Man accused of theft for sheltering stray dog fires back with civil suit

Man accused of theft for sheltering stray dog fires back with civil suit
Photo provided by staff.
All About Animals

POSTED: Friday, July 19, 2013 - 2:00pm

UPDATED: Friday, July 19, 2013 - 4:41pm

The man facing a theft charge for sheltering a stray dog has fired back with a civil suit against his accusers.

Kyle Wayne Holmes was charged with felony theft on Tuesday, May 28 by the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office. Holmes claims he simply sheltered a stray dog that wandered on his property. The dog’s owner, however, claims Holmes did not adequately search for the dog’s owner and therefore never intended to return the animal, thereby committing the act of theft.

Holmes pleaded “not guilty” to the charge on Tuesday, July 9. A trial date for the charge, which has since been downgraded to a misdemeanor, was set for December 9, 2013.

On Thursday, July 18, Holmes fired back with a civil suit against the investigating deputy with the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office as well as the dog’s owner, who is employed as a trooper with the Louisiana State Police.

The suit notes two Louisiana laws were reportedly violated on the part of the parish and the dog’s owner.

On the part of the parish, the suit cites LSA-R.S. 3:2774, “Each parish shall provide suitable shelters or facilities for dogs seized under the provisions of this Part.” The reason this is significant is because the original arrest reported noted that Holmes did not contact the Sheriff’s office in regards to the dog, which is considered policy due to the fact that the area does not have a parish-run shelter.

The second law cited is LSA-R.S. 3:27771, “No person shall suffer or permit any dog in his possession, or kept by him about his premises, to run at large on any unenclosed land, or trespass upon any enclosed or unenclosed lands of another.” This is significant because in the original arrest report, it notes that the dog’s owner admittedly allowed his dog to run around in his yard without a leash, which allowed for it to escape and wander off.

“The only person who broke the law with regards to this stray dog is Trooper Lea,” the law suit notes.

Holmes is seeking damages and has requested a trial by jury.

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