EAST MANATEE -- A judge has signed over ownership of more than 300 animals seized last month during a raid at an East Manatee animal sanctuary to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, clearing the way for them to be adopted, authorities said.
The order was signed Thursday after the owners of Napier's Log Cabin Horse Animal Sanctuary, 20010 State Road 64 E., reached an agreement with the sheriff's office.
Under the agreement, the daughter of owners Alan and Sheree will get custody of two of the confiscated horses, the sheriff's office said. The daughter had taken ownership of the horses before the sheriff's office filed a petition seeking ownership.
The remaining animals, which include dogs, cats, horses, pigs and others, have been placed with various shelters, where they will remain. The agreement allows the shelters to begin finding permanent homes for the animals.
The sheriff's office executed a search warrant at the Napiers' animal rescue Feb. 5 as it launched an investigation into possible animal cruelty and fraud. No arrests have been made.
Anyone interested in making a donation to help the various shelters that have taken in the animals can contact the Manatee Community Foundation, which established the Animal Welfare Fund, at 941-747-7765.