Contact 9: Accident kills family pet - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Contact 9: Accident kills family pet


One and a half to two inches of rain fell last Friday in the vicinity of the new Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Walker. The front of the facility is home to a retention pond which collects runoff water from the property and feeds it into a nearby ditch.

The rain filled the ditch so fast on Friday that Randall Leonard's pet dog, a mastiff named JoJo, who had jumped into the ditch, was sucked into an overflow pipe killing him instantly.

"I hurt, I didn't know what to do one minute the dog was there the next minute it was gone."Says Leonard.

"It's already caused the death of a animal and I'm scared about children on this property," said property owner Cliff Marsh.

He says the hospital could help solve the problem. 

"I would think that this pipe should have a back flow prevented in it that would not flow back of the lake but into the canal from the lake as it is over flow," said Marsh. "If it had some kind of valve then this thing wouldn't be able to flow back up into the lake."

Still it was too late for JoJo.

"So I waited on Saturday evening so the water went down past the pipe and I walked over to the Lake and there in a concrete bunker over there about a four by four," explained Leonard.  "My dog was inside of it."

The Livingston Parish Sheriff's Department says Leonard has to take some responsibility for the dog's death. According to a report written by sheriff's deputy who was on extra duty that night, Leonard became agitated when the deputy informed him that the dog should have been on a leash.

Leonard did not have his dog on a leash when the incident occurred, the report goes on to say that the construction company, Brasfield and Gorrie, could not be held accountable.

Our Lady of the Lake Hospital issued this statement in part:

"We can appreciate the emotions of losing a family pet and we are reminded of the dangers of rising water.  We are sorry for the loss."

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