(Bienville, La.) — Earlier this month, Bienville Parish sheriff’s deputies acted on a tip and visited the former home of Mary Hodges and her two sons, Tyler and William Cody Hodges in Jonesboro, La. The family had moved out of their residence in the village of Bienville and left behind 14 dogs and multiple chickens. Four of the chickens had died from neglect and the remaining animals were found in various stages of starvation.
Since Bienville Parish does not operate a shelter where they could house the animals, Chief Deputy Randy Price reached out to the Humane Society of Louisiana, which agreed to take custody of the starving dogs, while a neighbor agreed to take the chickens. HSLA arranged for Dr. Kasey Johnson of the Jonesboro Animal Clinic to pick up, house, and treat the dogs, all of whom were suffering from parasitic infestation, skin infections, and malnutrition. Several of the dogs also tested positive for heartworm disease.
Only a few days after the animals were rescued, deputies arrested Hodges, age 65, and her two sons, William Cody Hodges and Tyler K Hodges, and charged them each with 23 counts of aggravated cruelty to animals. Bond was set at $230,000. Last week, sheriff’s deputies also arrested a fourth suspect, Rebecca Faye Dawson Griffin, and charged her with criminal trespass and 23 counts of aggravated cruelty to animals. The amount of her bond is unknown at this time.
To help pay for the medical care and boarding fees for the 14 dogs, HSLA is seeking donations from the public, businesses, and local civic associations or foundations. HSLA estimates that it will cost between $5,000 – $8,000 to medically treat them before they can be made available for adoption. Those willing to contribute may do so online through the Humane Society’s website at www.humanela.org, on its PayPal account at email@example.com, or by sending them a check or money order to Humane Society of Louisiana, P.O. Box 740321, New Orleans, LA 70174. All donations are tax-deductible.
The group also intends to host a community meeting in Jonesboro early next year to help form a local humane society that might be able to address some of the animal cruelty and pet overpopulation issues in the parish. Additional details on the date, time, and location of the meeting will be provided later.
“We are grateful that the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office responded so quickly and allowed us to help these long-neglected animals,” HSLA Executive Director Jeff Dorson said.” We also thank Dr. Johnson and her staff for picking up these poor dogs and providing them with excellent care. We look forward to visiting Bienville early next year to help them develop some basic humane programs, and we hope that Sheriff Balance will be our guest speaker as we look for ways to work together in the future,” adds Dorson.
Photos are provided by the Humane Society of Louisiana and may be reproduced.
The Humane Society of Louisiana is one of the largest animal protection organizations in the state and operates the Enoch J. Donaldson Animal Sanctuary in Washington Parish. For more information, please visit its page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HumaneLA or its website at www.humanela.org. Its Instagram account is @humanesocietyofLouisiana.
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