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Sunday, June 16, 2019

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Over 100 dogs were seized from Brittany breeder Warren "Chris" Michot today following a ruling from Judge F. Hugh Larose this morning.

Several Brittany rescue organizations from around the country are assisting and caring for the dogs. 

Michot was found guilty of cruelty to animals on May 16. In mid-June, Judge Larose ordered Michot to substantially reduce the number of dogs on his property, located at 368 Little Choupic Road in Thibodaux, and that failure to comply could result in the seizure of the animals.

Noting the Lafourche Parish Animal Shelter would not have the space or capabilities to accommodate such a large number of dogs, the Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office reached out to the National Brittany Rescue and Adoption Network (NBRAN) for assistance in the event Judge Larose ever issued a seizure order.

The Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office also began discussions with Lafourche Parish Government about the situation, understanding the dogs would become property of the parish following a seizure. 

Susan Spaid, President of the NBRAN, contacted several Brittany rescue groups around the country including American Brittany Rescue, Brittany Rescue of Texas, New England Brittany Rescue, and Florida Brittany Rescue for assistance. The five organizations formed the "Brittany Rescue Consortium" to assist Lafourche Parish by taking the dogs into rescue should the need arise.

The consortium sought assistance from veterinarian pharmaceutical companies, pet supply stores, and several foundations focused on animal welfare to help defray the costs of such a monumental rescue effort. Many needed items were donated, and the five organizations pooled funds to purchase the other needed items. 

This morning, Judge Larose issued the order to have all but 10 dogs seized, and deputies with the Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office proceeded to Michot's property to begin the seizure.

Dogs were placed into kennels and were transported to the Raceland Ag Building. A total of 103 dogs were seized by the Sheriff's Office and transferred to the direction of the NBRAN per the Judge's order. The dogs were bathed, vaccinated and given a triage medical evaluation by Dr. Lionel de la Houssaye, Parish Veterinarian.

Veterinarians from Louisiana State University will arrive later this week to conduct more thorough evaluations of each dog.  The dogs will be divided based on the availability of each rescue group's resources and will be transported to various facilities across the nation.

Once the dogs return to full health and are more socialized, they will be sent to foster homes and acclimated to living in a home with a family, and eventually, will be offered up for adoption.

Any dogs too ill to travel, or any females close to delivering puppies, will be housed in foster placements in other locations in Louisiana and adjoining states thanks to the efforts and kindness of dog breeders representing various breeds. 

Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph said, "Lafourche Parish is thankful to all rescue groups and volunteers who have travelled from all over the country to aid in the well-being of these innocent animals and, hopefully, place each one with a loving family. Today's joint operation with the Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office, National Brittany Rescue and Adoption Network and all the other rescue groups along with Lafourche Parish Government is an example of our commitment to our community." 

"From the onset of the first complaint on Mr. Michot, we have steadfastly maintained an objective position and enforced the law to the letter," said Sheriff Craig Webre. "Our staff worked diligently with Parish Government and these rescue organizations to ensure that we could facilitate a court order such as the one handed down today. This was a complicated and tedious process, but in the end, our goal was to ensure these animals would receive the necessary care and avoid any further suffering or possible euthanasia." 

Susan Spaid, President of NBRAN stated, "Every endeavor will be made to save all dogs that have quality of life. The mission of breed rescue is to 're-home' healthy dogs to individual family homes where they can live as a member of the family and enrich the lives of their owners while being cared for and loved. We want to thank everyone involved in this rescue, especially Lieutenant Craig Melancon (LPSO) and Archie Chaisson (LPG) and the tireless effort of all the volunteers with all the rescue groups involved."