Lake Charles Man Gets 10 years For Stealing, Abusing Puppy

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“Finally a judge with the balls to jail those who abuse animals!”

By Ginny LaRoe, | The Times-Picayune Email the author | Follow on Twitter on April 05, 2014 at 4:57 PM, updated April 05, 2014 at 4:58 PM

Stealing and abusing a puppy got a 21-year-old Lake Charles man a 10-year prison sentence, KPLC-TV and the American Press reported, and he will have to spend four years of that term behind bars.

A Lake Charles man has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges, getting a 10-year sentence, of which four years will be served, for stealing a pit bull puppy and then abusing him. Halo, who is now in good health after being rehabilitated with the Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue, had broken bones and pellet bullet wounds when a mail carrier found him in December. (Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue)

Tyler Scott Sanders pleaded guilty this week to aggravated cruelty to animals and theft of animal, the news outlets reported.

The charges came after a pit bull named Halo was found with pellet gun wounds, a broken skull and other broken bones, law enforcement officials told KPLC-TV.

Halo was stolen in August, and a mail carrier found the animal in November, when he was about six months old.

Halo was taken in by the Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue, which rehabilitated him.

He has some ongoing health issues but is up and running, according to the Team Halo Facebook page, which has chronicled the puppy’s recovery and the court case.

There’s a possibility that his front right leg may have to be amputated. It’s an inch shorter than the other legs and he’s still growing so it may eventually bother him,” Jess Single, with the Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue, said Saturday. “Right now he runs and plays with the others well.

Single and Renee Smith, along with other volunteers with the rescue group, praised the judge and prosecutor for taking the case seriously. 

“The DA’s office worked non stop to also make sure that justice was served. They fell in love with Halo and made sure that a message was sent that animal abuse is not tolerated in this parish,” Smith wrote on Facebook.

A judge imposed a 10-year prison term, then suspended half of the sentence, and said Sanders would have to spend 85 percent of it behind bars, plus pay for medical bills and a $5,000 fine, the news outlets reported.

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Starving puppy fights for life at local vet – Video

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“I would like to know who the hell let that poor little guy get into such a bad state!! I can’t find out where he was found or who owned him…I will continue to look & pray for Rocky…the person/s who did this need to have the full force of the law thrown at them!”


A three month old Boxer puppy is now being nursed back to health at a local vet clinic after falling victim to animal cruelty.

It started over the weekend. A good Samaritan heard his whimper and responded to the call. The emaciated Boxer puppy, now named Rocky Balboa, continues to fight for his life at Southside Animal Clinic in Lake Charles.

He was almost dead whenever the good Samaritan that found him brought him in,” said veterinarian Dr. Matt Traylor.

Just two days later, Rocky is doing much better. But on Monday his future didn’t look bright.

“Poor little Rocky was found, he’s been grossly neglected,” said 4 Paws Society President Wanda Williams. “He was out in this heat, suffering terribly. He had been starved.”

In fact Dr. Traylor said it’s been a long time since rocky ate a meal.

“He’s about approximately three months old, probably for the last several weeks to a month to get in that condition,” said Dr. Traylor.

Rocky is also plagued with intestinal parasites and a skin infection. But Dr. Traylor says his emaciation captured the most attention.

“Whenever we look and assess dogs, as far as are they too skinny or too heavy, there’s a nice little chart,” said Dr. Traylor. “It’s on a scale of one to nine. Five is ideal, where you have a lot of muscling over the back but they’re not obese. One is very very thing or emaciated, and nine is the chunky monkey, the big obese dog. He was about a one on the scale to nine when he came in.”

Food is slowly being introduced to Rocky, because too much food at once can cause more problems.

“He’s doing better,” said Dr. Traylor. “He’s eating, but he’s still got a long way to go.”

For now, his prognosis is great. Dr. Traylor says Rocky is a fighter even though he’s not completely out of the woods. But Rocky serves as a face for many other animals neglected or mistreated daily.

“This is one of the things that a lot of people don’t understand, you really need to take care of your animals,” said Dr. Traylor. “This is a pretty classic example of somebody actually neglecting him.”

“Please spay and neuter your pets,” said Williams. “Take good care of them, especially in this heat, please don’t leave your dogs out.”

Rocky should be able to go to his foster home by the end of the week. He’ll stay there for at least a month before he can be adopted. For more information on adopting Rocky or any other dogs through 4 Paws Society visit the Links page.

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