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article imageR.I. Court Acts to Care for Animals Left Behind after Eviction

By Martin Laine     Dec 9, 2009 in Environment
A Rhode Island judge today authorized the state’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to arrange for the care of some 136 animals left behind at the Bonniedale Farm in Glocester, RI, following the owner’s eviction Monday.
The authorization is only for the next 24 hours, while lawyers for the parties try to work out a long-term arrangement.
Dan Mackenzie, the former owner of the farm, told the Providence Journal today he was given only 10 minutes to leave the property when officials from the Wells Fargo Bank arrived at the farm Monday morning. A constable has been posted at the farm, refusing to let anyone enter.
Mackenzie bought the property eight years ago, and has been operating it as a sanctuary for unwanted and neglected animals of all kinds. At the time of the seizure, there were dogs, cats, sheep, horses, ducks, geese – even llamas and snakes. He has been relying on donations and volunteer help, but over the past year has been experiencing serious financial problems.
Mackenzie said he would have made arrangements for the animals if he had known he was going to be evicted.
“I would have tried to place the animals someplace safe,” he said. “Apparently they’re not animal people at all.”
For now, the work of caring for the animals will be done by students in an agricultural program at the University of Rhode Island, according to lawyers involved in the case.
Meanwhile, more meetings among the lawyers were scheduled for this afternoon to try to work out an agreement, which they hope to present to Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Lanphear tomorrow morning.
More about Eviction, Bonniedale farm, Sanctuary
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