Jun 26, 2014 7:01 PM by Dave Fields
St. Landry Parish President Bill Fontenot said that the two animal control employees arrested last week for alleged animal cruelty have been transferred away from the shelter.
"As of this time, both employees have been transferred to different departments within Parish Government," said a release from Fontenot's office.
Patricia Street Gallo, the animal control supervisor, and her husband Troy Gallo, an animal control officer, had been booked into St. Landry Parish Jail on the evening of Wednesday, June 18, and bonded out the same night. According to St. Landry Parish President Bill Fontenot, returned to work at the shelter the following day as usual and have continued as St. Landry Parish employees ever since.
Fontenot has maintained since the Gallos' arrest that the couple is "innocent until proven guilty." Fontenot's most recent statement clarifies that the Gallos have continued their employment "subject to the findings and completion of the judicial process," he said.
"Relative to the animal services division, we will continue to improve operations with the assistance of our staff, professional agencies such as the Humane Society, the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine Shelter Program, area veterinarians and our community volunteers," reads Fontenot's release.
Fontenot had stated for the record that he didn't "believe any of the charges against them" and that "charges do not constitute guilt."
The parish president said he has made numerous visits to the animal control facility, but found no evidence of wrongdoing by the Gallos. However, Fontenot's release commits to working with various organizations for the betterment of the animal control facility.
"Relative to the animal services division, we will continue to improve operations with the assistance of our staff, professional agencies such as the Humane Society, the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine Shelter Program, area veterinarians and our community volunteers," said the release.
Fontenot's release also sayst that he is directing these improvements to the parish's animal control facility despite his contention that the home rule charter does not mandate that the parish provide animal control services at all.
"One of the services currently provided but not required as I understand by the home rule charter is the operation of the animal control shelter. St. Landry Parish Government thus far has chosen to continue these services because we see and understand the importance of taking care of and working to find new homes for the neglected, abandoned and abused animals in our parish," Fontenot asserts in his release.