One arrested in animal cruelty probe at Crowley shelter

Michael Edwards (Source: Crowley Police Department)
Michael Edwards (Source: Crowley Police Department)

CROWLEY, LA (KPLC) - The discovery of discarded animals near the city-operated animal shelter in Crowley has prompted an internal animal cruelty investigation and has led to one arrest.

Police say more animals were discarded around the city. All were from the shelter, said Crowley Police Chief K.P. Gibson.

Gibson said officials believe that 10 to 20 animals were disposed of "improperly and cruelly" by 50-year-old Michael Edwards, a shelter employee.

Edwards, who was terminated by the city earlier this week, was arrested Thursday and charged with five counts of obstruction of justice, three counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and one count of malfeasance in office.

Edwards was booked into the Acadia Parish Jail.

Crowley police say the shelter's supervisor and mayor contacted them after they spotted the dead animals in an area adjacent to the shelter.

Information led authorities to other locations where other animals were disposed of.

"We have spoken with members of the Acadia Parish Sheriff's Office and they have opened an investigation for incidents which have occurred within their jurisdiction. We have confirmed that animals which have been located outside of the city also come from the Crowley Animal Shelter," Gibson said.

Authorities say the supervisor knew that the animals were from the shelter because they were micro-chipped.

Gibson said of the eight animals, five were determined to have died as the result of an earlier investigation into dog fighting. They were being held at the shelter as evidence.

Gibson said the investigation continues.

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