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May 19, 2010 7:31 PM by Kate Mundy

Animal Cruelty Cases Rise in Acadia Parish

In recent weeks, Acadia Parish animal welfare workers have seen a noticeable increase in the number of abuse calls. They blame the tough economic times.

33 cats were rescued from deplorable conditions in Iota. Many were living in feces-covered rabbit cages, others were cooped up in a house filled with trash, urine and animal waste. "Most of them had upper respiratory infections some had self mutilation wounds like from the ears from having ear mites so severe they tried to scratch their ears away," said Janet Lyons, investigator for the Acadia branch of the Humane Society of Louisiana.

Charges are pending against the owner of the cats. Only 23 were able to be rescued. "Rusty," a long haired orange tabby is one of the lucky ones. He'll be up for adoption as soon as he can clear a skin condition that caused him to lose most of his fur. Right now he's on steroids and antibiotics to get better.

Others will be up for adoption on petfinder.com, but a few will have to be euthanized because of their poor health conditions.

In another case, a German Shepard was abandoned in a Church Point backyard kennel, forced to survive by eating the carcass of her brother. "The male didn't make it and the female was so emaciated that we couldn't even find a muscle to start heartworm treatment," said Lyons. She weighed only 53 pounds, about 2/3 her normal body weight, when found.

The rescued German Shepard has now found a home in Denham Springs. She's been named "Renate," which means "reborn" in German.
    
Meanwhile, the calls continue. Wednesday, investigators got another new case: starving horses and livestock. The Humane Society says many animal owners can't afford the care and maintenance these days.
    
It's so bad,  they have opened an animal cruelty investigation community fund. All donations are tax deductible and contributions may be sent to P.O. Box 697, Church Point, Louisiana 70525.  Checks and money orders should be made out to The Humane Society of Louisiana.  In the check memo space, please write in "Acadia Chapter."

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