OPELOUSAS — A former St. Landry Parish Animal Control employee booked on animal cruelty charges threw dying animals onto the floor where they were preyed upon by other dogs, according to his arrest warrant.
Troy Keith Gallo, 45, tossed the dying animals to the dogs after he botched an effort to put down an animal by injecting it with euthanizing drugs, the warrant says.
Gallo and his wife, former parish Animal Control Director Patricia Street Gallo, were arrested Wednesday night and booked into the parish jail on counts of animal cruelty and theft of under $500 worth of dog food.
Patricia Gallo is accused of allowing “unorthodox euthanizing and disposal of animals” and allowing dogs and cats to remain in filthy cages without food or water.
Troy Gallo denied both the cruelty and dog food theft charges when contacted for comment Thursday.
A witness said she saw Troy Gallo improperly administer euthanasia drugs into an animal. He would miss the heart, then inject its abdominal wall, documents show.
Gallo “would throw the animal onto the floor to allow animal control dogs to finish killing the animal,” the witness told deputies.
“No, that never happened,” Gallo said Thursday. “Those people accusing me don’t even have a clue of how the (euthanasia) procedure is performed.
“I would love to tell my side of the story,” Gallo said. “This is based on hearsay and no evidence. It’s from a complaint. My stepdaughter went to the sheriff (on Thursday) with a counter complaint.”
He did not elaborate on the counter complaint or who it was filed against.
Gallo also said he and his wife are being targeted unfairly. “There were other employees there. Why aren’t they being attacked?”
Sheriff Bobby Guidroz announced the pair’s arrest at a St. Landry Parish Council meeting Wednesday after members of Friends Underwriting Rescue, a volunteer group that assists parish animal shelter workers, complained to the council about conditions at the shelter.
According to the warrants, the dog food thefts occurred when a shelter volunteer saw the pair removing dog food from a delivery truck and bringing the food home, apparently for personal use.
Parish Chief Administrative Officer Jessie Bellard said he doubts the couple was stealing dog food from the shelter.
“We get so much dog food for the animals that sometimes we give it away to other shelters in the area. Sometimes the food rots, and it’s taken home to feed to the hogs,” Bellard said.
Troy Gallo said the food he took home was unsuitable for dogs at the shelter.
The sheriff said Thursday he considers the investigation closed.
Parish government announced recently that Patricia Gallo was no longer director of the Animal Control shelter. She has been replaced in that position by Terri Courville.
Patricia Gallo now works for the parish as an educational liaison, teaching kids about animal abuse issues, Bellard said.
Bellard said she also will work on special assignments, such as locating rights of way as parish road projects begin.
Troy Gallo was transferred out of Animal Control in February and now works as a road foreman, Bellard said.
Troy and Patricia Gallo, who both live at 713 Frilot Cove Road, Opelousas, were released from jail after posting bonds of $2,000 each set by 27th Judicial District Court Judge Donald Hebert.
The Gallos will remain parish employees for as long as the legal process continues, Bellard said.
“If they are guilty, then the proper action will be taken,” Bellard said.