LAFAYETTE — An animal welfare group and two dog breeders have settled a lawsuit over 57 pit pulls seized and euthanized in an investigation into alleged dogfighting, according to court filings.
Floyd Joseph Boudreaux and his son, Guy Anthony Boudreaux, filed the lawsuit in 2009 against the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after a judge acquitted the men on dogfighting charges, citing a lack of evidence.
The father and son had sought damages for mental distress and loss of income from the sale of the animals, which their attorney has said were valued at about $300,000.
The Louisiana SPCA declined to comment on the terms of the settlement, and the Boudreauxes’ attorney, Richard Dalton, did not return two calls seeking comment.
A woman who answered the telephone at Floyd Boudreaux’s home said he would have no comment on the case.
The lawsuit over the deaths of the animals had been scheduled to go to trial Monday.
The case had its origins in 2005, when State Police raided the Boudreauxes’ Youngsville home and seized the pit bulls.
State Police handed the animals over to the SPCA, and the nonprofit group euthanized the pits bulls within days of the raid.
The lawsuit was focused on questions of whether the SPCA overstepped its bounds in euthanizing the animals.
A State Police investigator testified at the Boudreauxes’ criminal trial that he had been under the impression the SPCA was going to house the animals, not kill them.
A representative from the SPCA, Kathryn Destreza, testified there was a general assumption at the SPCA after the raid that the animals would be euthanized, though she could not recall any one person making the decision.
In responding to the lawsuit, the SPCA argued in court filings the group should be given immunity from liability because the SPCA became involved “only at the request of State Police” and was acting as an agent of the state.
In statements to the news media after the 2005 raid, then-Louisiana SPCA Director Laura Maloney said the group had been pushing for law enforcement to investigate Floyd Boudreaux, whom she alleged was a well-known breeder of fighting dogs that could fetch as much as $10,000.
Dalton, the Boudreauxes’ attorney, has said the father and son were not raising fighting dogs but rather carrying on the “Eli” bloodline of pit bulls that the family had bred for more than a century.
The death of the dogs seized in the 2005 raid effectively ended that family tradition, an event so traumatic for Floyd Boudreaux that it prompted a heart attack, Dalton said when the lawsuit was filed in 2009.