Tip leads to rescue of 10 pets; Owner charged with cruelty

Published 12:10 am Saturday, August 19, 2023

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PAULINA — On Monday, August 7, 2023, a St. James animal rescuer received a tip that someone had left town and abandoned their pets inside a vacated trailer. Accompanied by a St. James deputy, the rescuer entered the trailer, located at 32714 La 742 in Paulina, and found two pugs, two adult cats, and six calico kittens struggling to survive. The trailer was in shambles, and there was no food or water for the animals. The rescuer removed them and contacted the Humane Society of Louisiana (HSLA) for assistance.

Six kittens were among the 10 neglected pets.

The pets looked in good shape, but they would not have survived for very long without water and food, especially during the recent record-breaking heat wave. HSLA agreed to pay for the animals’ medical care and vaccinations, and the rescuer is keeping them until homes can be found. After completing its investigation, the sheriff’s office issued an arrest warrant for 10 counts of simple cruelty to animals to the former owner, Kadi Zerinque Stevens.

“Our Humane Society is very grateful to the good Samaritan and the sheriff’s office for working together to get these animals out of danger and providing them with a much-needed second chance,” HSLA Executive Director Jeff Dorson said. “I’m hoping that St. James will work with our group to finally get some long-overdue humane programs and services. I know that its citizens and pets in the area will greatly benefit once they are established. It is very challenging to conduct these types of investigations and rescue operations without adequate resources.” Rescue Alliance, based in Gonzales, has expressed an interest in rehoming the cats and kittens.  They specialize in feline adoptions.

Interest is high in establishing animal control services in the parish in order to deal with these types of complaints and the high number of stray animals that roam the streets. The Humane Society recently held a community meeting at the Vacherie branch of the parish library that was attended by about two dozen residents and representatives from several branches of government. Those who attended formed several committees that will address the different needs and issues. A second meeting is planned for September. To get involved, please contact the Humane Society at info@humanela.org.

Established in 1988, the Humane Society is one of the largest animal protection groups in the state. For more information, please visit its website at www.humanela.org.