Thibodaux mom speaks out after arrest
THIBODAUX, LA (FOX44) — "I'm not an animal hoarder. I've been rescuing animals, as long as, I could walk,” Lorencia Raffray, said. “I was rescuing animals."
Thibodaux police removed 14 adult cats 18 kittens and 3 dogs from Raffray's home after they say they found the home “infested with feces and urine.” Raffray’s daughter was sent to stay with relatives until the house could be cleaned up.
Raffray is heartbroken. She said in the past few days her home has become empty.
“It's just empty," She said. "My daughter is gone my animals it's just empty. “
Thibodaux Police Department spokesman said they got anonymous tip Friday that lead them to Raffray's home on Oakley Street.
“Someone called saying the child living inside the home was not going to school, because the child was being bullied because the clothes smelled like urine,” David Melancon, public information officer with the Thibodaux Police Department, said.
Raffray said that’s not the case. She said kids made fun of her child because of her last name.
“My daughter was taken care of. My daughter was clean. She has long hair she took a bath every night,” Raffray stated.
Raffray said allowed police officers into her home Friday.
"When they began to look around they began to see that there was feces around the home," Melancon said.
"I had a large amount of cats, so yes, it did have a smell but it wasn't as bad as they were saying. Like there was feces all over the floor there wasn't feces all over the floor," Raffray said.
Raffray said only a few of the animals were hers. She said five of the cats and the three dogs were her pets.
The rest were strays she fostered, because strangers would drop them off at her home. She explained she took care of the animals that others abandoned.
Thibodaux police removed the animals from the home, and the animals were taken to the Lafourche Parish Animal Shelter.
Melancon stated Raffray’s daughter stayed with relatives.
"in situation like this when a juvenile is involved our number one concern is that the child is in a clean environment a healthy environment, as well as, the animals,” Melancon said. “When we put, animals, so many animals in one confined area it's unhealthy and unsanitary for them as well. "
Raffray was devastated to see her animals taken away.
"it made me feel bad. Made me feel depressed, because those were my babies," She said.
Melancon said in a press release Raffray was arrested Friday on charges of Cruelty to a Juvenile and 35 counts of Animal Cruelty, and Raffray was released from Lafourche Parish Detention Center after posting a $500 bond.
“I feel like what I did,I did not do animal cruelty, because I took care of those animals. They were fed. They were taken care of. I cleaned their eyes up the ones that I found,” She said.
"I knew I had to many but I'm guilty of having a large heart I help people out.," She said. "...I'm not somebody who is going to turn my back on anybody or any animal."
Raffary spent the past few days cleaning up her home getting rid of all her animals' supplies. Now, she said she’ll never get another pet besides fish.