BREAUX BRIDGE – A “horse raid” took place Sept. 16 on Wade Street here after one of the animals escaped from a makeshift stable the previous night.
Monique Louvier, the St. Martin animal control coordinator, arrived at the property late that evening to find 12 horses. She secured the fence, but it was too late to do anything more at the time.
Louvier left a note on a “no trespassing” sign requesting the owner of the horse at large to contact her within 24 hours.
The owner contacted her the following day, and was instructed on how to properly care for the horse.
Joe Williams, who owns the property on Wade Street, leases space to various horse owners. Although he is not responsible for the well-being of the horses, he is responsible for maintaining his fence around the property so that horses can’t escape into the surrounding neighborhoods, Louvier said.
Louvier scheduled a meeting with the horse owners on Sept. 16 to explain to them how to properly care for their horses with the assistance of Dr. Amy Cangelosi Louvier, a veterinarian who volunteers at the shelter. All but one of the owners showed up for the meeting, Louvier said.
She said she was pleased with how the meeting turned out. She expressed that it took place in “good uniformity and timing.” Louvier described the owners of the horses as being very cooperative.
“If we can go in and educate owners, and they show a willingness to be educated, it’s better for the parish financially, and the well-being of the horses,” said Louvier.
Minimum requirements for proper care of a horse include giving the animal a Coggins test, which is a type of blood test, and insuring that the horse has some form of permanent identification, whether it be a microchip, tattoo or brand.
Louvier was concerned about the condition of two of the horses, One was limping and another was underweight.
“If the horses had medical reasons to look that way, then the owners were given instructions as to how to deal with those situations,” said Louvier.
In terms of improvements that need to be made on Williams’ property, Louvier explained that it needs to be properly fenced, have a better water supply system, and a better drainage system.
Louvier wound up taking three horses from the property for medical reasons. She ordered that the remaining horses were not to be taken from the property until the results of all their Coggins tests were retrieved, and until she returned to the property on Friday, Sept. 25, to inspect the condition of the horses and the land.
Louvier reiterated the point that the horse owners have the willingness to improve the situation of their horses, just not the knowledge of how to do it.
“These owners want to do right by their horses,” explained Louvier.