ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY) — St. Landry Parish is rewriting their animal ordinances. Most of the current code dates back to 1969 with some additions, but the local animal control is pushing for tighter laws and harsher penalties.

Last month, St. Landry Animal Control raided a 275-dog alleged puppy mill in a parish community. A week later, more dogs were seized from a barn related to the first property, and Thursday, the Homeowner’s association came to a consensus to issue a cease-and-desist lawsuit against the breeder.

The draft for chapter 8 of the St. Landry Parish Code of Ordinances is 72 pages long and much longer than what is currently law.

“What we have on the books might be antiquated,” admitted St. Landry Parish District 9 Councilman Wayne Ardoin.

Ardoin has been on the St. Landry Parish Council for 30 years. His district includes the property where 150 dogs were seized in February, and he says he visited the property to answer another complaint Thursday, but soon neighbors may have more options when trying to penalize breeders.

News 10 obtained the draft for an updated code of animal ordinances. It contains new sections listing nuisance laws, expands what’s considered animal cruelty, regulates breeders, and more. Repeat violations can now result in fines of hundreds of dollars and even imprisonment.

“I’m going to tell you right now I am not going to take any of this lightly. I’m just not going to let up,” explained Animal Control Director Terri Courville who experienced what happened at the latest puppy mill firsthand.

She’s advocating for every breeder to now apply for an annual permit issued by animal control.

Also listed in the draft ordinances are:

  • No breeder can make a female produce more than two litters in one 12-month period.
  • Containers must be cleaned and disinfected daily.
  • Under no circumstances can breeders have more than 50 dogs on their premises at all times.
  • Animal Control would also be able to conduct inspections at any time.
  • Any person violating breeding provisions shall be fined up to $500 per violation.

Courvelle said, “On the animal part, it’s definitely not over. We’re gonna just constantly check until forever really.”

The current draft also requires all dog or cat owners in the parish to microchip their pets. Ardoin said the district attorney was given the draft ordinances this week for approval.

Public hearings will follow. Ardoin said, “Hopefully we can put it in place within the next couple of months.”