ZOO WARS-Yogie and Friends to Be DISMISSED!!! YIPPEE!!!
WOO-HOO a reasonable district attorney does exist!!! AMAZING!!! Shouldn’t have tried it to begin with!!! Kudos to Jenny and Tim and everyone who Volunteered to step up to the plate to protect those animals from another illegal and unconstitutional seizure of some pretty special animals…Now we’ll see if the state of Louisiana will be controlled by an absurd out of state Animal Rights Extremist-Terrorists tactics Of Carole Baskin~CEO Big Cat Rescue/Wildlife on Easy Street (BCR/WOES) and ALDF and their attempt to control state regulations and the legislature AGAINST animal ownership. Personally, I don’t believe they can but we shall see!!!
DA to dismiss charge against Yogie and Friends
More than $10,000 has been spent since July upgrading Yogie and Friends Exotic Cat Sanctuary.
FRIERSON – DeSoto District Attorney Richard Johnson has decided his office “doesn’t have a dog in the fight” between wildlife officials and a big cat sanctuary.
So Johnson says he’ll dismiss a criminal charge filed in July against Yogie and Friends Exotic Cat Sanctuary that his office attempted to prosecute two weeks ago in DeSoto District Court. The motion will be filed Thursday morning.
“We kind of got thrown into it,” Johnson said of the permitting disagreement between Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Yogie and Friends. “I don’t think it’s anything we need to worry about from a criminal standpoint. (LDWF) wanted to use the district attorney’s office to achieve something they couldn’t do.”
The about-face contrasts with the stance of the district attorney’s office at a hearing Sept. 3. Then, Assistant District Attorney Brittany Green attempted to hold a safety hearing on alleged violations cited by LDWF agents during the summer inspection.
As a result, Yogie and Friends Executive Director Jenny Senier was ticketed on behalf of the nonprofit for failing to abide by LDWF commission rules regarding the possession of the nine exotic cats, which the agency seized — on paper only.
LDWF wanted to secure a court order to physically remove the large cats. But District Judge Robert Burgess stopped any further action by informing the district attorney’s office it failed to produce statutory authority for the safety hearing. Instead, he set a date in October for a misdemeanor trial.
“I’m relieved and grateful,” Senier said today after learning of Johnson’s plans from The Times. “Because we are trying to do the right thing, we really are.”
Since July, more than $10,000 has been spent upgrading the sanctuary, with most of the attention paid to building cinder block dens for the aging cats, reinforcing interior fencing, adding a privacy fence on the perimeter and constructing wooden platforms inside the pens.
Established in 2000 on Fob Lane, Yogie and Friends has not had any problems that would create public safety concerns. The sanctuary came under closer scrutiny by LDWF, however, a few years ago when a state law governing the private ownership of exotic cats was changed.
Maria Davidson, head of the LDWF Fur and Refuge Division in Baton Rouge, did not have an answer as to what Johnson’s decision does to the paper seizure of the cats.
“They still do not have a permit,” she said, adding the permit is needed for the cats to be “legally possessed.”
But if the DA decides not to prosecute now or in the future, where does that leave LDWF?
“Well, I guess, I’ll have to defer that to our legal staff,” Davidson said.
Yogie and Friends has filed a separate civil lawsuit against LDWF in the 19th Judicial District Court in East Baton Rouge Parish concerning the constitutionality of the law on exotic cat ownership. The U.S. Zoological Association is supporting Yogie in the legal battle.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Daniel attended a preliminary hearing Monday in Baton Rouge related to the lawsuit. To continue the trips to Baton Rouge “on hearings we don’t have anything to do with” is not the best use of the state’s time and money, Johnson said.
“We’ve already spent countless hours going back and forth between here and Baton Rouge and not getting anything for our buck,” Johnson said. “I do feel (LDWF) needs to carry this ball themselves. … I don’t know how they are going to accomplish what they want.”
Yogie and Friends has several upcoming fundraisers to help replenish its bank account to offset unexpected expenses of the recent upgrades at the sanctuary.
• Saturday – selling T-shirts and other Yogie and Friends merchandise at Tractor Supply in Minden.
• Oct 4 – Eat a Dog, Save a Cat hot dog fundraiser at Discount Tobacco on Shady Grove in Bossier City. Merchandise, jewelry, baked goods and more also will be sold.
• Oct. 11 – Fall bake sale and fundraiser at Petco on Youree Drive in Shreveport.
Disclaimer connected to this blog…Things said are of my opinion and the opinion of others…Stay tuned -B
~ by topcatsroar on September 17, 2014.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tags: animal rescue, animal rescuer, AZA rquirements, convicted felon, discriminating law, District Judge Robert Burgess, Doug Terranova, Fred Lulling, Friends Executive Director Jenny Senier, Frierson, Frierson Lousiana, Grosse Tete's iconic Tiger Truck Stop, inspectors, Jeff Kozlowski, Jenny Senier, Joe Exotic, Joe Schreibvogel, LDWF, LDWF inspectors, Louiisiana, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Michael Sandlin, Random Act of Kindness, Tim Mills, U.S. Department of Agriculture, United States Zoological Association, USDA, USDA/APHIS, USDA/APHIS inspectors, USZA, volunteers, WBCR, Wisconsin Big cat Rescue, Yogie and Friends, Yogie and Friends Exotic Animal Sanctuary, Yogie and Friends Exotic Cat Sanctuary