Officials with a small, nonprofit animal shelter have been posting photographs on Facebook since Sunday in an attempt to identify a man who reportedly threw a puppy over a fence at the shelter Saturday night.
A photo taken by a Capital Area Animal Welfare Society security camera and posted on the group’s Facebook page Sunday had 1,581 comments by Tuesday afternoon.
The angry comments, directed at the unidentified man in the picture, ranged from calling the man names and expressing hopes for his criminal prosecution to calls for the man to be treated like he treated the dog.
Glenda Parks, a board member of Capital Area Animal Welfare Society for 12 years, said Tuesday that when volunteers first showed her the photo of the incident, she was “outraged.”
Parks said the man drove to the shelter at 6357 Quinn Drive, got out of a white truck, walked the dog on a leash to the shelter’s short, 4-foot fence and thew the puppy over it.
Parks said the man could be criminally prosecuted for animal cruelty for abandoning the dog at the shelter and for throwing it over the fence.
Abandoning an animal or “unjustifiably injuring” an animal are both considered animal cruelty under the city-parish’s code of ordinances.
“We have had dumpers before, but they usually open the gate and put the animal down or leave the dog or cat in a crate and gently put it down over the fence. This guy purposely threw it over the fence to hurt it,” Parks said.
The shelter, which is not open to the public and does not have business hours, is a no-kill shelter with limited space for animals the group’s volunteers recruit from other shelters in order to adopt them out.
Parks said the shelter, which is always full, has room for 13 dogs and 18 to 20 cats.
“What I want people to know and what I want this man to know is that there are plenty of things he could have done instead. He could have called us and we would have worked with him and provided spay and neutering services. He could have and should have called parish animal control and worked with them,” Parks said.
Parks said there is just not any space for the dog at the shelter and it’s against the law to abandon a pet.
The dog, a black and white hound mix older puppy, has been called Jimmy by shelter volunteers, Parks said.
The puppy had not yet been examined by a veterinarian Tuesday afternoon, but Parks said that was going to happen very soon.
“I don’t know about internal injuries. He doesn’t appear to be hurt bad. He seems OK. He has been lying down a lot but his tail has been wagging,” she said.
When asked if she would attempt to have the unidentified man criminally prosecuted once he is identified, Parks said she couldn’t say for certain.
She said she plans on reporting the incident to the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office but had not done that by Tuesday afternoon.
As for Jimmy, Parks said the shelter will keep him until a family willing to adopt him can be found.
Anyone with information about the man or the incident can call the shelter at (225) 752-5801.