“We received a complaint from the supervisor of the animal shelter and the mayor, in reference to her discovery of animals being discarded behind the shelter. The supervisor determined that the animals were in fact from the Crowley Animal Shelter due to the animals being microchipped previously,” said Chief of Police K.P. Gibson.
That is when Crowley Police were notified by the supervisor.
“We immediately opened an investigation in to this complaint and determined that a previous employee may be linked to this crime,” said Gibson.
Eight animals were located in an area adjacent to the animal shelter. Of the eight animals, five animals were determined to have been deceased as the results of an earlier investigation with Crowley Police and the animal shelter regarding a dog fighting ring.
“These five dogs were deceased and being held as evidence in a dog fighting ring. They were removed from the shelter’s storage and disposed of in an adjacent field,” said Gibson. “The other three animals, all dogs, were listed as being taken into the shelter but had never been listed as returned to own / released, thus the belief that they were still alive prior to the supervisor's discovery."
Information was obtained and confirmed that additional animals, were removed from the shelter and discarded at various locations outside of the city of Crowley.
“We have spoken with members of the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office and they have opened an investigation for incidents which have occurred within their jurisdiction. We have confirmed that animals which have been located outside of the city also come from the Crowley Animal Shelter,” said Gibson.
“At this point it is our belief that approximately 10-20 animals were disposed of improperly and cruelly at the hand of Michael Edwards, 50, of Crowley, who was employed at the shelter until earlier this week,” said Gibson.
Edwards was arrested Thursday evening and charged with five counts of obstruction of justice, three counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and one count of malfeasance in office.
Edwards was booked into the Acadia Parish Jail.