Tag: Colorado

WAN Exclusive Update On A Controversial Case Of Alleged Neglect Of 20 Farm Animals In Colorado

After receiving a tip over the weekend about an alleged animal hoarding situation in Colorado that included starving pigs left outside in freezing conditions, WAN did some research and uncovered an abhorrent case of animal cruelty.

Sadly, the complex case involves a group of 20 farm animals and others that are innocent victims of severe cruelty and neglect, allegedly under the care of Halina Morley and Laurel Burchell.

One of the reasons this case is unlike most animal hoarding cases, is the small ‘manageable’ number of animals on the property. There are far more pressing issues involved in this case which local police and authorities have been investigating.

Yesterday morning, WAN had the opportunity to speak with the Founder and President of the nonprofit, Denkai Animal Sanctuary, Floss Blackburn, who was first alerted to this situation by Mary Stevens, the 80-year-old owner of the property located in Weld County, Colorado. Stevens leased a small portion of her land to Morley and Burchell, where they keep their animals.

As noted by Blackburn, Stevens is trying to evict her tenants and issued a call for help. Blackburn visited the property on February 3rd  and found the animals enduring subzero temperatures without proper bedding, food or water. Potbellied pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, a rabbit, and a dog were among the live animals Blackburn noticed suffering on the property among those that had already perished.

After finding the horribly neglected animals, Blackburn contacted authorities who reportedly stated that there was no evidence of wrongdoing. Blackburn then called Zachery Vaughn, an animal control officer with the Weld County Sheriff’s Office to request that they perform a necropsy on the dead animals because then they would have the evidence they needed.

The request was denied.

According to Blackburn, who stressed that animal welfare laws in Colorado are severely lacking, Vaughn explained that, “Morley is keeping the care for these animals at just barely the minimum allowed per the statutes, therefore there was nothing that the sheriff’s department could do other than continue to monitor the situation.”

“The bare minimum is not enough for animals to survive,” a frustrated Blackburn told WAN.

WAN also reached out to Joe Moylan, a Weld County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson about the situation and what can be done to save the animals on the property. Moylan stated that they have been investigating this situation for two weeks and recently went to the property but could not find any violations to warrant an animal cruelty charge.

“We considered seeking a warrant,” Moylan told WAN, further explaining that they “called in the state vet who said nothing was wrong.”

It seems as through so much is wrong in this case. Blackburn explained to WAN that people who were present during the visit told them that “the vet did not put hands on the animals to do an accurate assessment.”

The Weld County Sheriff’s Office has reportedly been flooded with calls and e-mails from individuals and rescuers trying to help. Yet, they continue to claim that the law has their hands tied in reference to seizing and providing safe care for the animals.

Unfathomably, as per a statement released by Denkai Animal Sanctuary, the Weld County Sheriff’s Office has reportedly also made it clear that individuals trying to help these animals by bringing food, providing water, posting about going onto the property, and calling in ‘false reports’ in regards to the well-being of these animals, will receive citations and can be arrested.

“The bottom line with this situation is that laws do not sufficiently exist to protect farmed animals from situations such as this. The minimum standard is not enough to keep these animals alive and will ultimately fail them, allowing repeat offenders to get away with continued neglect and abuse,” stated Denkai Animal Sanctuary.

Denkai Animal Sanctuary created a fundraiser to help the animals in need HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

Source link

Victory! Colorado Approves Reintroduction Of Endangered Gray Wolves Bringing Hope To Their Species Throughout The West

An unprecedented state ballot initiative requiring wildlife officials to reintroduce endangered gray wolves in Colorado passed Tuesday’s election with a 20,000-vote majority and hundreds of pro-wolf precincts left to be counted. Opponents conceded that the measure has passed.

Proposition 114 requires Colorado Parks and Wildlife to develop a wolf restoration and management plan based on science and statewide public hearings. Reintroduction to areas west of the Continental Divide must begin by December 31st, 2023.

“Since time immemorial wolves were one of the most influential animals in shaping the ecology of Colorado’s forests and grasslands,” Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity told WAN. “Federal wolf poisoning and trapping on behalf of the livestock industry a century ago continues today to harm a myriad of other animal and plant species. Colorado voters wisely decided to begin to undo that harm.”

“This is a great victory for wolves coming on the heels of Trump’s illegal action to remove federal protection, and it will help restore the natural balance in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains,” Robinson also noted in a statement. “The people of Colorado have helped turn the page on a brutal chapter of our history that saw wolves exterminated across the West.”

Throughout the pandemic, hundreds of volunteers campaigned statewide for Proposition 114, staffing phone banks and waving banners along roads. The livestock industry bitterly opposed the measure and spent heavily on anti-wolf advertising.

Reintroducing gray wolves to Colorado will restore the species in a key portion of its range between existing populations of wolves in the northern Rockies, as well as critically imperiled Mexican gray wolves in New Mexico and Arizona. Mexican wolves could benefit from occasional interbreeding with northern wolves.

“Wolves are the engine of evolution for terrestrial ecosystems, and their return to Colorado will benefit deer and elk herds, the health of our forests, songbirds, and even rare wolverines,” said Robinson.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post Victory! Colorado Approves Reintroduction Of Endangered Gray Wolves Bringing Hope To Their Species Throughout The West appeared first on World Animal News.

Source link

WAN Exclusive: W.O.L.F. Sanctuary Evacuates 30 Wolves & Wolf Hybrids From The Catastrophic Wildfires In Colorado

Photos from the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary and The Wild Animal Sanctuary

As wildfires continue to burn in Colorado, 30 wolves and wolf dog hybrids are now safe after being evacuated from the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary, and temporarily relocated to safety at The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS).

WAN talked exclusively with Jessica Kole, W.O.L.F. Sanctuary’s Director of Development, about the unique challenges that came with transferring these predominately elusive animals from one location to another, as well as the current status of the animals affected by the Colorado wildfires.

“It takes a lot of patience and work,” Kole told WAN, explaining that while the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary has a few animals that serve as social ambassadors, most wolves and wolf dogs prefer little to no human interaction. “Each wolf has a different personality. It was critical that we moved from one habitat to the next while putting the least amount of stress on the animals, creating as calm an atmosphere as possible.”

Kole also emphasized the importance of teamwork, expressing gratitude for the collaboration between the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary and The Wild Animal Sanctuary.

While Kole shared that volunteers and staff were able to collect the wolf social ambassadors and drive them away from the devastating wildfires, it was The Wild Animal Sanctuary’s Founder and Executive Director, Patrick Craig, and his team who arrived with the vehicles and equipment necessary to transfer the majority of the wolves to safety at their Keenesburg, Colorado, facility two-hours away.

There, the wolves and wolf dog hybrids remain in pairs with their mates, securely separated from other animals.

The length of time that the animals will stay at The Wild Animal Sanctuary is dependent on the weather and containment of the wildfires. While the Lewstone Fire has been contained, the Cameron Peak Fire continues to burn and threaten the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary.

“Our location could be at risk if the Cameron Peak Fire creeps closer,” said Kole. “We will not bring the animals back until we feel comfortable that the wildfire is contained. No concrete decision has been made.”

Most of the animals at the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary have been rescued from a harrowing life of mistreatment and fear. Many have been saved from dog breeders who try to exploit the animals as exotic pets. Once they start to display wolf traits, they can no longer take care of them. Other wolves have been rescued from equally deplorable and greedy industries, including those that were saved from fur farms.

“We are a nonprofit that relies on donations as we get no government funding,” Kole shared, further explaining that the organization also has little opportunities for grants as their captive-born wolves and wolf dog rescues cannot be released into the wild or adopted as pets. “They are different from domestic dogs.”

While the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary had a proactive evacuation plan in place, donations are needed now more than ever to purchase new trailers and crates, as well as an SUV to be more equipped for future emergencies.

Donations to the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary can be made HERE! 

Ways to help and donate to The Wild Animal Sanctuary can be made HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post WAN Exclusive: W.O.L.F. Sanctuary Evacuates 30 Wolves & Wolf Hybrids From The Catastrophic Wildfires In Colorado appeared first on World Animal News.

Source link