Dog Owner Charged with 15 Counts of Cruelty

(Bienville, La.) — Acting on a tip, Bienville sheriff’s deputies discovered 11 starving dogs, one cat, two snakes, and the bodies of two other animals at an abandoned residence in Ringgold. The investigation revealed that the owners were already incarcerated on other charges and left their animals unattended. Deputies arrested Cody Ryan Murray, who was already incarcerated at the Bienville Parish Jail, and charged him with 15 counts of aggravated cruelty to animals. His bond was set at $150,000. His partner, Heather Hodges, who was also already incarcerated at the Caddo Detention Center, has not been formally charged but has a detainer for her arrest for the same 15 counts of cruelty.

To help house and treat the animals, deputies again reached out to the Humane Society of Louisiana, which partnered with the sheriff’s department last month and accepted custody of 14 dogs that had also been neglected and abandoned by their owners.

In this case, family members took some of the dogs and the cat from the residence as soon as they realized they were not being adequately cared for. With the help of local veterinarians, HSLA accepted custody of five dogs and two ball python snakes. The Jonesboro Vet Clinic, which housed and treated the previous 14 abandoned dogs, took in these additional five. PetStar Vet Clinic in Bossier City accepted temporary custody of the two snakes. All the rescued animals are expected to make full recoveries.

“We thank our wonderful partners for helping to coordinate the transfer of these animals to different facilities where they can be treated and recover from their ordeal,” HSLA Director Jeff Dorson said. “These animals were saved by the quick action of the deputies who investigated the crime and the two veterinarians who provided their expertise and clinical support to help these survivors. It’s very difficult for the parish to seize this many animals at one time since Bienville does not operate a public animal shelter or have paid animal control officers who typically would have responded to this type of complaint. But we are grateful for this opportunity because we get to meet some extraordinary individuals who are working very hard to improve Bienville Parish.”

Established in 1988, the Humane Society is one of the largest animal protection organizations in the state. For more information, please visit its website at