St. Landry Parish Council to form committee discussing future protocols of Animal Control

OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) – There were tense moments at Wednesday night’s St. Landry Parish Council meeting between Sheriff Bobby Guidroz and supporters of St. Landry Parish Animal Control and Rescue.
This comes after Animal Control Director, Stacey Alleman, initially resigned then rescinded her resignation, after an investigation by the Sheriff’s Office determined committed malfeasance in office.
Alleman tells News 10 she did nothing wrong.
It was back on October 12 of 2018 when the shelter found 2 horses that escaped their owner’s property, that were then picked up by the Animal Control.
After holding the horses for over a month at the facility and posting pictures on Facebook, Alleman says she sent them to a non-profit in North Texas.
She says State law says at the end of 20 days if the owner does not come get them, the livestock is now a part of animal control.
The original owner of the horses did not find out they were missing until this February according to Alleman.
That owner along with members of the Parish Council, asked the Sheriff’s Office to conduct an investigation into Animal Control for that reason, and to see if any laws were broken.
The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office accuses Alleman of failing to alert the original owner in a timely fashion, and saying she idnd’t follow Parish ordinance.

The Sheriff said she also had a PayPal account in her name, which was connected to the Animal Control.
Alleman tells News 10 she’s had the PayPal account for a year now, and was approved by the Finance Director for St. Landry Parish.
To get money for the Animal Control and Rescue, Alleman says it’s stored in a Parish Account.

At Wednesday night’s meeting, Parish President Bill Fontenot says the Council will create a committee to address the protocol as to how they handle things in regards to the Animal, and how they should move forward to make the rules and regulations clearer to the public as well.
While supporters of Alleman showed up in droves, to defend the work that she is doing at the sheler.
“Stacey is a fabulous director of this shelter. Let’s just get everybody on the same page so that the animals don’t suffer. That’s the best thing for St. Landry Parish,” said Nancy Marcantel, President and Executive Director of Animal Rescue Foundatoin of Louisiana.
The entire Parish Council Chamber was full, with people standing outside in support of Alleman.
Sheriff Guidroz says he is an animal lover himself, but his Office has a right to investigate when someone files a report.
“We can not have Animal Control telling people where their animals are going. They have to have an opportunity to redeem their animals whether it’s live stock, whether it’s a dog or cat,” he said.
“When an animal’s at large, there’s conflicting language (in St. Landry) of what happens, who’s responsible for picking up the animal, who’s responsible for contacting the owner, and what’s the owner if found guilty, it has to be revised it’s from the 1950’s,” said Jeff Dorsen, Humane Society of Louisiana.
Alleman says she followed state guidelines in the horse situation.
Both inside and outside of the council chambers, it got heated between the Sheriff and supporters of Alleman.
Guidroz says it’s up to the Parish Council to fix to old ordinances, not his Department.
“You all need to fix the ordinances that we have on the books, so that the Sheriff can properly conduct his investigation, using the proper terms, the proper laws,” he said.
“She was right (Alleman). The sheriff did his investigation and found nothing he could really charge her with. We’ve determined that our ordinances need to be revamped, rewritten, because they’re very old,” said Bill Fontenot, St. Landry Parish President.
The committe that will be forming, will look into who has the responsibility to pick up animals in situations like what happened and more.

But Fontenot believes it is Animal Control’s responsibility, and it should remain that way in the future.
The Sheriff’s Office did not charge Alleman, and instead would like the outdated ordinances to change.
There is a Facebook Page in support of Alleman, called ‘Save Stacey and St. Landry Animals.’
The report by the Sheriff’s Office was sent to the District Attorney’s Office.

According to the Daily World, the Animal Control Director’s financial proceedings are now being examing by the DA’s Office as well.

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