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Juror: Stop cruelty to horses, animals in parish

VIDALIA — One Concordia Parish Police juror said he wants to see action taken regarding cruelty to livestock, specifically horses, throughout the parish.

Juror Jimmy Jernigan asked board president Melvin Ferrington at the jury’s meeting Monday if anything could be done about the amount of horses in the parish that aren’t properly cared for by their owners.

“It’s a big problem around here because you’ll drive around these neighborhoods, and they’ll just be roaming around without anyone looking after them,” Jernigan said. “There was one a while back who was chained up to a fence and got so hungry he was just eating the roots around him.”

While he agreed the situation was a problem, Ferrington said the jury’s hands were tied when it comes to handling those cases.

“There’s absolutely nothing we can do besides report those to the sheriff’s office,” Ferrington said. “All we can do is report that the livestock law is being violated or that a horse is being mistreated.”

Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy David Hedrick said the department doesn’t have a location to store livestock that are loose, but that certain actions can be taken if any cruelty to the animal is suspected.

“Sometimes we have people that will take them in until a home can be located for the horse,” he said. “But if a horse is being mistreated or not being properly taken care of, we will issue the owner a summons or even arrest them if the abuse is bad enough.”

Jernigan said he would continue reporting any and all incidents to the sheriff’s office.

“It’s a shame to see them out there not getting any care at all,” Jernigan said. “I have them in my neighborhood too, and it’s just getting to be a real problem.”