreal. I’ve been fighting this for so long, and I thought I would finally be

getting some help.”

The calls to shut down the breeding

operation amped up when Duhon’s teenage son visited the property and

shot video on his

iPod.

The video, which lasts just over 16 minutes, shows a dog severely infested with fleas and countless others in various cages and trailers. That video can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJtv-O-XNh4 and another video is available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=rk7tU37Dqow

Duhon said the woman living there asked her son and his friend to come over to help feed the dogs because she was unable to

manage the feeding by herself.

Sheila Gilley, a member of American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said the couple kept more than 50 Maltese,

Yorkies and mixed breeds in unsanitary conditions.

The Sheriff’s Office sent DeRidder-area veterinarian Catherine White on Aug. 9 to investigate the premises. In her report

she said that, on average, the dogs' body condition scores were between three or four out of a possible nine.”

She recommended reducing the number of

dogs, but said the animals had adequate food, shelter and water. She

noted that the

fur on almost all of the dogs was severely matted due to urine

saturation. She said she inspected 20 dogs, none of which had

fleas.

State law says that anyone who fails to provide animals with “proper food, proper drink, proper shelter, or proper veterinary

care” can be charged with cruelty to animals.

Jeff Dorson of the Humane Society of Louisiana said the dogs in Ragley obviously lacked proper veterinary care.

Should the dogs be seized or voluntarily given up, Gilley said animal advocacy groups have the means to find a place to care

for them.

“Southwestern Louisiana citizens are

ready to take care of these dogs,” she said. “They can go straight into

Baton Rouge kennels;

they don’t even have to touch Beauregard Parish facilities.”

The Greenes could not be reached for comment.