BREAUX BRIDGE, La. (KLFY) — St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s deputies have arrested a man and charged him for throwing a bag of newborn puppies off a bridge last Sunday (Feb. 16).
Gary James Goulas, 55, of Breaux Bridge, was charged with eight counts of aggravated cruelty to animals after a witness allegedly observed his small, white single-cab truck stop on a bridge near Potato Shed Road in Henderson. He tossed a bag into the water, which was later found to contain eigh, live newborn black lab puppies, according to St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office Major Ginny Higgins.
Video surveillance also captured Goulas’ truck allegedly leaving the scene.
Goulas was booked into the St. Martin Parish Correctional Center and did not have a bond set at the time of this writing.
Shortly before the arrest, a reward was offered for information leading to the arrest. The reward topped out at $7,200.
A local fishermen discovered the paper bag with the puppies inside. Now, they’re being taken care of by a loving foster mom. That foster mom is Michelle Youngberg. She’s the Secretary and Treasurer for EPAR, Every Paw Animal Rescue, and a high-risk bottle mom.
“My first thought and my first responsibility was to get antibiotics on board. We knew they (puppies) had gotten wet,” Youngberg said. “We knew they were in dirty water. We knew they were cold. We didn’t know how long they had been without their mom.”
The fisherman who saw the puppies being thrown from the bridge is Mac Kennedy.
“I heard whining and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, something’s in the bag,'”
Kennedy took the puppies in, fed them, and kept them warm. The next day, the pups were brought to Youngberg, an experienced foster mom of 10 years.
“When we received them, they were about half a pound. They’ve now doubled in weight,” explained Youngberg.
Youngberg has been fostering the puppies since Monday, when they were about 3 to 5 days old. Now, their eyes are starting to open.
“We’re taking our bottles really, really well,” added Youngberg. “Our temperatures are regulating. They’re starting to kind of howl a little bit and stand up. We always think we’re hungry even though we just ate.”
Youngberg and Jen Shaw are both with EPAR, Every Paw Animal Rescue. It’s a non-profit foster based rescue. Shaw has seen many cases of animal abuse.
“If you do not want or cannot care for it, there are other ways to do this. You can reach out to a vet. Vets know rescues. Vets have programs that they can take them in and get them adopted out. There’s no sense in something like this ever,” said Shaw, Director and Vice-President of EPAR.
The puppies will be available for adoption at the beginning of April. If you’re interested in adopting one of the puppies, you can email Eparinc@yahoo.com for an adoption application.
If you would like to donate items needed for the puppies, here’s a list:
- Gerber rice cereal
- Puppy replacement milk
- Karo syrup
- Evaporated milk
- Puppy pads
- Purina One Smartblend Health Puppy formula food
- Laundry detergent
Monetary donations can be sent to EPAR (Every Paw Animal Rescue) PayPal, Eparinc@yahoo.com or you can call in donations to their vet at Coreil’s Vet Clinic, (337) 363-0157.