Owners of East Manatee animal shelter arrested on more charges

jdeleon@bradenton.comJune 4, 2014 

MANATEE -- The owners of an East Manatee animal shelter under investigation for animal cruelty and fraud have been arrested on additional charges, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Alan Napier, 51, was charged with one count of scheme to defraud and two counts of unlawful solicitation of funds.

Sheree Napier, 45, was charged with one count of scheme to defraud and once count of unlawful solicitation of funds.

Sheree Napier bonded out on Tuesday on bonds totaling $21,500. Alan Napier bonded out on bonds totaling $23,000. Both bonded out before appearing before a judge.

Assistant State Attorney Lisa Chittaro filed the amended information with the additional charges, and warrants were issued for their arrests.

They were contacted by either the state's attorney's office or the sheriff's office, and it was arranged for them to turn themselves in Monday night, according to sheriff's office spokesman Dave Bristow. It is not uncom

mon for that to occur, Bristow added.

"They knew there was a decent chance there would be additional charges," Bristow said. "We will continue to work with the state attorney's office, and there could be additional charges."

Major Connie Shingledecker is overseeing the investigation with at least five detectives actively working the case.

Chittaro said she cannot comment while the case is being prosecuted.

Napier's Log Cabin Horse and Animal Sanctuary, 20010 State Road 64, was raided Feb. 5 by a multi-agency law enforcement effort led by the sheriff's office. More than 300 animals were seized, and investigators later found the remains of 20 more. They described the state the animals were living in as "deplorable" conditions.

The couple were arrested on April 17 and each charged with 15 counts of aggravated animal cruelty. Alan Napier was also charged with one count of fraud.

The Napiers are both scheduled to appear in court at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday for a case management hearing.

Also charged in the case is Edward Dunham, a licensed veterinarian arrested on April 19 and charged with one count of aggravated animal cruelty. He is listed as the director of veterinary medicine at Napier's Log Cabin Horse and Animal Sanctuary, according to Florida corporation documents.

Investigators say Dunham performed a spay and hernia repair surgery on a dog from the Napier facility without use of an appropriate anesthetic, according to a report.

Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012. Reporter Amaris Castillo contributed to this report.

Bradenton Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service