Abandoned puppies recovered

Published 2:26 am Saturday, June 24, 2017

A Franklinton woman was charged earlier this week with an animal cruelty charge, after reportedly abandoning seven puppies in a field.

Officials with the Humane Society of Louisiana said that on Monday evening, June 19, Lt. James Holmes of the Franklinton Police Department noticed a suspicious vehicle in a secluded area in Franklinton and also observed several puppies in a nearby field.

While Holmes tended to the puppies, he asked for assistance in tracking down the vehicle which had earlier left the scene. Sgt. Brandon Manning of the FPD responded, spotted the vehicle and asked the driver to pull over. Manning then interviewed Rita Mooney, the driver of the vehicle, who admitted to releasing the puppies in the field, hoping that someone else would care for them.

Based on the evidence and her admission, Mooney was cited with cruelty to animals under the state cruelty laws. The puppies were turned over to the City of Franklinton Animal Control Department, which later released the animals to the Humane Society of Louisiana.

Humane Society representatives brought the puppies — six males and one female — to a veterinary clinic Tuesday morning, and the puppies were treated for open sores, parasites and flea infestation. The puppies are currently in quarantine and will be transported to new homes in New Jersey in about three weeks. The Humane Society transports about 200 animals a month from high kill shelters in Louisiana to their no-kill partners in other parts of the U.S.

To show its appreciation for the quick and appropriate actions of the officers involved in the rescue of the puppies and the arrest of the suspect, the Humane Society of Louisiana will host an awards presentation that will be scheduled sometime next week. The two officers will receive the Humane Society’s “Community Hero Award.” The award presentation will take place at the main office of the Franklinton Police department, located at 409 11th Ave. Police Chief Oleander Smith or his spokesperson is also expected to attend the award presentation.

“We are grateful that these two officers responded so quickly and appropriately. Abandoning puppies under any situation is a terrible choice and would have led to the immediate suffering all these wonderful creatures,” said Jeff Dorson, HSL director. “There is a reason why this action is prohibited in our criminal statutes. Puppies cannot possibly find food, water or shelter in an open field, especially in their debilitated state. We hope that Ms. Mooney understands the suffering she would have caused these animals and will learn from this terrible mistake.”

The Humane Society is also seeking donations to care for the medical expenses of the seven puppies. Those who wish to donate can do so online at donatenow.networkforgood.org/humanela or by sending a check or money order to “The Humane Society of Louisiana, P.O. Box 740321, New Orleans, LA 70174.” In the check memo space, please write “for the Franklinton 7.” All donations are tax deductible.

Established in 1988, the Humane Society of Louisiana is on the state’s largest animal advocacy organizations. For more information, please visit the website at www.humanela.org or on Facebook.