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Sanctuary: a place of refuge or safety

lion public domain image
Lion (Public Domain)

A suck story out of Elbert County, Colorado:  Lion’s Gate Sanctuary was apparently flooding due to the location of the property, leaving the 11 lions, tigers and bears who lived there in poor conditions.  The animals were reportedly elderly and frail.  The sanctuary owner submitted a request to county commissioners to allow for relocation of the sanctuary to another appropriately zoned property in the county.  When the county refused to approve the relocation, the owner had a veterinarian kill all 11 animals.  Suck #1.

The county commissioners say they denied the transfer for very excellent reasons, including that such a move would be hard on the old animals and maybe they wouldn’t survive the trip.  Also, the request was apparently thin on details.  So yeah, I guess those are both absolutes which leave no room for negotiation of any kind.  Suck #2.

The owner says she tried to find placement for the animals at other sanctuaries but there were no takers.  Then there’s this:

The news that Lion’s Gate had euthanized all its animals stunned Pat Craig, the founder and executive director of Colorado’s largest animal refuge, The Wildlife Sanctuary in Keenesberg.
[…]
“[T]hey have so few animals, they would easily be able to place every animal with another wildlife sanctuary,” Craig said.” “I can guarantee you that a lot of organizations would be glad to help.”

Hmm. Guarantee? A lot of organizations? But the owner says none? Whatever the truth is, that’s suck #3.

But wait, there’s more:

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department told Denver7 they were aware of the mass euthanasia and the burial of all 11 animals on the sanctuary grounds. But it said that though it was done before the department was informed, it found no regulations were broken.

Suck #4.

In this country, mass animal killings have been institutionalized by our municipal shelter system.  As in the sanctuary case, mass killings in shelters are largely unregulated and left to the discretion of directors.  Killing – wholly different from euthanasia to end the suffering of a medically hopeless animal – should not be optional, let alone unregulated.  There ought to be a law.

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