FOX 8 Defenders: "Hounded" trial begins in Lafourche

Chris Michot (File)
Chris Michot (File)

The trial of a Lafourche Parish man accused of animal cruelty and animal noise code violations started Thursday afternoon.  But after three and a half hours of testimony in the case against Chris Michot, the court continued the trial to April 16.

It's a case the FOX 8 Defenders has followed for months.

Thursday, the prosecution called four witnesses to the stand to testify, including Michot's next-door neighbors, Vivian and Joey Sanchez and two Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office patrol sergeants.

Mrs. Sanchez testified that, when she first moved to the Thibodaux property, Michot told her he had about 100 dogs.  Mr. Sanchez says the barking is non-stop, sometimes for hours, and it wakes them up in the middle of the night.

Prosecutors played a 35-minute video the neighbors shot, and most of it revealed non-stop barking.  There were only a few moments of quiet time during the whole tape.

The defense argued that someone must have been provoking the dogs.

Humane Society Chief Field Investigator Beau Gast said, "Our field investigators go out, document what we see and take that to the Sheriff's Office.  We take no other actions other than that.  We would never intentionally, you know, cause something to happen."

Several of Chris Michot's neighbors showed up in court to listen and watch.  They say they've lived with the complaints the Sanchez's have made for years.

"It's an everyday life for everyone back there in the Little Choupic community," said neighbor Buddy Gauthier.  "There's no barriers or anything from our side, but we can definitely see the animals tied up and the conditions and we can also... The smells tell us that there's a lot going on over there."

Testimony focused mainly on the animal noise code violations.  The animal cruelty charges will likely come up when trial resumes next month.

Several other Lafourche Parish deputies will testify then, along with a representative with the Humane Society Lafourche Chapter.   Mr. Michot's defense attorney, David Ardoin, mentioned he also subpoenaed Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre to testify.