ST. MARTINVILLE, La. (KLFY) — The Humane Society of Louisiana (HSL) and a St. Martin Parish couple are teaming up to find out who’s been shooting cats and raccoons and leaving their bodies in the Catahoula lake, and there’s a $5,000 reward on the line.

HSL Director Jeff Dorson said Sonny and Christina Doucet of Catahoula have seen several of their cats killed over the last few years, with the most recent being March 11, when their pet was found floating in the lake in Catahoula. According to Dorson, someone had shot the cat in the head and attempted to sink it into the lake by tying a brick around it. The Doucets say they have also seen several raccoons in the lake under the same circumstances.

“The Doucets have reported the incidents to the [St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office], but there appears to be a lack of evidence to charge any person with the crime,” stated a press release from Dorson. “Back in 1995, two of Ms. Doucet’s cats died, she thinks after being poisoned with antifreeze. In 2014, one of Doucet’s cats also went missing, and she later found its head in a ditch in front of her residence.”

“For the past 27 years, this has been a recurring and very painful experience,” Christina Doucet said. “I have reported these incidents to the sheriff’s office, but there has never been a positive response or outcome. The deputies seem indifferent and seem to lack any type of motivation to solve these types of crimes. I feel that these complaints have never been thoroughly nor properly investigated. These are horrific crimes that are being ignored. I wish the sheriff’s department would educate the public on this subject and expend the resources necessary to solve these crimes. Lastly, I wish the deputies who respond to these calls would show some interest. They seem like they are just going through the very basic motions of taking a report and leaving the scene.”

“This is one of the most gruesome crime scenes I have ever seen in my 34 years as a humane investigator,” Dorson said. “Someone went way out of their way to cause this much suffering and pain to this group of animals. They did not deserve to be treated nor disposed of in such a hateful and disrespectful manner.” 

To help identify the perpetrator, the HSL and the Doucet family have established a $5,000 Cat Cruelty Reward Fund that will be distributed if the information leads to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible. Dorson said the Doucet family is contributing $4,000 to the Reward Fund, and the Humane Society is donating $1,000. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact HSL at 1-888-6-HUMANE. Dorson said all information will be shared with the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office.

A request on the state of any investigations by the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office has not yet been answered.

HSL also submitted pictures of the dead animals that has declined to publish.