Community members from Beauregard Parish pled with local officials to create laws in an effort to shut down a puppy mill in Ragley, saying that the breeder does not provide adequate care for the dogs. Ann Duhon of Ragley and her friend Lynn Clopton told the legislative committee of the parish police jury on Sept. 3 that ordinances should be changed in broaden the legal terms of animal cruelty. (Lauren Manary / American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 04, 2013 10:08 AM
Community members from Beauregard Parish pleaded with local officials to create laws in an effort to shut down a puppy mill in Ragley, saying that the breeder does not provide adequate care for the dogs.
Ann Duhon of Ragley and her friend Lynn Clopton told the legislative committee of the parish police jury on Sept. 3 that ordinances should be changed in broaden the legal terms of animal cruelty.
“The problem is when you have these gray areas like this where a puppy mill is allowed to continue on and on and on, and the chief law enforcement officer of the parish says ‘my hands are tied, I can’t do anything about it. We need better laws. ‘ Those were his words to us,” said Clopton at the meeting, referring to Sheriff Ricky Moses of the parish sheriff’s department.
Duhon said she has been fighting for months to get her neighbors’, Cathy and Ricky Greene, puppy breeding operation shut down. She said the dogs are living such filthy conditions that it puts the dogs at risk and she is unable to go in her own backyard due to the smell.
The sheriff’s department told the American Press last week that it was unlikely that the breeders would face criminal animal cruelty charges, although the investigation was still pending. Cathy Greene, who was present at the meeting, denied any wrongdoing and said the dogs were healthy.
“I have been cautiously and carefully taking care of those dogs every single day,” Greene said, adding that vaccinations were currently being given by a licensed vet.
Teddy Welch, the chairman of the committee, said he and committee members Johnnie Bennett and Rusty Williamson will meet with the sheriff’s office and the breeders and will follow the due process.
“I promise you, our ears are open,” Welch said. “It’s not like you come here and we turn a deaf ear to you. We listened to you, and we’re going to try to work this out between you two neighbors.” He said the issue would be revisited at the regular meeting on Sept. 10.
Currently, the parish issues fines to dog owners whose pets repeatedly run away and have to be picked up by the sheriff’s office. The city of DeRidder currently has a law that requires animals be kept on a leash or an enclosure, but it does not apply to the rest of the parish.
American Press recently reported that members of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Humane Society of Louisiana and a prominent local rescuer said they have tried, in vain, to get Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s office to intervene with the operation.
No action was taken at the meeting.