School Board Member in South Texas Town of Floresville Accused of Donkey Theft

Wikimedia Commons / Greudin
A Floresville ISD board member is wanted for GTD: grand theft donkey.

Alena Berlanga, who represents Floresville ISD's District 6, is facing multiple misdemeanor charges for allegedly stealing a donkey. While the animal was in labor, no less.

News4SA reports that Berlanga and her two accused accomplices — Nicole Sullivan and Pamela Johnson — heard the donkey in distress and took a lock off a gate to access the animal, which was reported stolen on June 9.

They're accused of transporting the donkey to a ranch in Wilson County, after which it was treated by a veterinarian, according to KSAT.

Reports say the foal didn't survive the birth, and the donkey has since been returned.

A Wilson County Sheriff’s investigator told KSAT Wednesday that Sullivan and Johnson were working on arrangements to turn themselves in. Berlanga's attorney said she was scheduled to turn herself in Wednesday afternoon.

"The charges are, by no means, how we want to represent ourselves as a Board," Floresville ISD Board President Penny Smith said in a statement provided to KSAT. "This is very unfortunate. Allegations such as these do not promote the best interests of the District."

In a statement, an attorney fo rBerlanga defended her actions as an attempt to care for an animal in need.

"The warrants for Ms. Berlanga’s arrest stems from erroneous accusations, as Ms. Berlanga helped rescue a neglected animal desperately in need of medical attention," the statement reads. "Theft requires an intent to deprive someone of property and the people involved in this matter had only the intent to save a neglected animal who was unable to fully give birth to a deceased and partially decayed foal."

It continues: "The pending charges facing Ms. Berlanga are nothing more than politically motivated misrepresentations aimed at vilifying Ms. Berlanga and others who serve the Wilson County community through their work with animals. Ms. Berlanga is a certified animal control officer and President and Founder of the Wilson County No Kill Animal Shelter. The shelter covered the cost of medical care for the animal."

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