The fate of a sanctuary’s animals is up in the air. A non-profit animal sanctuary in Collier County is being forced to get rid of its animals after a neighbor filed a complaint.
Alyssa’s Animal Sanctuary was issued a code violation following that complaint. The organization now has 30 days to remove the animals.
The animal sanctuary takes in abandoned, injured and neglected animals including chickens, goats, horses and pigs.
“We’re the only ones here in Collier County,” said Alyssa Barry, founder of Alyssa’s Animal Sanctuary.
Barry said there’s a huge need for her safe haven, but a recent complaint from a neighbor forced Collier County’s Code Enforcement Department to sanction the sanctuary.
State regulations say there can’t be pigs on a property that is less than 20 acres.
“I was really shocked. I was shocked. Because like I said you are under the assumption you are in compliance with everything because we are getting regulated by the county, and they see everything we’re doing and they’re coming out here and saying you’re doing a great job. Here is your license, here is your permit. You’re good to go,” said Barry.
It turns out that Collier County Animal Services said Alyssa’s Animal Sanctuary was “Good to go,” Not code enforcement.
“It just doesn’t make sense another department that never regulates you, never comes out, only comes out when a complaint is filed would be able to come in and say ‘ oh well you should’ve done your research,’ when the county is the one that’s giving me the animals,” said Barry.
Wilbur, Charlotte and Albee were once homeless and scheduled for the slaughterhouse, now live the life at Alyssa’s Animal Sanctuary.
“I don’t think the county should be adopting animals out like Wilbur without providing education to people that are adopting these animals out,” said Barry.
Barry said her life’s work is at risk because of a complaint made by a neighbor.
“Why the pigs? What is wrong with those animals that they’re trying to make it as hard as it can possibly be,” said Barry
After her video pleading for the community’s help went viral, other people dedicated to saving animals began to reach out.
“They are going through the same situation in another county on the other side of Florida. So it is the entire state of Florida is making owning pigs as difficult as they possibly can,” said Barry.
Collier County Animal Services inspected and granted Barry her permit, and as far as it’s concerned her sanctuary is in the clear. That’s not the case with collier county code enforcement.
“It just doesn’t make sense another department that never regulates you, never comes out, only comes out when a complaint is filed,” said Barry.
To save her sanctuary, Barry has to move. Collier County is giving the sanctuary a 30-day extension, as long as they can prove they are looking for a new location.
Finding 20 acres for sale will cost her at best, $1.3 million, and the clock is ticking.
Barry is furiously trying to raise money to save the chickens, goats, horses and pigs that she takes care of. If you would like to help the sanctuary find a new home, you can visit their website by clicking here.