LaPlace NOPD charged with cruelty to animals

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 23, 2010



LAPLACE – A 10-year veteran of the New Orleans Police Department was arrested in St. John Parish on animal cruelty charges Thursday after one of her two dogs was found dead of severe malnourishment.

The second dog, which also appeared to be malnourished, was taken from the woman’s LaPlace home and turned over to St. John Animal Control for treatment, according to St. John Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Andy Breaux.

Breaux said Nikia Adams, 28, of 1908 Cartier Drive, contacted the St. John Animal Shelter Tuesday for help in removing her deceased labrador retriever/pit bull mix from her yard. Breaux said when animal control officials arrived at the home Wednesday, they found the deceased dog, which appeared to be malnourished, lying in a dog house in the back yard.

According to a Sheriff’s Office report, as the employees worked to remove the dog, the second dog, a purebred boxer, appeared in the yard. Animal control indicated that although the dog was alive, he, too, appeared very skinny and suffering from other medical problems. After transporting the deceased dog to a local vet, the animal control employees returned to the home and retrived the second dog, which is being treated at the shelter.

“We questioned the owner about how the dogs were fed,” said St. John Animal Shelter Manager Linda Allen. “She told us that each dog was getting three cups of dry food with two cans of wet food per day.”

A medical report from LaPlace veterinarian Philip Thiac showed both dogs suffered from various medical problems, and neither showed any signs of food in their digestive systems. He said the labrador mix, which typically weigh about 55 pounds, only weighed 23 pounds. The boxer, which should have weighed about 60 pounds, only weighed 38 pounds.

“It is my opinion that this dog suffered extreme neglect,” Thiac said in a statement regarding the deceased dog. “The dog was either starved, and/or it had a medical condition, which was not treated.”

Allen said it is normally against animal shelter policy for employees to pick up deceased animals from a resident’s home. She said she agreed to the pickup as a favor to Adams, who said she had no one to help her bring the dog in.

“We were doing something we are normally not supposed to do,” Allen said. “But if we had not acted when we did, both dogs would have probably died.”

The surviving dog, dubbed “Carter” by shelter employees, is being treated for infected gums, heartworms and whipworms at the animal shelter in LaPlace.

Allen said the dog appears to be in good spirits, but is still very weak.

“He’s getting more and more energy everyday,” Allen said. “We’ll get him back to health.”

Breaux said Adams, an NOPD district patrol officer, was booked into the Sherman Walker Correctional Facility in LaPlace on one felony count of animal cruelty and one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty. She was released Thursday after posting a $4,500 bond.

If convicted, Adams faces a maximum fine of $25,000 and one to 10 years in prison.

Officials with the NOPD would not comment on Adams arrest. Attempts to contact Adams were unsuccessful.