- Associated Press - Sunday, March 16, 2014

PORT ALLEN, La. (AP) - One of the four candidates seeking to be Port Allen’s new mayor has been arrested and jailed in the mistreatment of animals.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1p0zz6R ) Larry Bell, 63, had been issued multiple warnings - written and verbal - about the undernourished appearance of his horses before he was taken into custody last week by the parish’s Animal Control division.

Bell was booked Thursday on charges of cruelty to animals and on a bench warrant for having an animal at large.

“We were just getting multiple complaints about the horses from people who were driving by and seeing them looking malnourished,” said Richard Summers, superintendent of West Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control. “Arresting him wasn’t something we wanted to do but what other choice did we have?”

Bond information was unavailable. Bell wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Summers said the emaciated horses were located on property Bell owned on Lafiton Lane in Port Allen.

The complaints about the horses date as far back as 2012, Summers said.

“We took two horses into our care back in 2012,” he said. “The complaints started up again in August of last year. We were trying to work with him, but we had to move to this next step.”

The special April 5 election is being held in the wake of a November recall of former Mayor Demetric “Deedy” Slaughter.

Leon Goudeau Jr. dropped out of the race shortly after qualifying, so his name will not appear on the ballot. The other candidates are retired law enforcement officer Richard Lee, retired teacher Kirby Anderson and Slaughter.

Early voting begins Saturday.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com