BOSSIER CITY, La. – Owners of a Bossier City dog training and boarding facility have sued Bossier City and others, alleging they used their positions of power to intimidate and try to close down their business.
Red Rover owners Quentin Koury and Cody McKellar filed the lawsuit last month in federal court, but the issues span back to 2021.
Red Rover opened its doors on Aug. 30, 2021. Soon after, Red Rover owners said their neighbor, Steven Pennell, who’s also the deputy operations chief for Bossier City, started to complain about barking dogs. Then simple complaints about noise spiraled into what Koury and McKeller says is abuse of power by local government officials.
The lawsuit claims Pennell enlisted city officials to harass Red Rover. leading to several tickets and multiple Bossier City Animal Control visits, where BCAC says they found “no significant or prolonged barking.”
SOBO.live and Bossier Watch shared a video from one of these alleged acts of harassment on July 8, 2022. In the video Bossier City police patrol supervisor Sgt. Eric Sproles went to Red Rover to assist Officer Marlvin Bradford.
According to the video, Bradford was told to issue a ticket to Red Rover for unnecessary noise. Sgt. Sproles then made a call to his supervisor, Lt. Joseph Thomerson.
Here is what was said in the police video:
Sproles: Bradford told me that he asked him to write him a ticket for unnecessary noise.“
Thomerson: “Okay, did he do it? [Unintelligible] The city attorney wants it written.“
Sproles: “Somebody from the city attorney wants it written?“
Sproles: “Okay, because this is putting us in a really bad spot coming out here, issuing an arrest, with basically … nothing.“
Thomerson: “[Unintelligible] Well, Rodney, yeah with the attorney, well, It came from the city attorney that we were to assist Rodney Taylor, and he wants a ticket written, we are to write that ticket.“
Red Rover owners said in their lawsuit they’ve tried multiple ways to reduce barking including installing barking deterrents and sound-dampening paneling between the properties.
“I’ve put sound barriers up. I offered to sit down with him and whoever his contact is with the city to try and work it out peacefully,” said McKellar in police video.
“I offered to sit down, and he said no it wont do any good….obviously there is two different stories going on there but everytime I’ve been here, I can hear barking inside where the people are, but when I am outside, I might hear a bark once in a while, but I dont hear consistent barking” said Shari Wood, Bossier City Animal Services supervisor.
Koury and McKellar say they just want to run their business.
“We hate that it came to this. You know, all we want to do is operate our business peacefully without the interference of the city,” said McKellar on Monday.
In addition to Bossier City and Pennell, other defendants named in the lawsuit include Wade Rich, Rodney Taylor and city attorney Charles Jacobs.
KTBS reached out to Bossier City for a comment on the lawsuit’s allegations. So far, there’s been no response.
For the full lawsuit, click here.