Dog sitter arrested for abusing, neglecting deployed soldier's puppies

Dog sitter arrested for abusing, neglecting deployed soldier's puppies

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A 27-year-old woman is accused of abusing and neglecting two puppies that were left in her care. Investigators have located the owner, who is an active-duty member of military serving overseas.

"If you would have seen what they were in, it would have turned your stomach," said Richard Byrd, operations manager at the East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Shelter. "It's deplorable that this woman left her dogs in the care of someone and this is what happened to them."

The puppies were discovered roughly one week ago by the EBR Constable's Office.

"The constable was serving an eviction and when they opened the door, they were overcome by the stench," Byrd explained. "The puppies are under medical attention because of their condition. It's a wonder they survived."

With the two puppies safe, investigators with Animal Control turned attention to locating the person responsible for leaving the puppies in that condition.

"We were able to locate the owner of the puppies. She is deployed overseas," Byrd said. "We're still investigating to find out why they were left, how they were there, and the condition they were left in."

What they do know, however, is that the owner left the puppies in the care of Latonya Sheppard.

"We had two different addresses for her, but we were eventually able to find her," Byrd said about Sheppard. "She was located last night and booked into the Parish Prison."

Sheppard is charged with aggravated animal cruelty. She is being held in lieu of a $10,000 bond.

The puppies will remain in the care of the shelter until the owner is able to reclaim them.

"They're doing much better," Byrd noted. "I think they're turning that corner and will do okay."

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