On July 11, St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Office detectives initiated an investigation after a St. John the Baptist Parish Animal Control officer reported a cruelty to animals case. Animal Control reported that an illegal dog rescue operation called “Happy Yappy Doggy Recue” was operating at the residence at 1953 Longwood Court in LaPlace.
On May 7, Animal Control removed approximately 40 animals from the residence that were living in conditions that were described as shocking. Animals were living in kennel cabs stacked throughout the house that were covered with dirt, grime, urine, and feces. Some animals were kept in the garage with no food, water, nor air circulation. Animal Control officers instructed Joyce Charles, 46, the resident, that she was not allowed to operate the rescue operation from her home and was not allowed to house animals in her home.
Animal Control received information that Charles continued to take in animals. On July 15, St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives with the assistance St. John the Baptist Parish Animal Control officers executed a search warrant at the residence and seized 10 dogs.
Joyce Charles was arrested and booked with cruelty to animals and improper zoning use. She remains in custody in lieu of a $17,000 bond.