UPDATE: The director of the St. Landry Parish Animal Control and Rescue is not resigning, according to Parish President Bill Fontenot.
On Tuesday, the director, Stacey Alleman, announced her resignation via the shelter’s Facebook page, but according to Fontenot, they had a conversation, and she changed her mind.
Here’s the post:
Here’s our story from Tuesday:
The director of the St. Landry Parish animal shelter could be facing charges after the shelter picked up two horses that escaped their owner’s property. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the shelter failed to notify the owner in a manner prescribed by law.
“We recommended to the District Attorney a misdemeanor of malfeasance in office charges,” Sheriff Bobby Guidroz said. “Animal control, according to our investigation, did not follow the Parish ordinance regarding notification of the animal owner.”
Guidroz says by law, the animal shelter should have placed an ad in the newspaper and informed the owner after scanning for chips in the horses.
Guidroz says that didn’t happen before the shelter transferred the horses to Texas.
“The chip will tell us who owns the horses,” Guidroz said. “The address and contact information. The tool used to check the chip was inoperable apparently. We got the Branding Commission to check the chips and that’s how we could verify who the horses belonged to.”
Guidroz says after the owner got the horses back, the Saint Landry shelter told him he owed them $1400 in cash.
“That too was not followed properly in the protocol,” Guidroz said. “Another thing we were concerned about was the animal control director requested cash money be paid to her directly and that’s a no-no.”
Parish President Bill Fontenot says that fee is for housing the horses in the shelter’s care.
When KATC asked Fontenot on the horses’ chips being scanned he stated, “That’s something we’re looking into. That might be further into the investigation and not only in the interest of the investigation but in order to improve our processes. Certainly, we know about the chip but sometimes the chip does not work. Sometimes the scanner doesn’t work. I don’t know what happened there. That’s left to be investigated.”
He added, “We kept the horses an extra 30 days to find out who it belonged to and when nobody claimed it we got it to a rescue where it was safe. ”
Fontenot says the shelter uses social media instead of the newspaper to let the public know about missing animals, including horses.
“We keep them 15 days so the owner can potentially claim his horse,” Fontenot said. “We put it out on Facebook. He never showed up to claim it. We didn’t know who he was and when we did find out who he was the horses were already at a shelter in Texas.”
Fontenot defended the shelter’s acceptance of cash payments.
“We have had bad checks. We don’t have credit card availability. That’s one thing we can improve on. That was something she (animal shelter director) was trying to be safe on,” Fontenot said.
He also defended the shelter’s reputation.
“There’s no wrongdoing,” Fontenot said. “All that we do is in good faith and following the rules. If we break any rules it’s certainly unintentional.”
The District Attorney’s office is currently reviewing the case.