Warrants have been issued for the former director of the St. Landry Parish Animal Control, along with a current employee for after a animal cruelty investigation. Patricia Gallo (Street), the former director is wanted for cruelty to animals and current employee Troy Gallo is wanted for theft of less than $500.
The investigation sparked after Friends Underwriting Rescues,FUR, released video and pictures of what appeared to be dead animals caged with live animals, feces left in food and water bowls, and several animals left untreated for disease. The evidence, captured on May 17th by Terra Guyote, was sent to FUR. The volunteer organization were quick to snatch up the evidence, which they said proved abuse and neglect they continually witnessed since November of 2013
“We quickly realized that the source of the animal’s comfort was not supplies but basic hygiene which did not require a penny, increase in the budget, but very sadly only effort and willingness to get the animals out of a situation that no living creature should be forced to remain,” said FUR President Jeanie Casanova.
Casanova, along with other FUR volunteers addressed the St. Landry Parish Council Wednesday night, hoping to shed light and force accountability.
“The citizens and parishes are no longer willing to sit back and not be assured that the animals are cared for when they are taken into a shelter, to make sure it is a true place of refugee.”
After aquiracquiringn evidence members approached Sheriff Bobby Guidroz, wanting a full investigation into abuse, neglect, theft, and illegal euthanizations.
“I had complaints brought to me by legitamate sources. We investigated those complaints,” said Guidroz.
Parish President Bill Fontenot welcomed the investigation into his employee, but stood by her defense, stating the videos and pictures displayed incidents when the system was overloaded.
A former employee of Patricia’s, Stacey Alleman, said it was not neglect and abuse, but simply mis-management of too few employees and an overwhelming amount of animals.
“Truthfully, she did the best she could with what she had, ” said Alleman.
Nevertheless, an investigation by the sheirff’s sheriff’s-earthed what they say was un-excusable neglect and abuse. Guidroz said following any arrests, it will be up to the court system to decide the fate of Patricia and Troy.
“it’s not perfect,” said Guidroz, “but it’s a start.”
Patricia was recently demoted from her position as director, but continues to work with large animals cases. The shelter is under new direction of Terri Courvelle. A surprise visit to the shelter by a News Ten Crew showed clean cages, water and food bowls as well as peaceful and happy animals. Patricia and Gallo were not present during the council meeting. Patricia has been advised not to speak about her case.