Animals seized in Rosepine, owners want answers

Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 9:56 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - For at least 10 days now some residents in Rosepine have been asking where their animals are after they claim they were illegally taken.

The animals were seized by order of Rosepine Mayor Donna Duval, but the owners want answers.

Saturday, Sept. 2, when Johnathan Wilson went to feed the animals, he found that 7 horses, 1 cow, 3 goats and 6 chickens were missing.

“Saturday evening, about 7:30, I came out to feed the animals, I noticed that the gate was opened,” said animal owner Johnathan Wilson. “I didn’t hear any sounds of animals, the goats are neighing the horses normally come running up because it’s dinner time; I didn’t see anybody, so I panicked, I called my wife and said the horses are missing.”

While searching for the animals, Johnathan found a seizure notice signed by Police Chief Delbert Keel and self-proclaimed cruelty investigator Toney Wade. Johnathan immediately called the chief.

“I was told that it was all the mayor, he had nothing to do with it and that nothing could be done until Tuesday, and then this whole ordeal just snowballed from there of not getting any answers,” said Wilson. “We try to reach out to her, but she won’t return phone calls.”

KPLC reached out to Chief Keel and Mayor Duval and both refused to speak. We found out later Tuesday afternoon that the case has been turned over to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

“And not to mention, the seizure notice had August 30 on it, and we know that because, I mean, it’s on the paper, but we we feed here twice a day, so we’re here, the animals were here Saturday morning,” said animal owner Donna Dane.

Donna Dane, Johnathan Wilson and Chris Mizelle are all veterans and the animals were therapeutic to them.

“The horses are therapeutic to us, all of us, like he said earlier, we all have PTSD,” said Dane. “We go ride just down the road and we’re free, we’re free from society, just, you know, it’s it’s sad that they took them.

Donna, Jonathan, and Chris have set up a Go Fund Me page to help raise money in order to fight to get their animals back.