Animal rights supporters attend Melville town meeting after disturbing viral video of animal abuse

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MELVILLE, La. (KLFY) – A meeting was held in Melville tonight to discuss animal issues in the town. 

This comes after graphic video of a resident showed the beating of a dog with a shovel.

Animal supporters were in attendance at tonight’s Town of Melville meeting being a voice for the voiceless.

A heated meeting tonight in Melville as St. Landry Parish residents voiced their concerns as to why the Melville resident who allegedly beat a dog with a shovel was not originally charged with high animal cruelty offenses.

We distorted the images of the dog being beaten which spread on social media because it is simply too graphic to show.

Anthony Moreau, Chief of Police of the Town of Melville, said, “We were able to make contact with the suspect and the suspect was charged with a misdemeanor, but since then we’ve obtained new evidence to where we’re going to upgrade the charge to a felony which is going to be aggravated cruelty to animals.”

St. Landry Parish Animal Control picked up several dogs from the residence.

Director of Friends Under Riding Rescues, Jeanie Casanova, added, “You hear people say ‘well, geez, Louisiana needs animal cruelty laws. We have animal cruelty laws, and people need to be arrested and it needs to be prosecuted. We’ve gone to give that message or it’s just going to be a vicious cycle.”

During the meeting, animal rights supporters gave their opinions on animal cruelty laws.

“I was hoping to bring awareness of the laws to a lot of these local small towns that are not aware of the animal cruelty laws as well as making sure that this case is seen through as an actual felony,” explained Rachel Ducharme, an animal rights suppporter.

News 10 asked, “Were there several dogs that were abused?

Chief Moreau answered, “It was the one that he saw on video beating, but I think a couple of dogs may have been malnourished and another one of the dogs had some cuts on it.”

Ducharme said, “I’m very concerned because there are very clearly stated state as well as parish ordinances regarding animal cruelty. There’s very specific codes of minimum maximum codes and in St. Landry Parish historically, those have not been enforced.

Chief moreau says the suspect who will be arrested and charged with aggravated cruelty to an animal is Danny Gray.

As far as the condition of the beaten dog, St. Landry Parish Animal Control says she’s doing okay but has a long road to recovery.

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