Manatee government seeks to intervene in Napier case

skennedy@bradenton.comFebruary 27, 2014 

Dogs in pens react as law enforcement officials arrive at Napier's Log Cabin Horse and Animal Sanctuary, where more than 300 dogs were found during Wednesday's raid on the rescue organization. TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIE/Bradenton Herald

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MANATEE -- The Manatee County Commission Thursday authorized its attorney to file a motion in court seeking to intervene in the Napier animal sanctuary case.

County Attorney Mickey Palmer said a judge would have to agree.

"It means our interests are secondary, if you will, to the interests of the primary parties, Sheriff (Brad) Steube and the Napiers," said Palmer after the commission meeting.

"We can be heard by the court, we have a role in the litigation, attend depositions and hearings, we can be heard by the court, in an effort to protect the county’s interests," Palmer said.

The county's role would be separate and apart from both the sheriff's and the Napiers, he said.

"Our sole role is: We have no interest or desire in interfering with these proceedings," said Palmer. "The sheriff has obligations to dispatch, we simply want to protect the best interests of county government."

The case, which is slated for a court hearing March 12, centers around Alan and Sheree Napier.

The couple operated Napier’s Log Cabin Horse and Animal Shelter, 20010 E. State Road 64, until authorities closed it down Feb. 5, and confiscated hundreds of animals, many in distressed condition.

No charges have been filed, and the Napiers have said through their attorney that they feel they have done nothing wrong. They hope to reopen the shelter and retrieve their animals, their attorney has said.

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