OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) – Although five teenagers were arrested, four appeared in court Monday morning.
They’re accused of stealing two horses from Dominique’s Stockyard.
“These horses are probably valued over $500 a piece,” said St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz, “It would be a felony if they’re convicted. They could get some time in detention if the judge feels it’s justifiable, necessary. They could serve time or they could be placed on a probation.”
The juveniles were arrested last Monday, four remain in juvenile detention while the fifth was released to his parents.
When authorities found the two stolen horses, they discovered something else as well.
“A third horse was found dead,” said Guidroz.
“There were obvious signs of physical abuse to the animals,” said Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Dr. Mike Strain, “There were welts and other things.”
Thanks to tips from the community and a microchip, authorities were able to find and identify the horses.
“It is the law in Louisiana that every horse has to be permanently ID’d either through a lip tattoo, a microchip, or a specific type of brand,” said Strain.
He recommends everyone uses some form of identification on their animals so they can find them quickly when animals are lost or stolen.
“Make sure that your animals are properly identified and we recommend that you microchip them and also take photographs of them,” he said, “So that when they do go missing that we can rapidly get that information out to the community and out to enforcement officers if they’re moving across the interstate or moving across state lines so we can get your animal back to you.”