Deputies seize dozens of animals from Bradenton sanctuary - FOX 13 News

Deputies seize dozens of animals from Bradenton sanctuary

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UPDATE 2/6: The Manatee Sheriff's Office says if you can donate food or supplies for these animals, or if you have any information, please call them at 941-747-3011, ext. 1151.

An attorney for a Manatee couple accused of hoarding animals suggests the serving of a search warrant took advantage of their absence.

"The closure occurred today because Manatee County Animal Services had been told by Alan and Sheree (Napier)...would be out of town celebrating their wedding anniversary, and only their children would be caring for the animals," Adron Walker said in a statement to FOX 13 News.

Walker said the couple customarily provide that information in case Animal Services needs access to their property, and claimed the Napier's "...have maintained an open, continuous dialogue with Manatee Animal Services for years and are typically inspected...on a quarterly basis."

Earlier Wednesday, Walker stopped by the Napier Log Cabin Horse and Animal Sanctuary on Highway 64, east of Bradenton. He declined to comment at that time, as animal services personnel and volunteers from other shelters started removing more than 200 dogs, several dozen cats, nine horsses and seveal goats and pigs.

"What we've found so far is it's very, very deplorable, kind of unbelievable conditions -- especially in the house," spokesman David Bristow said.

Bristow said some of the animals appeared to be in good health, others appeared to be in good condition.

"Didn't find a whole lot of food," Bristow added. "A little bit of food, a little bit of water, but not enough for all of these animals."

The spokesman said no charges were filed immediately, however "We're looking at animal cruelty. That's quite obvious. But we're also looking at fraud..." without providing more specific information.

The seized animals were taken to several other shelters, including Nate's Honor Animal Rescue.

Board member Cam McCarthy told FOX 13 News her operation was warned a couple of days ago to expect an influx of dogs from a hoarding situation, but the magnitude only became clear after the raid.

"We were a little bit surprised to find out there were 350 animals," McCarthy told FOX 13 News. "We will be over-capacity for the next few weeks. We will be looking for foster homes for the animals because it's best to get them into a home as soon as possible to care for them."

In addition to possible criminal charges, the Napier's will return from the wedding anniversary vacation to a bright orange official notice on their gate post, declaring their property unsafe.

WATCH: MCSO video of raid


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