MANATEE — A foreclosure sale of property owned by Sheree and Alan Napier, whose animal rescue facility in East Manatee was raided by authorities, was cancelled Tuesday after Sheree Napier filed for bankruptcy, according to court records.
The online foreclosure sale was slated for 11 a.m. Tuesday. The mortgage foreclosure case, filed in 2011, listed a judgment amount of $660,205.97, court papers said.
Listed as a plaintiff in the case was Bayview Loan Servicing LLC. Listed as defendants were Alan S. and Sheree L. Napier; Napiers Log Cabin Horse & Animal Sanctuary Inc.; Bellissimo Properties LLC II, and Equitylink Inc.
Sheriff Brad Steube on Friday filed a petition seeking custody of hundreds of animals seized at the Napier’s farm Feb. 5 and on later occasions.
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A hearing on the petition was set for 1:30 p.m. March 12 at the Manatee County Judicial Center, according to court papers.
The sheriff’s petition stated that the Napiers “are not able to provide adequately for the animals and/or are not fit to have custody,” the petition said.
It asked that their rights be “forever terminated,” and the animals be turned over to the sheriff or to other rescue organizations.
It also asks for an order holding the Napiers responsible to costs incurred in caring the animals while they’re in the sheriff’s custody.
No criminal charges have been filed in the case, but the sheriff's office has said it is investigating possible animal abuse and fraud at the couple's shelter.
The couple will contest confiscation of their animals, and are innocent of wrongdoing, their attorney, Peter Lombardo has previously told the Herald. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.