The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) Livestock Brand Commission arrested two juveniles for a second time in connection with cruelty and theft of two horses.
The horses valued at $5,000 each were reportedly stolen from the 100 block of Grapevine Road near Opelousas. Investigators say the two juveniles, both 16 years old, did not have authorization to remove the horses.
After stealing the horses, which were both in good health at the time they were taken according to the owner, one of the horses was severely injured. The animal was left on a state highway and was humanely euthanized by animal control authorities as a result of the horses traumatic injuries sustained. The other horse was returned to its owner.
The suspects will be charged with animal cruelty and theft in Opelousas, state officials say.
“The charges of aggravated cruelty of animals and theft of livestock are both felonies,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. “It is unacceptable to steal someone else’s property and to abuse animals. This is not the first time they have been accused of these crimes and need to be held accountable.”
In April 2017, the two suspects and three of their friends were accused of stealing and abusing two horses from a stockyard in Opelousas.
The Opelousas Police Department, St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Department, Opelousas and St. Landry Parish Animal Control assisted in this investigation.