Local News

Judge Says Remaining Dogs Must Be Treated At Woman's Home

Posted January 13, 2005

— When more than 100 dogs were taken from the Sanford home of Barbara Woodley last week, hundreds of volunteers provided care for them at the Lee County Fairgrounds.

Animal activists alleged cruelty, saying many of the dogs were sick. Woodley's attorneys argue that's not true and went a step further.

"There being no order in place and (someone) goes over to someone's house on private property and takes something that belongs to someone else, what do you say that it, to me it says theft," said Chip Post, Woodley's attorney.

The activists made their move after a judge stepped in. Attorneys for the Animal Legal Defense Fund interpreted a judge's instructions to say they had the right to remove sick dogs, many of which needed surgical intervention.

Thursday, the judge tried to clarify things. Judge Resson Faircloth said that until there's a trial, all the dogs still on Woodley's property should be treated there, unless they have a life-threatening condition.

Volunteers at the fairgrounds are standing by. Most of the cages at the fairgrounds are now empty with all but five of the dogs at Vet hospitals statewide getting medical treatment. The judge took no action on whether the animals should be returned to Woodley.

"The judge recognized the dogs should not be returned and we infer from that they should have been removed in the first place," Woody Webb of the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Woodley's attorneys disagree and will try to get the dogs back as soon as possible.

The trial could take place as early as late January or be scheduled for mid-March. Lawyers are still working on their schedules.

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