Luling woman recounts horror of cat shot with arrow

June 17, 2016 at 9:06 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Luling woman recounts horror of cat shot with arrow
For a black cat, Max has incredible luck although what happened to him has evoked outrage and a Luling man charged with animal cruelty.

Around 8:30 p.m. Monday (June 6), Dolly Dicken heard a commotion outside her residence in the Mimosa Park subdivision in Luling.

When she opened the door, what she saw left her in disbelief.

Max was crying in pain and walking around with an arrow extending from his chest. She called 911 and reported the shooting, which was incredible to Dicken who described her cat as the “funniest cat you’ll ever meet in your life. He talks a lot and he’s very loving.”

The 9-month-old feline was rushed to Riverlands Vet Clinic in LaPlace.

“Miraculously, it did not hit any major organs and barely missed his heart,” Dicken said. “It just went through the chest.”

To remove the arrow, the veterinarian unscrewed the field tip and extracted the shaft, without causing any further damage to Max.  After draining the wound, Max was stitched up and remains under medical supervision.

By then, Dolly and her husband, John, were dealing with nearly $1,000 in vet bills, which posed a hardship on them in every way.

Max would have had to stay at the clinic until the bill was paid, but they took a friend’s suggestion and started a Gofundme account online.

Everyone shared the story.

In less than 24 hours, the couple had enough donations to bring Max home. He’s been resting comfortably as of June 8 on painkillers and antibiotics.

“People were very upset, concerned that someone can do this to animals,” Dicken said. “They wondered if he could do this to animals what he would do to human beings.”

A St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy quickly came to the scene and took a report. He asked for and later got the arrow to get fingerprints.

Soon after, Dicken and a neighbor circulated flyers in the immediate area to find who shot her cat. A local good Samaritan also offered a $200 reward for information for this person’s whereabouts.

Dicken soon learned someone had turned himself in to the Sheriff’s Office for the shooting.

It turned out the man lived two doors down from the Dickens. By Thursday afternoon, the Sheriff’s Office reported Cody M. Dupre had turned himself in and was charged with a felony count of cruelty to animals.  Dupre was held on $30,000 bond until a relative posted a $1,000 cash bond the next day.Dupre told police he shot the cat because it was on his property.

Sheriff Greg Champagne said, “Animals abuse will not be tolerated in St. Charles Parish. My office thoroughly investigates these cases and, when warranted, abusers will be arrested.”

This same day, however, Max’s owners weren’t as lucky.

A deputy returned to their house and issued the Dickens a citation under the parish’s leash law for allowing the cat to run loose. Even so, Dolly praised the Sheriff’s Office for being so attentive to the case, and she said they would do all possible to house their cats to avoid them being hurt again.

Dolly Dicken said she intends to seek restitution from Dupre and give those who helped them cover Max’s vet bills the option to take their money back or donate it to the Humane Society.

‘This is the first time we’ve ever had a problem with anyone who did this to an animal,” she said. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Even so, Max’s charmed life reveals itself yet again.Dolly also owns his mother, Princess, and she’s babying her baby.

And he’s really loving it.

Jackie Boudreaux, head of the St. Charles Humane Society, also expressed gratitude for the parish’s judicial system taking these cases seriously.

“It is very disheartening to know someone purposely brought harm to pets as what happened in Mimosa area,” Boudreaux said. “On behalf of the St. Charles Humane Society, we are fortunate in knowing our parish judicial system takes such matters quite seriously and will handle this case as they have in past cases where animal harm, neglect and/or abuse was proven.”

Jeff Dorson, executive director of the Humane Society of Louisiana, who agreed with Boudreaux, said animal abuse is becoming less tolerated in Louisiana.

“We are seeing law enforcement agencies aggressively enforcing the anti-cruelty laws and new collaborative partnerships between rescue groups, humane societies and police,” Dorson said.

Social media is playing a larger part in resolving crimes, he said.

“We are seeing complaints and photos of suspected criminal activity being shared on line, which creates for quicker responses from the authorities and a higher level of accountability,” he add.  “Pet owners are also using social media, as was the case with ‘Max,’ not only to raise awareness of animal cruelty but to raise significant funds for medical care when animals are victimized.”

Dolly Dicken said they’re grateful to those who helped them and mostly appreciative their cat survived, but she’s saddened that someone could hurt an innocent animal.

“If you have a problem with an animal, talk to the owner and maybe you can solve the problem,” she said. “Don’t take the law in your hands and shoot an animal.”

View other articles written Anna Thibodeaux

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