Louisiana Woman Shoots Pet Llama Three Times, Charged With Animal Cruelty

Two llamas walking in an open field.
Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

Madeline Bourgeois was arrested and charged with animal cruelty for shooting her pet llama on the day after Valentine’s Day. The llama, who she calls Earl, has been removed from her custody.

Police officers responded to the call on February 15, 2019. They were told that the incident was pertaining to an animal attacking an owner. However, once they arrived on the scene they immediately noticed a llama limping in the pasture, per KATC.

The officers’ report details Bourgeois’ version of events. The 67-year-old woman, who hails from Opelousas, Louisiana, claimed that her pet llama attacked her while she was working in her pasture. Bourgeois said that she tried to defend herself by repeatedly hitting the llama to stop his attack on her. She fled to the gate and was able to escape the attack when she left the pasture.

However, Bourgeois’ next step had her charged with cruelty towards an animal. According to the deputies’ report, she then went home to fetch her gun. Bourgeois then returned to the pasture and shot her llama three times.

The deputies took quick and decisive action. They removed the llama from Bourgeois’ home and placed it St. Landry Parish Animal Control & Rescue.

Animal Control Director, Stacey Alleman, produced photos of the x-rays taken of the llama on February 16. Per News 15, the llama had to be taken to the LSU Veterinary Clinic in Baton Rouge where it was evaluated. X-rays showed that there were three bullets located within the animal, which seems to back Bourgeois’ story.

It appears as if Bourgeois had the right to defend herself, but she overstepped when she returned to shoot the llama. Sheriff Guidroz explained why she was charged.

“According to the law, Bourgeois had every right to defend herself while being attacked but was no longer in danger after escaping the pasture. Ms. Bourgeois retrieved a gun and then returned and shot the llama, which constitutes the charge of felony cruelty to animals. Bourgeois should have called a vet or animal control for assistance.”

According to St. Landry Parish Animal Control & Rescue, Earl is being treated for a fractured rib and gunshot wounds. According to their Facebook page, Earl is “struggling by making it.” They reported that Earl had bullets lodged in his neck, his shoulder, and his abdomen. They also posted the photos of the x-rays that were taken of him.

St. Landry Parish Animal Control & Rescue are also raising funds to have the llama gelded.

It is unclear if Bourgeois has an attorney.