POSTED: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 9:30am
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 4:19pm
THIBODAUX, LA (NBC33) — A Thibodaux man was arrested for animal cruelty after two dogs in his care were found to be painfully neglected. Officials say one dog was injured so badly, he couldn’t bark.
“The dog appeared to be very afraid of people and tried to hide when officers approached it,” David Melancon, Thibodaux Police Department, said. “When it tried to bark, it had a hard time and it could only make a yelping sound. Upon closer examination, the officer noticed that the collar was too tight.”
It all started on Monday, May 6 when a resident called police to report that a large pit bull was roaming the neighborhood. The caller said it was dragging a large chain that was connected to its neck.
“When officers located the dog, they observed it to be malnourished and it was scavenging through the trash,” Melancon noted.
The caller also mentioned a small black dog that was tied to a fence. That ended up being the one with the restricted collar.
“It was tied to the fence with an extension cord,” Melancon said. “The officer said you could not fit a finger between the collar and the neck. They removed the extension cord but could not remove the collar.”
Both animals were collected and transported to a local animal shelter for evaluation. At that time, they were unable to locate the dogs’ owner.
Officers identified Theodore Pratt, 53, as the owner of the two dogs. He was located the following day and placed into custody for an outstanding warrant for his arrest. After he was placed into custody, the shelter called with its findings regarding the examination of the two animals.
“The shelter determined that the pit bull was malnourished and that it was suffering from heart worms,” Melancon said. “The black dog was said to be so distraught it had to be sedated so they could remove the collar. After they cut the collar off the dog, they found that the animal had a large open sore around its neck. It was roughly 2-3 inches long and an inch wide and it was said to be infected.”
When questioned about the animals, Pratt admitted to being the owner. He told officers that he had raised them since they were puppies.
At that time Pratt was charged with Aggravated Cruelty to Animals (felony) and Cruelty to Animals (misdemeanor). His bond was set at $10,000.