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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

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Lafourche Humane Society president charged with animal cruelty

Lafourche Humane Society president charged with animal cruelty

The president of the Lafourche Humane Society and another suspect were arrested Thursday after several horses were found living in poor conditions on property they co-own, authorities said.

Pamela George, 50, of Cut Off, is charged with aggravated cruelty to animals following an investigation, the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office said. Also charged in the incident is John Gautreaux, 56, of Lockport.

Detectives in early November began investigating allegations of animal cruelty involving horses located on Chateau Drive in Lockport, Lt. Brennan Matherne said.

Deputies found more than a dozen emaciated horses on the property, Matherne said. One of the animals was dead before deputies arrived. Deputies then found food for the remaining horses and contacted a local veterinarian who informed them that two of the animals needed to be euthanized.

As the investigation continued, detectives continued working with the Humane Society to place the animals with new owners, Matherne said.

“The horses had to remain on the property to be nursed back to health in order to be moved,” Matherne said.

By Nov. 16, two more horses had died and another needed to be euthanized, Matherne said. The nine remaining animals were moved to a nearby property to continue to be nursed back to health.

“The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office is continuing to work with the Humane Society to monitor these horses and their conditions,” Matherne said.

After obtaining arrest warrants, authorities took George and Gautreaux into custody Thursday. They were booked into the Lafourche Parish jail on a $2,000 bond.

In a statement Friday, George’s attorney Tyler J. Breaux said the animals did not belong to his client and that Gautreaux kept the horses there without her consent.

“She had no idea about what was going on after pulling a 28-day shift offshore,” Breaux said. “She was questioned by authorities after discovering that horses her ex-boyfriend had been placing on a property co-owned with her in Lockport, in the back of the Chateau Estates subdivision, had become malnourished. A long-time animal lover herself and president of the Lafourche Humane Society, she was distraught to discover that her ex-boyfriend, John Gautreaux, had closed the interior gates of the property without her knowing, depriving the horses of grazing on the 26 acres of available grasses.”

George serves as president of the Lafourche Humane Society, which is not associated with the Humane Society of Louisiana.

George had previously filed a lawsuit against Gautreaux in an effort to sell the property, Breaux said. She also sued Gautreaux for child support and other monies owed to her.

“Pam was surprised when, after she returned from her 28-day stint offshore, she was charged for the condition of Gautreaux’s horses,” Breaux said.

George said the deplorable condition of the animals resulted from neglect by her ex-boyfriend.

“I am surprised that the authorities did not inquire further into my absence from the area due to work and the actual ownership of the horses before charging me,” she said. “I had no responsibility for these horses belonging to John Gautreaux.”


-- Daily Comet Staff Writer Dan Copp can be reached at 857-2202 or at Follow him on Twitter@DanVCopp.