Avoyelles Parish Pet Owner Pleads Guilty to Cruelty to Animals; Chain Embedded in Dog’s Neck

(Moreauville, LA) — John Herie Johnson pleaded guilty on March 15 to one count of cruelty to animals before Judge Kerry Spruill of the 12th Judicial District Court. Judge Spruill sentenced Johnson to six months to be served at the Bienville Parish Jail, suspended, ordered him to pay a $500 fine, $500 restitution payable to the Humane Society of Louisiana, one year of supervised probation, court costs, and attend three life skills classes.   


The case dates back to June 29, 2021, when Ronald Bordelon and his then 17-year-old daughter, Chloe, observed a dog next to a home they were remodeling on the 8400 block of Hwy 114 in Moreauville. They noticed that a dog was tethered on a very heavy chain and it appeared that the chain had grown into its neck. Chloe spoke to Johnson, the dog’s owner, about the dog, but nothing was done to address the issue. Over the next three days, both Chloe and her mother Brigette asked the owner about the dog. Rather than address the situation, Johnson surrendered the dog to the Bordelons. 


Once they took possession of the dog, they noticed how severe its injuries were. The heavy chain had grown into the dog’s skin and soft tissue around its entire neck and likely had to be surgically removed. To get help with the anticipated veterinary expenses, the Bordelons contacted the Humane Society of Louisiana, and the group agreed to pay for all medical services.


Bridgette Bordelon took the dog they named Kiah, which means “new beginning” in Hindi, to a nearby vet, and they surgically removed the chain and kept Kiah hospitalized for four days and nights and provided her with pain meds and antibiotics.


Several days later, the Bordelons contacted the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Department and filed a formal complaint. After reviewing the medical report, the Bordelons’ statements, and the photos of Kiah, they cited Johnson for cruelty to animals.


“Getting Kiah off that chain and providing him with medical care and into a new, healthy environment, was a team effort,” HSLA Director Jeff Dorson said. “I’m grateful to the Bordelon family for their persistence and for giving Kiah a better life. I am also grateful to the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office and Judge Spruill for taking this matter seriously and sending a message to the community that animal abuse will not be tolerated. I’m also thankful that Mr. Johnson released Kiah to the Bordelons and even accepted responsibility for his actions. Overall, this was a victory for Kiah and other abused animals in Avoyelles Parish.”

Photos courtesy of the Bordelons and may be reproduced.


Kiah still needs to undergo treatment for her heartworm disease, which is expected to cost several hundreds of dollars. Those wishing to donate to her continued care can donate to the Humane Society of Louisiana (who agreed to cover her post-operative care) via their website at www.humanela.org or on its Paypay account at humanela.org. Individuals, foundations, and businesses can also send a check or money order to HSLA, P.O. Box 740321, New Orleans, LA 70174. In the check memo space, please write “Kiah.” All donations are tax-deductible.