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Bank may face animal cruelty charges after sanctuary eviction

By Martin Laine     Dec 8, 2009 in Environment
Dan Mackenzie of Rhode Island was evicted yesterday from the farm that he ran as a sanctuary for unwanted animals that needed a safe place to stay. Left behind were 136 animals, including cats, dogs, sheep, horses, a llama, and even a 7-foot corn snake.
Dr. E. J. Finocchio, head of the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals, told the Providence Journal that the Wells Fargo Bank could face charges of animal cruelty and neglect if it did not provide food, water, and care for the animals.
Mackenzie, a Massachusetts native, bought the property on Snake Hill Road in Glocester, Rhode Island, eight years ago as a place to take in unwanted animals, and named it Bonniedale Farm. He relied on volunteer help and donations to run his sanctuary, but about a year ago it became clear that he was struggling with serious financial difficulties, which finally culminated in his eviction yesterday.
Supporters mounted a fund-raising effort to try to save the farm, but apparently it wasn’t enough.
The bank may have gotten more than it bargained for.
“I don’t think the bank was prepared for what they were getting into when they took over the property,” Finocchio said.
He said he had been told that the bank had contracted with an agency to take care of the animals, but he said it needed to be done quickly. State law requires that the animals must be cared for within 24 hours.
“If that’s not done, we’ll have no choice but to follow the law and charge someone with the neglect of these animals,” he said.
More about Eviction, Sanctuary, Animal cruelty
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