Community steps in as time runs out for animals at sanctuary after eviction notice

Tina Richardson, her husband and their animals have until Tuesday to leave the bank-owned property after she received an eviction notice last week.

People have been at the site Monday, gathering animals from the Forever Farm animal sanctuary in New Smyrna Beach.

Animals left on the property at midnight will be seized.

"(I have) goats and chickens and ducks and 28 cats and seven dogs, and anything that wanders in here and finds a home. So it's kind of hard to say what all I really have," said Richardson.

Animal Sanctuary Closing

ANIMAL SANCTUARY: Hundreds of animals at a New Smyrna Beach sanctuary could be euthanized if homes can't be found for them. Story:

Posted by WFTV Channel 9 on Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Steven Koralewic, of Florida Adventures and Paradise, was one of many who stepped in to help.

“We have the land, we have the employees, we have the know-how to take care of these animals,” said Koralewicz.

His crew can’t take the dogs and cats, but they’re loading up the rest, which includes a lot of farm animals.

The animal rescue agrees to keep the animals until Richardson finds a new place she can afford to live in and continue her sanctuary. 

The dogs, cats and chickens are what's left.

People from all over Volusia County are working to get every animal off the property.

"It’s a lot more than we thought," said Sarah Helweg.

Helweg is just one of hundreds who reached out to help Rickardson.

"Bear with me. I have 800 emails and my phone just blew up," Richardson said.

Since local animal organizations couldn't promise that animals left behind on Tuesday wouldn't be euthanized, the community stepped in.

"I'm at a loss for words," Richardson said.

"Basically, just moving as much as we can before she's not allowed back on because, I mean, once she's not allowed back on these guys are in crates to die," said Helweg.

That's a fate these rescuers said they will not let happen.

Richardson said she'll take five dogs and a dozen cats with her to wherever she ends up after the sheriff's office makes her leave the property.

If any animals are left on the property, she could be charged with animal neglect and abandonment.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.