DERIDDER, La. – According to the Humane Society of Louisiana, one or more individuals broke into the Deridder Animal Shelter last weekend, destroying and damaging equipment, supplies, and releasing dogs from their kennels.
Officials believe that the break-in occurred late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Authorities believe that the perpetrator(s) gained access to the facility by smashing a window on the east side of the facility, which is located at 720 Carter Street. The individual(s) proceeded to remove all the security cameras, ransack each room, steal a computer and modem, damage the router, place sugar in the gasoline tank of the newly purchased riding lawn mower, pour kerosine on the pet food, and released five dogs from their cages. Fortunately, all the dogs were unharmed and remained close to the shelter and were later recovered. One dog has since been adopted and two were returned to their owners.
The subjects also damaged all the bags of food that had been collected to provide meals for the elderly, according to the Deridder Police, which keeps the food in a climate-controlled portion of the facility. The attacker(s) also wrote a message on the whiteboard that read “you killed my dog.” However, neither the Deridder Police, which oversees the facility, or it’s animal control director, Sgt. Richard Muro, are aware of any controversies surrounding any recently euthanized dog.
The Humane Society of Louisiana, based out of New Orleans, heard about the break-in and subsequent loss of supplies and equipment on social media and immediately reached out to its members and supporters to raise funds for the shelter. Within 24 hours, the group has raised more than $4,000. The group has also been in touch with Deputy Chief Darren Hall and Sgt. Muro and already ordered two large dog humane traps and two cat traps for $900.00 that the city needs for its animal control programs. As soon as the city or Sgt. Muro completes an inventory of what the facility needs, HSLA plans to spend the remaining funds on those items.
If anyone has information on the break-in, they are encouraged to call the Deridder City Police at 337-462-8911. Those wishing to donate to help the shelter may contribute to the Humane Society of Louisiana’s Facebook page or send a check or money order to HSLA, P.O. Box 740321, New Orleans, LA 70174. In the check memo please write, “Deridder Animal Shelter”. All donations are tax-deductible.