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Tuesday, Feb 8, 2000County: Utah
Disposition: Not Charged
Person of Interest: Sue Fox
Case Updates: 2 update(s) available
Some people still say Sue Fox had between 1,500 and 1,800 rabbits, chickens, cats, goats, a pig and assorted ducks on her land located on 515 East 200 South, Pleasant Grove. Then, other people say she had fewer than 500 animals. Sue Fox owns Fox Haven Animal Sanctuary on her 20-acre property. The animals were housed in makeshift sheds and pens.
Mayor Ed Sanderson says, "We're done but we're going to watch it close." It took more than a week for animal control and police officers to catch and remove hundreds of assorted animals from the animal sanctuary. Sue Fox was left with 51 animals and warnings about meeting the city ordinance. Current city ordinance allows two dogs and two cats to a household, but Fox is allowed 51 because when she moved in during 1960, the ordinance was more liberal.
Mayor Sanderson said this is the second time Pleasant Grove City officials had to remove animals from Fox's animal sanctuary. "We worked all summer with her on this and thought we had an agreement where we could come in and collect rabbits and chickens. Then she changed her mind and wouldn't let us on the property."
Acting on a court order issued by Judge Brent Bullock they started the cleanup on Feb 8. Jim Taufer, animal control officer, said it was difficult to confirm how many animals were on her property because they ran away from the officials, went into hiding or were given away when officials weren't there.
Taufer said, "They had an army in there Thursday. People came from everywhere to take animals."
A pot-bellied pig was found beneath a tarp. The pig was blind, ill and unable to walk. A chicken was found that had no feet. Animals like these were euthanized. Some of the rabbits were killed by BB guns by a friend of Sue's who said he would take care of them and that's what he did.
One man came to collect five ducks that had been taken from his backyard. Quite a few animals were given to people that had open land in various parts of the county.
Mayor Sanderson said "It's not our intent to go in and change the ground. We aren't asking the county health department to move ahead with any kind of investigation. We're told the ultraviolet rays of the sun will kill most of the remaining bacteria on the ground."
Tests show that runoff water from Fox's property had excessively high bacteria counts. The city officials are worried runoff could pollute irrigation water and the city's storm drains.
Since they didn't find as many rabbits as had been previously reported, officials are concerned they are in burrows, hiding and in 28 days we could have litters of rabbits.
|The lawsuit filed by Sue Fox regarding the raid on her property has been moved to the U.S. District Court.|
Legal counsel, Benson Hathaway, for Pleasant Grove's insurance carrier, Utah Local Government Trust says Fox alleges her civil rights were violated when police and health officials cleared her property of most of the animals.
Sue Fox accused officers of mistreating her family and animals. She said they entered her home and confiscated animals in the house even though the order did not say officers could search the house. They could not select which animals they wanted to keep and her daughter's favorite cat was removed.
The removal of the animals was ordered by Pleasant Grove Justice Court Judge Brent Bullock after Fox had been cited for violating the city animal ordinance and convicted in court in late Nov 1999.
|Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City - Mar 14, 2000|
Update posted on Jul 30, 2008 - 6:51PM
|Sue Fox is suing over the raid on her private animal sanctuary when she said she lost hundreds of her favorite animals. She maintains her civil rights were violated and she has suffered extreme emotional and physical distress when her chickens, ducks, cats, rabbits and assorted pets were removed.|
The blind, seriously obsese pot-bellied pig found under a table in a hole in the backyard was shot.
Officials still say the number of animals could have been 1,800, Fox maintains the number was less than 500.
Sue states she and members of her family were not allowed to choose which animals they could keep. Her daughter's favorite cat was removed. Fox states she has the right to keep unwanted and abused animals on her land because "whatever animals they have wanted" have been on the property since 1948.
The Fox family has owned the property since the early 1960s.
A temporary restraining order preventing the city from removing any more animals has been issued on Feb 16 by 4th District Court Judge Fred Howard. Fox is asking for damages and attorney's fees.
|Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City - Mar 1, 2000|
Update posted on Jul 30, 2008 - 6:43PM
- Deseret News, Salt Lake City - Feb 21, 2000
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