ERIE — A nonprofit organization is suing an animal keeper, citing alleged abuse of animals, negligence and public nuisance.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a complaint on Jan. 15 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against Kimberly Ann Lucas, dba Farmers Inn, for allegedly violating the Endangered Species Act for unlawful possession of protected species.
According to the complaint, Animal Legal Defense Fund sent a notice of intent to sue defendants as extensive photographic evidence, visitor observation, and expert analysis indicate that the animal kept by defendant's "wildlife zoo" are experiencing both physical and psychological suffering as a direct result of the deprived conditions that have been imposed on them by Farmers Inn.
Furthermore, through defendant's alleged repeated violation of federal and state animal and wildlife protection laws on its premises, Farmers Inn has created a public nuisance that is contrary and repugnant to the interests of the Pennsylvania public, the suit claims.
The plaintiff says the defendant failed to meet each animal's basic, species-specific needs and had cramped enclosures that provide inadequate shelter from the elements, lack fresh water and suitable food.
The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks declaratory judgment and permanent injunction, award of attorneys' fees, litigation costs, and such other and further relief the Court may deem just and proper. They are represented by Jeffrey P. Richter and Jake D. Morrison of K&L Gates LLP in Pittsburgh.
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania Case number 2:19-cv-00040-AJS