Video shows animals being removed from Noah’s Ark sanctuary as reports allege neglect
New video shows animals being loaded up and taken away from a local animal sanctuary.
A Channel 2 Action News investigation learned they’ve decided to move some of the animals because conditions are so bad.
Channel 2 investigative report Ashli Lincoln has obtained reports that show a lot of concern about the animals at Noah’s Ark.
A federal report said there are a number of safety and welfare issues on site.
One veterinarian said the fact that authorities are removing animals from what was supposed to be a sanctuary is a direct reflection of the neglect happening on site.
“These animals came from abusive situations,” said Dr. Jack Kottwitz, a veterinary consultant.
Kottwitz said Noah’s Ark is no longer considered a safe haven for recused animals.
“Were you surprised by that?” Lincoln asked Kottwitz.
“Actually, I was, because I consider Noah’s Ark to be a forever home,” Kottwitz said.
Videos recorded by employees show animals limping, some with matted and mangled coats, and neglected hoofs.
“I think the animals are in poor condition now,” Kottwitz said.
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A former employee shared exclusive images with Channel 2 Action News that show animals being chased and corralled into transport vehicles last week.
Lincoln has learned that two horses and two birds were also euthanized.
The board for Noah’s Ark said in a statement that they’ve decided to remove and rehouse several livestock based on issues of safety and medical care.
They say the state Department of Agriculture and the Henry County Animal Control recommended they rehouse the animals, something both entities deny doing.
“But I think that condition has come about directly because of actions of the board of directors and the current administration over the last six months,” Kottwitz said.
Lincoln went through USDA reports dating back to 2014.
The facility was in compliance until 2022 and things appeared to change around the time new board president Shelly Lackly took control.
The board said they’ve upgraded their staff and are learning on advice from outside consultants for long-term improvements.
“Every animal that was at Noah’s Ark for their forever home, they’re now … people are being loaded up and moved away to some unknown place,” Kottwitz said.
The Georgia Department of Agriculture sent the following statement:
“Georgia Department of Agriculture Veterinarians made absolutely no recommendations regarding the movement of hoofed animals at Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary.”
Noah’s Ark explained in further detail about the rehoming and euthanizations:
“The rehoming does not represent a departure from our mission. It is a step we are taking at the direction of state and federal officials to make sure that we can carry out our mission with success for many years to come. It does not impact, as some examples, our exotic animals (lions, tigers, bears, monkeys), certain hoof stock (buffalo and some donkeys), and many birds (parrots, cockatoos). These beloved Noah’s Ark animals are not going away.
“It is our goal to make sure that any animal that is rehomed will be moved to an appropriate environment for their species.”
Statement about euthanization:
“Noah’s Ark relies on a team of medical experts and equine veterinarians to make decisions about the health of our horses. We were saddened to learn that two elderly mares were diagnosed with advanced stage eye cancer which had spread and caused blindness. After examining the horses, considering their painful condition and the suffering it caused, and concluding that there were no available treatment options for their terminal illness, our team of medical experts recommended euthanasia. Euthanasia was performed by an equine veterinarian with the utmost respect and care for the animals.”