ST MARTIN PARISH, La. - Deputies have arrested 55-year-old Gary James Goulas of Breaux Bridge in connection with an animal cruelty case out of Henderson in which eight puppies were thrown over a bridge into a bayou. Goulas has been arrested and charged with 8 counts of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals.
After an investigation, a person of interest was developed and Goulas was arrested Friday afternoon, according to SMPSO spokesperson Major Ginny Higgins.
Goulas has been booked into the St. Martin Parish Correctional Center and no bond has been set at this time.
The Humane Society of Louisiana originally offered a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest, but after an outpouring of public support, that amount increased to $7,200.
On Sunday, February 16, 2020, at 2:00 P.M., deputies with the St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office responded to an animal cruelty complaint near the bridge by Potato Shed Road in Henderson, according to Major Higgins.
Mac Kennedy, who was fishing nearby, witnessed a small white single cab truck briefly stop on the bridge and toss a bag into the water, stated Jeff Dorson, Executive Director, Humane Society of Louisiana.
The fisherman, who thought someone threw out a bag of trash, went to get the litter out of the water. The bag was retrieved and inside the bag were eight live newborn black lab mix puppies. Dorson states the puppies were three to five days old.
The suspect's truck, which was caught on surveillance video, was described as a possible older model white Toyota or Nissan single cab truck. In the back of the truck there was a silver dog box with bright yellow borders around the door of the dog box, stated Higgins. The suspect vehicle was seen traveling south on the Henderson Levee Road, towards Pat's Seafood Restaurant. On Wednesday, the sheriff's office released a photo of the truck to media outlets.
The puppies were originally placed with Precious Paw Prints Animal Rescue in Acadia Parish, before being transferred to Every Paw Animal Rescue (EPAR), an Evangeline Parish animal rescue group. EPAR volunteers are bottle feeding the puppies and giving them antibiotics.
All eight puppies are expected to survive. Those interested in adopting can visit the EPAR website or Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/everypawanimalrescue/.
The Humane Society offered a $7,200 reward for any information on this case that led to an arrest. For more information on how to donate to the Humane Society, go the Humane Society Facebook page or their website.