Historic City News learned that earlier today a search warrant was served on SAFFARI Rescue at 53 CR-330 in Flagler County after three allegations of animal abuse were reported. The shelter houses dogs, cats, and at least two pigs.
After receiving the most recent anonymous report that animals were being neglected, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office had obtained enough evidence that a judge signed a warrant allowing the search.
The joint investigation was conducted together with officials from Flagler Animal Services, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and a local veterinarian.
When investigators arrived this morning to execute the warrant, they told reporters that they found the animals “in better condition than was previously reported”. Investigators were looking for signs of inhumane housing and animal cruelty.
The conditions appeared to be “overwhelming”, with 20 to 30 dogs and puppies being cared for in one building. At least 17 cats were in another enclosure.
The sheriff’s office said the conditions observed did not warrant forcefully removing the animals, however, SAFARRI operator Ruth Rupprecht, who leases the property, faces daily code enforcement fines from Flagler County because the site is not properly permitted for an animal shelter.
Rupprecht voluntarily agreed to turn over twenty puppies, five adult dogs, and at least nine cats which were transported to the Flagler Humane Society. The animals will be examined by a vet and will be available for adoption if they’re found to be healthy. Otherwise, they will be destroyed.
For more information about adopting any of these animals, call the Flagler Humane Society at 386-445-1814.
Although this concludes the criminal investigation into SAFFARI, and no charges are planned, the sheriff’s office encourages everyone to report animal abuse, if you see it, by calling 386-313-4911. Or you can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 1-888-277-8477 (TIPS).