Unsettling board review of Manatee County Animal Services in cruelty scandal
May 18, 2014
The Manatee County Animal Services Advisory Board came to a troubling conclusion about Manatee County Animal Services, disclosing publicly last week that the board had not been informed about the squalid conditions at Napier’s Log Cabin Horse and Animal Sanctuary and indeed were misled by officials.
An anonymous complaint — not one from Manatee County Animal Services — launched an investigation on Dec. 9. Two months later, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office led a multi-agency law enforcement raid on the East Manatee facility, rescuing more than 300 animals from horrible conditions.
The owners of the closed-door East Manatee farm, Alan and Sheree Napier, both face animal cruelty charges with additional charges pending.
At Wednesday’s advisory board meeting, Jean Peelen read some disconcerting statements from the panel’s letter to county commissioners. The most damaging: “We base our recommendations largely on information provided to us by Animal Services. Unfortunately, regarding Napier’s refuge, the information that we got from Animal Services was far from reliable. It was misleading.”