(Moreauville, La.) — Kiah, a 2-3-year-old chow mix, is much happier now that the heavy chain that grew into her neck has been removed. Back in late June of this year, Bridget Bordelon and her daughter Chloe were visiting Bordelon’s father at his construction worksite on Louisiana Hwy. 114 in Moreauville, La., when they noticed a dog next door whose chain had grown into its neck. They inquired about the dog’s medical health and housing conditions to the owner, but he dismissed their concerns. Over the course of the next three days, however, Bordelon kept asking about the dog and finally, the owner, only known by his nickname “Peanut,” relinquished the dog into Bordelon’s care.
Bordelon immediately reached out to the Humane Society of Louisiana (HSLA) and sought medical help for the dog she named Kiah, which means “new beginning” in Hindi. HSLA readily agreed to help and enlisted the help of a nearby veterinary clinic to tend to Kiah’s wounds and injuries. The clinic surgically removed the collar, and Kiah remained hospitalized for four days at the clinic to ensure that no secondary infections had set in and that she fully recovered from her ordeal.
On July 8, Bordelon and Chloe filed formal complaints against Kiah’s owner and supplied photos that she took before and during surgery to the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office. Deputies were assigned the case, but they had trouble tracking down the owner since they lacked his full name and only had his nickname “Peanut” to go by. However, on November 6, they were able to locate and interview the suspect, John Herie Johnson, who admitted to owning the dog.
Johnson explained that he placed the dog on a chain so he would not escape. Given that Kiah had to have immediate surgery to save her life, Avoyelles Parish sheriff’s deputies arrested and charged Johnson with one count of aggravated cruelty to animals. Bond was set at $10,000. The penalties for aggravated cruelty to animals are not less than one year, no more than 10 years incarceration, and not less than $5,000 nor more than $25,000 in fines or both per count. If found guilty, defendants must also perform 40 hours of community service and undergo a psychological evaluation, paid for by the defendant. The court shall also prohibit the defendant from owning any animals during a time period determined by the court. Please refer to La. R.S. 14: 102.1 (B).1.
Bordelon adopted Kiah and lavishes her with plenty of toys, treats, walks, and love!
“We are grateful for Ms. Bordelon’s persistence in this matter, for we believe that she saved Kiah’s life,” HSLA Director Jeff Dorson said. “We also laud the work of the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office for giving its attention to this serious matter, which sends a clear signal to the community that animal cruelty will not be taken lightly in this parish. Lastly, we thank our donors whose contributions paid for Kiah’s life-saving surgery and aftercare.”
HSLA regularly receives complaints of animals at large or neglected throughout Avoyelles Parish, which does not fund any animal control program nor operate a facility to house stray animals. Dorson plans to host a community meeting on the subject in January or February 2022 to try and develop options to deal with the parish’s overpopulation issues. Additional details will be provided at a later date.