Animal Rights Group Defends Sanctuary that Abuses Animals- (12/22)
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A national animal rights organization is sticking up for a sanctuary that has neglected and mistreated animals.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Connecticut-based Friends of Animals is defending the former managers of San Antonio’s Primarily Primates animal sanctuary after Probate Judge Guy Herman found that the directors were neglecting and mistreating animals. The animals were sealed in filthy cages behind doors that had rusted shut, the heating system was broken, the facility was infested with cockroaches and rats, and animal feces and food were rotting on the property.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott alleged that Primarily Primates’ charitable funds were used to buy groceries, liquor, and even a house for one of the staff members. The sanctuary’s founder, Wallace Swett, allegedly hoarded hundreds more animals than the facility could hold.

A Dallas wildlife rehabilitator was appointed by the court to improve conditions at the facility.

Primarily Primates sounds like a place that activists would demand is shut down, but instead, Friends of Animal is paying legal fees to help the administrators regain control of the shelter. Friends of Animals President Priscilla Feral insists the animals get marvelous care.

“I’m not freaked out by mice,” Feral said when asked about photographs showing swarms of vermin at the facility. “And the roaches – it’s not odd that they are there. They are part of nature.”

Feral called the cruelty allegations, which were brought by the Virginia-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a scheme by the group to take over the sanctuary, kill the animals, and sell the facility’s valuable land.

PETA claims it has no control over the sanctuary now that it is under the court’s jurisdiction; however, suspicion of the group’s motives is understandable. PETA, which claims to be uncompromising in its stance against animal cruelty, has killed more than 14,400 dogs and cats and pets since 1998. In 2005, two PETA employees allegedly picked up dogs and cats from shelters and dumped their dead bodies in the garbage.