For the second year in a row, Lutcher High School’s bulldog mascot was stolen. This time, it was Spike.
The previous mascot, Big Seal, was taken in August and never found, owner Terry Falgoust said.
Spike disappeared sometime before breakfast Tuesday.
“When I went to the cages this morning, they were open, and all the gates were open,” Falgoust said.
He even had taller gates installed at his house after Big Seal was taken.
“I made the fence 7 feet tall, so they couldn’t climb it,” Falgoust said.
Falgoust notified police when he discovered Spike, a 1½-year-old English bulldog, was missing.
“People in this community know that he raises bulldogs,” St. James Parish Sheriff Willy Martin Jr. said. “It’s been a tradition.”
Falgoust has been raising Lutcher High’s mascot bulldogs since 1975, when he left military service and bought his first bulldog. As a fan of the breed, he is known to regularly raise multiple bulldogs at one time.
Lutcher football coach Tim Detillier did not initially share the news with the students but word spread.
“(Falgoust) came to see me at lunch to tell me, and I wasn’t going to tell the boys at first,” Detillier said. “In today’s social media world, though, it got around.”
News quickly spread of Spike’s disappearance on Facebook after a St. James Parish media outlet posted a message on its Facebook page, Poche Post.
Detillier said Spike played a spirited part in the Lutcher football team’s routine.
“He runs out when the team runs out,” Detillier said. “He’s always with us. There aren’t many high schools that have a live mascot, and we’re blessed for that.”
Martin said the Sheriff’s Office does not have any leads on who may have stolen Spike yet, but his deputies have not given up.
“We’ll put people out on the streets to look,” Martin said. “We are going to comb the area. … The night shift is going to be on the lookout.”
Detillier said it’s frustrating to see two mascots stolen.
Detillier said he promised the team it will still have a mascot when it takes the field, though.
“I don’t know what his name is going to be, but there will be a bulldog standing there whenever you run out.”
Anyone who has information on Spike is asked to call the St. James Sheriff’s Office at (225) 562-2210.