The case involving the city of DeLand, FL vs. ARK animal shelter has been resolved – in the courts at least. Based on the available reporting, I can’t say I’m clear on all the specifics. One thing appears to be certain: the 135 seized pets have been surrendered by ARK and the city has elected to relinquish them to the facilities currently housing them which reportedly include both rescue groups and pet killing facilities.
In the hearing held Monday, additional details were provided on allegations of wrongdoing at ARK:
A city attorney said ARK staffed the facility with untrained workers, homeless people, who could live there in exchange for feeding and cleaning the animals. Also among the workers was a sex offender, who officials said harassed volunteers to the point that they stopped coming around to help.
“I think one of the vets summed it up best, this facility is as bad as it got, it wasn’t a no-kill shelter, it was a slow-kill shelter. That’s what happened to the animals when they got in there. They got sick,” said DeLand City Attorney Darrin Elkind.
A veterinarian testified regarding “overused litter boxes, bloody stool, maggots in food, sick cats, and overcrowded conditions” at ARK.
The future of the shelter seems uncertain. WKMG says:
The agreement states the owner won’t be charged criminally and she can work with the city to reopen her shelter.
ARK is not prohibited from rescuing more animals, but may not house any animals in the restored historic home at 441 S. Woodland Blvd. where the seizure was conducted, according to City Attorney Darren Elkind. ARK may continue to operate its office there.
ARK will not have to close, and as part of the agreement the city will work with [ARK owner Maggi] Hall to make a better environment for the animals.
So the city of DeLand, which apparently subscribes to the HSUS “rescue” philosophy (that is, taking pets from less than ideal conditions and sending them to pet killing facilities), is going to help improve conditions at ARK. ARK was so awful that it was a “slow-kill shelter” at which a sex offender left maggoty food in filthy cages for sick animals. But no charges are warranted. And they can continue to rescue. Just not the 135 seized by the city.
Clear as mud.
Meanwhile, the city hasn’t provided a tally on how many displaced animals have been killed while the pet killing facilities held the ARK animals for court. I’m sure no one has asked. Just as I’m sure no one will ask how many of the 135 have been or will be killed.
So yay justice, I guess.
(Thank you Clarice for these links.)