MARKSVILLE, LA — Deputies from the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff's Department recently seized three malnourished horses belonging to Marksville City Council member Elliot Jordan.
A neighbor reported that the horses were not adequately fed or supervised and were underweight. Deputy Casey Erwin visited Mr. Jordan's property along with veterinarian Dr. Troy Spencer on May 19, 2012, and determined that three of the six horses were suffering from malnutrition. Dr. Spencer rated their body scores a 2 out of 5 points; most horses in good condition register a 4. The pasture was bare, and no feed was present on Mr. Jordan's property during the surprise inspection.
That same day, Deputy Erwin issued Mr. Jordan a misdemeanor summons for cruelty to animals. Mr. Jordan however, refused to cooperate and walked away from Deputy Erwin during their conversation. After being ordered to stop by Deputy Erwin, Mr. Jordan locked his arms and declared that he was a member of the Marksville City Council. At this point, Deputies Allen Jackson and Erwin placed Mr. Jordan in handcuffs and escorted him to the Avoyelles Parish Detention Center, where he was booked with cruelty to animals, public intimation, and resisting an officer.
A few days after Mr. Jordan's arrest, a search warrant was executed, and three of his six horses were seized and turned over to the Humane Society of Louisiana, a statewide animal protection organization.The horses remain in protective custody until the courts rule on their final disposition.
The horses, according to their custodians, are doing well and appear to be gaining weight.
In addition to the several citations given to Mr. Jordan, he was also given notice that he has 15 days to post a $1,000 bond to retain ownership of the horses and that he must re-post a similar bond each consecutive 30 days. The judge also signed a "Stay-Away" order, which prohibits Mr. Jordan from making contact with any of the court-approved custodians of the horses. Photos of two of the three horse seized are attached. One of the horses named Sweet Pea, an American Paint, can be viewed by contacting Ms. Angela Carmourche, one of the complainants and current custodian.
"During the seizure of the horses, we worked closely with Mr. Charles Riddle III, the Avoyelles Parish District Attorney, who spent many hours researching the law and drawing up the necessary documents. We appreciate the work Mr. Riddle and the investigating officers did on this case, and we are glad that the horses are finally getting the care they need," says Jeff Dorson, HSL Director.
The humane organization has seen a dramatic uptick in the number of equine abuse and neglect cases during the past 24 months.
"There is a surplus of horses in Louisiana. One can buy one for less than $50.00 at a sale barn. Unfortunately, to properly care for a horse takes thousands of dollars a year, and most people refuse to pay for their upkeep; so, we get a lot of calls about abandoned, neglected, and underweight horses," adds Dorson.
To help pay for the care of these and other horses under the humane society's care, the group has established a special "Horse Rescue Fund" and is seeking donations from the public and private businesses. Contributions may be sent to the Humane Society of Louisiana, P.O. Box 740321, New Orleans, LA 70174 or made online on the group's website at www.humanela.org. When making a donation via check, please write "Horse Rescue Fund" in the check memo line. All donations are tax deductible. To contact the humane society, please call 1-888-6-humane.