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Louisiana ranked as #5 for dog friendliest

According to a new report, Louisianians are dog people. The study, conducted by market research firm Euromonitor puts Louisiana in the top 5 states in the nation who favor dogs over cats.  Louisiana SPCA CEO Ana Zorilla says the state is tailor made for dogs.

"We're such a festival rich state, and so many of us bring our pets with us. If it is appropriate, and it's pet friendly, your dog can go with you."
The study shows several trends in worldwide pet ownership, dogs are preferred pet in the south, cats in the northeast, and a massive preference for dogs across most of Asia. Zorrilla says the explosion of dog centric locations has created a unique opportunity for people to embrace their love of canines.
"There's more doggie day cares, dog boarding facilities, as well as places like the bulldog and canine connection that really cater to dog lovers."
The study shows several trends in worldwide pet ownership, dogs are preferred pet in the south, cats in the northeast, and a massive preference for dogs across most of Asia. But Zorilla says  Louisiana is a great state for all kinds of pet ownership.
"well i think we love animals in general here, and i think that comes through in the number of people who own pets, and specifically the number of people who own dogs."


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Hot sauce sales are hot

As the spicy food trend spreads across the country, the hot sauce market is growing by leaps and bounds.  Since 2000, the US hot sauce market has grown by 150 percent, according to a story by Atlantic Media's Quartz. 

President and CEO of New Iberia-based Bruce Foods, Si Brown, says they have definitely noticed the trend.
"Hot sauce has just been a condiment that has excelled above others, in terms of customer appreciation.  And it fits right in with the trend of spicy food."
Bruce Foods, which produces Original Louisiana Hot Sauce, along with other Louisiana companies are profiting from the nation's growing appetite for heat.  Brown says his company has expanded distribution since the boom began.
"We've been in business for over 80 years, so our product has been in distribution coast-to-coast for many years, and internationally.  So, whereas we have had distribution, we have seen an increase in consumption."
Hot sauce sales have increased 6-percent annually for the past 10 years  according to the market research firm I-R-I.  Brown says hot sauce is becoming a condiment on par with mustard and ketchup.  He says hot sauce aficionados are even more determined about having the product than almost any other condiment.
"People have to have it.  And you can see in restaurants, sometimes, when maybe the bottle may not be on the table.  Consumers will stand up and walk over to a table where hot sauce is available and pick it up and go back to their table."
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New VA clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles closer to reality

Authorization for new VA clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles is one step closer to reality according to Lafayette Congressman Charles Boustany.  Boustany received confirmation that authorization for the two new clinics will be included in the final draft of a bipartisan bill on VA legislation. 

The Congressman says he's worked hard to get these clinics authorized and is thrilled about the news.
"This is a big step forward to get these clinics built.  Getting this legislation agreed upon, voted upon this week is a very major step forward."
Boustany expects both houses of Congress to vote on the measure this week.  He says funding for the construction of these new clinics is not included this legislation.  But Boustany says if this bill passes, it will clear the way for funding.
"And I've been in conversations with the chairman of the sub-committee dealing with funding for our military and VA construction.  He's actually been to Lafayette to do a town hall with me with the veterans.  And he's very, very open to working with me on this."
Boustany is confident that this legislation will pass before Congress breaks for the August recess and move to the President's desk to be signed into law. 
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Two freshman LSU defensive linemen face misdemeanors

Two freshmen LSU defensive linemen have received misdemeanor summons for separate incidents they were involved in. Trey Lealaimatafao reportedly stole a bicycle from a rack outside of Middleton Library. The alleged offense occurred on July 1st and campus police say there's surveillance video showing the Texas native taking the bike.

And former Plaquemine star Davon Godchaux was also issued a misdemeanor summons for criminal mischief after he allegedly ignited a firecracker and threw it into an apartment unit. The incident last week led to a couch catching on fire and creating a small blaze. According to the police report, when officers spoke with Godchaux, he said it was supposed to be a prank. 
LSU officials have not commented on the incidents. Lealaimatafao made headlines last week when he severely injured his arm when he punched a window inside the LSU weight room. He's been released from the hospital, but no word if he'll be able to play this season. 
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Houma woman stabs boyfriend for coming home late

Michelle Southern reporting.
The Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's office says a Houma woman is under arrest for allegedly stabbing her boyfriend for staying out too late. Captain Dawn Foret says they received a call around 4:30am Sunday in reference to a domestic disturbance.

"When our deputies got there we found a male subject with a stab wound to the leg and there was a massive amount of blood," said Foret.

Foret says it was the suspect, 21-year-old Kera Dupre, who called 911 and she told investigators she stabbed her boyfriend because he didn't come home at a time she felt was appropriate.

"And a verbal argument occured and she threw a butcher knife at him as he went to walk away from her," said Foret.

Dupre was arrested for one count of aggravated second degree battery and is being held at the Terrrebonne Parish jail.


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LDWF searching for boat involved in hit-and-run accident

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is investigating a rare hit-and-run boating crash. L-D-W-F's Adam Einck says the  incident happened Saturday night on the Amite River Diversion Canal in Livingston Parish when a ski boat was rear ended and run over by another ski boat. 
"In the process all three of the people in that boat were treated for minor injuries," Einck said. "But the other ski boat took off and never came back."
Einck says they believe a yellow and white ski boat, with a black stripe was involved in the Hit and Run. He says it was last seen speeding trough a wake zone. 
"Very rare for a hit-and-run to occur in the water," Einck said.
Einck says if anyone has information about this incident, they should call LDWF's Operation Game Thief (800-442-2511) or use the LADWF Tips app on their smart phones. 
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APSO department veteran drowns when trying to save his dog

Michelle Southern reporting.
The Ascension Parish Sheriff's office is in mourning today after a 32-year veteran of the department drowned Sunday while trying to rescue his dog from a pond. Lt. Col. Bobby Webre says 56-year-old Sam Vitter's Yorkshire Terrier slid under the fence of the residence and was running after something near the water.

"It looks like the little Yorkshire Terrier went into the pond chasing after some wildlife and Sam went in to get the animal but never resurfaced," said Webre.

Vitter is survived by his wife Sandy and one son currently serving in the Navy. Webre says they aren't exactly sure what happened to cause the drowning.

"The pond is 12-14 feet deep and maybe he didn't realize it was so deep," said Webre.

Webre says a neighbor called to report seeing shoes and keys on the side of the Spanish Oaks pond in Prarieville and altered deputies. He says Vitter's body was recovered around 2pm.

Webre says this is a horrible tragedy.

"You see somebody retire and you hope they have a long and fruitful retirement," says Webre. "Sam didn't even get to enjoy less than a year of it."

Vitter retired in December 2013. The dog survived.


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