Witnesses cry Police animal cruelty in DeRidder

Dog shot on HWY 171

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - On Saturday, February 4th, the Beauregard Sheriff's Office responded to a call regarding two large dogs running through traffic on highway 171.

At least two vehicles stopped during a thunderstorm to help the two dogs near Longville.

One was a Weimaraner, the other a mix, and because of the actions of the Beauregard sheriff's office, one survived and one didn't.

Just before noon on Saturday, two dogs drew the attention of several drivers as they ran in out of traffic. The Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office was called to restrain the animals. A Weimaraner named Bleau was caught by a witness before deputies arrived, but the other dog was not as fortunate.

"In the process of the two speaking, the officer and the lady speaking, one of the dogs went under the SUV, the officer's SUV, and she was able to make some sort of a makeshift noose and grab the other one," said vet tech Nora Fuselier.

Deputies shot and killed the second dog, a Weimaraner and lab mix. Fuselier was the vet technician that checked out the surviving dog a few days after the incident.

"She did make mention that the dogs in no manner showed any aggressiveness, that they seemed to be scared," said Fuselier. "Apparently it was raining pretty heavily at the time. She said that one of them, the one that was shot, apparently was attempting to seek out refuge under the SUV."

The report says deputies contacted state police before putting the dog down. However, state police have no record of the phone call, and officials with Troop D say it would be out of the norm for there to have been a phone call in the situation. For Weimaraner owner Natalie Jinks, the incident is appalling.

"It tears me up," said Jinks. "It breaks my heart. These animals are amazing. They are incredibly human like."

Jinks says this particular breed can be difficult to approach.

"Every breed is different and this breed in particular is extremely shy and they are afraid of people that they don't know immediately," said Jinks. "They're going to be skittish."

According to protocol, the dog that was shot should have been transported and properly disposed of. However, pictures were taken the day after the incident and the dog remained in the grass off of highway 171.

"They're just fabulous animals to own as are any pets, we all love our pets," said Jinks. "These dogs belonged to someone and it's just a very sad and unfortunate incident."

Fuselier believes this is a lesson learned for everyone involved.

"Please make sure that your animals are confined in a fenced in yard or some sort of underground fencing type system," said Fuselier. "And if not, if there's not possible way that can be done, at least have identification on them."

We spoke with the Beauregard Sheriff's Office about the incident.  Chief Deputy Joe Toler mentioned that protocol is to dispose of an animal after it is put down.

He also said because it was a weekend, it would have been the deputy's responsibility because animal control only works Monday through Friday.

The surviving Weimaraner named Bleau did test positive for heart worms during his check up.

He was treated and released and has since been adopted by a family in Lake Charles.

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