Man arrested for cruelty to animals after years of reports

Since 2020, a man has been arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty after multiple reports were filed by neighbors.

Merlin Avet was arrested by the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office on December 22, after which Animal Control began taking the dog back. According to his neighbor Shannon, 11 dogs were picked up Wednesday night, and more were picked up Thursday morning, and they’re setting traps to try and catch the remaining outdoor dogs.

“I didn’t want him to be arrested for animal cruelty and the animal would be taken to a shelter and euthanized. I didn’t want that to happen,” Shannon said. For her privacy reasons, she will be referred to by her first name only.

Shannon alleges that Abbett’s dog repeatedly trespassed on her property. One dog killed her chicken, one chased her nephew, another stole her sister’s purse.

She said it was the first time a dog had killed her chicken, but Avet compensated her that the problem had been going on for years.

Shannon claims she has filed multiple reports with the LPSO over the years and reported to the parishioner’s compliance department about the state of his property.

“There is a canal right by his property, and there are a lot of cars in poor condition on the waterway,” she said.

The LPSO said it was working on animal control to take care of the animals “especially during this cold time,” but nothing was announced about the condition of the facility.

Shannon claims he doesn’t know how many dogs he has because rats run down the road from his property and hide under cars.

“This is a sad situation, completely unnecessary and very sad. They continued to breed. Probably in the last month or two my sister said there were more puppies over there. Sad , very sad. I feel sorry for the dogs,” Shannon said.

She said she didn’t want the dog to end up being euthanized in a shelter, but that “it’s better to humanely euthanize than slowly freeze to death.”

In response to the arrest and previous reports, the LPSO said:

“The arrest was due to the animal’s living conditions. We have asked management to intervene.

During this cold season, bring your animals indoors and have proper shelter for those that must stay outdoors.

Avet has since been released from Livingston Parish Prison on $500 bail.

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