Over 50 Animals Rescued from Neglect, 'Guardian' Facing Little Punishment
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Over 50 Animals Rescued from Neglect, 'Guardian' Facing Little Punishment

 February 2008

According to media reports and complaints that received from firsthand witnesses, Mackinac County (Michigan) resident Larry Rooney subjected his various animals (including horses, goats, pigs, llamas, donkeys, and bobcats) to severe and prolonged neglect.

Rooney's alleged victims reportedly included a blind dog who was "sick and barely alive," donkeys who were "crippled" by their overgrown hooves, horses who were confined to dog kennels, horses who had never been outdoors, and animals who were forced to live for years in 6 to 8 feet of feces. In addition, the animals are said to have been denied adequate food and water, veterinary care, and standard maintenance.

Although 57 animals were recently rescued from Rooney's property and, perhaps for the first time in their lives, given the care that they required and deserved (which, in some cases, meant a peaceful, loving, and painless release from this world), others are still said to be languishing in extremely substandard conditions on the property.

Sources say that these animals include three bobcats who are living in their own waste, two porcupines (one of whom is apparently missing an eye) who are confined to a cage without food or water, five dogs who are in kennels and/or running at-large and being fed only deer carcasses, one goat, and a stallion who is mired up to his knees in mud and feces in a dog pen that is approximately 12 feet by 10 feet.

Despite the horrors apparently documented at the property, Rooney has been charged with only one count of misdemeanor cruelty. Worse yet, he will apparently be getting 18 of the previously seized animals back, including two llamas, five horses, five dogs, and six goats. Also, Rooney is reportedly going to be allowed to sell six rescued horses, six rescued goats, four rescued donkeys, two rescued pigs, and five rescued llamas at an auction and be allowed to keep 60 percent of the proceeds; the county will get the rest.

Finally, when asked about the animals who were left behind after the initial seizure, the prosecuting attorney told a PETA caseworker that "they" felt that it was "in the animals' best interests" to stay with Rooney! This is inconceivable, given the substantial evidence of neglect in this case.

Please call on Mackinac County to ensure that Rooney faces additional charges pertaining to the large number of animals he is alleged to have abused. In addition, no animals should be allowed to be returned to him, and the animals who were left behind during the initial seizure should be removed immediately from his custody. Furthermore, Rooney should not be allowed to make a single penny from the sale of animals reportedly abused by him and then given care and treatment at taxpayers' expense.

Please send an e-mail message to the prosecuting attorney. Other contact information follows:

Alfred E. Feleppa
Prosecuting Attorney
100 Marley St.
St. Ignace, MI 49781
906-643-7329 (phone)
906-643-6530 (fax)

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