The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Livestock Brand Commission arrested two juveniles for a second time in connection with cruelty and theft of two horses.
The horses, valued at $5,000 each, were reportedly stolen in the 100 block of Grapevine Road near Opelousas.
Investigators say the two juveniles, both 16 years old, did not have authorization to remove the horses.
After stealing the horses, one of the horses was severely injured. According to the owner, both animals were in good health prior to being stolen.
The injured animal was left on a state highway and was humanely euthanized by animal control authorities as a result of the traumatic injuries sustained. The other horse was recovered and returned to its owner.
The suspects will be charged with animal cruelty and theft at the local jurisdiction. The charges of aggravated cruelty of animals and theft of livestock are both felonies.
“Livestock owners should remain vigilant in protecting their animals by keeping gates locked, securing fences and keeping a watchful eye for any suspicious activity,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.
This is the second time these teenagers have been charged by the Livestock Brand Commission for similar crimes. In April 2017, the two suspects and three of their friends were accused of stealing and abusing two horses from a stockyard in Opelousas.
The Opelousas Police Department, St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Department, Opelousas and St. Landry Parish Animal Control assisted in this investigation.