Crowley, LA (KPEL News) - An animal rescue owner in Crowley, Louisiana, is fighting back after being accused of stealing a dog she says rightfully belongs to the rescue group. She has retained an attorney who issued a complaint against Acadia Parish deputies who arrested her. The letter demands that the animal be returned to the rescue and requests an internal investigation of deputies with the Acadia Parish Sheriff's Office.

Jamie Amie owns and operates Precious Paw Prints Animal Rescue, a non-profit organization. For the past month, she has been working to get Maggie back.

JANUARY 31, 2024

According to a letter from her attorney to Acadia Parish Sheriff K.P. Gibson, Jamie Amie found a German shepherd wandering around a cemetery in Crowley on January 31, 2024. The dog wasn't microchipped, wasn't wearing a collar, and appeared underweight.

Amie says she notified Crowley Animal Control, and the dog was put on hold, as legally required.

After the prescribed hold period, Precious Paw Prints assumed responsibility for the dog.

Amie then sought veterinary treatment for the dog she called "Maggie." The vet determined that Maggie was, in fact, malnourished and heartworm positive. The rescue paid to have Maggie spayed, vaccinated, microchipped, and began preventive medications and vaccinations.

The day Amie found Maggie, she created a public post on Facebook with a picture of the dog, asking the owners to identify themselves.

Shortly after, an approved applicant requested to adopt Maggie.

FEBRUARY 13, 2024

Amie says a man contacted her and said the dog many belong to a family member. He claimed that he and his girlfriend didn't realize she had been missing for two weeks because the owner didn't tell them.

Her attorney's letter notes that the stories the man told her were questionable:

He... added that she had gone to a breeder and "got away." He then disclosed that his girlfriend's father's dog [the dog in the rescue's care] had been hit by a car and the girlfriend's father had shot her. The dog was named Sally.

At that point, the boyfriend and alleged owner's daughter said they wanted the dog back. Amie informed them that Louisiana and Acadia Parish law dictate that Maggie rightfully belonged to the rescue, and they could apply for adoption. She said they weren't happy about that answer.

FEBRUARY 15, 2024

Acadia Parish Sheriff's Deputies arrived at Amie's home, lights flashing. She explained to them the situation, got the Crowley Animal Control officer on the phone, and read the the parish ordinance outlining her rights.

She says:

They did not originally show me the warrant or give me badge numbers when asked. They then had this couple come pick up the dog at my house while they arrested me. They bring me to jail and start the booking process. They take my jewelry, they pat me down, they ask questions and get my size for clothing. They then decide to not book me and let me leave with a citation for theft and resisting an officer (resist how I’m not sure).

She was confused about why an animal control officer hadn't come with deputies to her house because, she says, that's protocol when a dog is involved in a case.

The Friends of Pound Pets in Acadiana Facebook group explained what they say is the law regarding stray animals in Acadia Parish and in Louisiana:

Domesticated animals are considered property in Louisiana. They must be contained at ALL times or you are subject to seizure and fines. If an animal if found stray, they are subject to a stray hold which varies from parish to parish with a state minimum of 3 days, but in Acadia that hold time is 5 days not including weekends or holidays. Those 5 days are the time in which an owner can reclaim their "property" or pet. That's it. When those 5 days are over, legal custody passes to whoever has the dog (the shelter or the finder). They can be rehomed, destroyed, etc. As a finder, you do also have to report to the shelter when and where the dog was found in case an owner shows up looking and attempt to find the owner (posting on social media, checking for a collar and/or microchip, etc). At the end of 5 days, ownership is null and void for the original owner.

Based on her records and account of the events, Amie operated within those legal constraints.

FEBRUARY 23, 2024

Amie spoke with Sheriff Gibson who told her the documentation had been handed over to 15th Judicial District Attorney Don Landry who would decide whether to pursue charges. He told her the dog would be returned to the rescue only if they were instructed to do so by the DA.

FEBRUARY 29, 2024

Amie's attorney, Allyson Melancon, sent a letter to Sheriff Gibson:

RE: APSO wrongful seizure of property and false arrest of Jamie Amie.

The latest information she shared indicated that she was notified that an assistant district attorney has been assigned, and her lawyer spoke with Landry. The letter, which you can read below, serves as an official complaint against the Acadia Parish Sheriff's deputies.

attorney letter amie
Allyson Melancon, attorney
attorney letter amie
Allyson Melancon, attorney
attorney letter amie
Allyson Melancon, attorney

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