Update on ARK Shelter Case in FL

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.

The West Volusia Beacon reports:

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.

WESH states:

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.)

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3 Comments

  1. Dr Betty Schueler

     /  November 20, 2012

    Yes, clear as mud about sums it up. None of this makes any sense. What has someone being a sex offender have to do with taking care of animals? You can get on the sex offender list just by having sex with someone you think is of age, but they aren’t. It doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of feeding animals or cleaning up after them. My litter boxes look “overused” in the morning before I clean. It isn’t my fault the cats prefer one box over the other eight available at night. I figure they use it because they know it is the most difficult one to clean. As for blood in the stool, that happens whenever cats and dogs are stressed. As for maggots in the food I can’t answer that one except maybe the food came that way and she was unaware of it. I’ve been finding something that looks like meal worms roaming around the feed storage area. I buy one of the most expensive feeds on the market, and it is stored in plastic food bins, so it has to be coming with the food bags. The store carries a number of brands and I’m sure some of them aren’t as picky about what goes into their dog and cat food. I suspect the worms come from other foods and hitch hike on the bags I bring home. I know it takes a lot of work to adequately care for a hundred some dogs and cats as I have done it. But there are some things you just can’t stop when you have that many pets such as URI, in cats, dogs that aren’t house trained,(a prime reason for dumping a dog), ringworm, and stress-related disorders. The best you can do is quarantine and treat. I don’t know how the rescue can be called a slow-kill shelter and then be allowed to re-establish itself unless it is all about politics. It’s a damn shame a bunch of animals were probably killed so that someone could gain some political points.

    Reply
  2. Karen Josephson

     /  November 20, 2012

    As always thank you for posting. I contacted the journalist involved in the case and requested that she follow up on how many of the confiscated animals are killed. I asked her to think about engaging the animal loving public to adopt and foster these social animals from ARK…along with a short commentary. The owner of ARK was obviously over her head. We don’t know why – and some animals were definitly suffering without vet care or cleanliness.
    Another case of a good rescuer over the top???

    Reply
  3. Jennifer

     /  November 20, 2012

    I hope adopters and rescues are hurrying to the kill shelters to adopt/rescue these animals.

    Reply

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