The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office issued a serious warning to anyone trying to save pets in Bevil Oaks not to attempt to reach the area.
Bevil Oaks, which is under a mandatory evacuation, is closed to everyone except first responders. Anyone who attempts to rescue pets from flooded homes in Bevil Oaks without authorization will be charged with burglary, Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy Marcus McLellan said Saturday.
"The Sheriff's Office has learned through social media and people that have already arrived to the area that they are there to enter homes and save people's pets," McLellan explained.
Approved animal rescues were being conducted by multiple groups Saturday at the direction of the Jefferson County Livestock Deputy -- with coordinating help from the ASPCA and the Texas A&M Veterinary Response Team.
"We urge everyone to stay away from the area for his or her safety," McLellan said.
Animal rescue advocates and even the former district attorney expressed concerns about the notice.
"Anyone arrested pursuant to this policy for simply trying to save an animal should contact my office & I will represent you free of charge," Former Jefferson County DA Cory Crenshaw wrote in a Facebook post. "I am all about law & order but well intentioned people merely trying to rescue a stranded pet will receive the best legal defense I can give."