Sanctuary owner defends animal welfare and living conditions

P. DAN PALERMO ANIMAL ABUSE.transfer_frame_669.png

The Humane Society of the United States is worried animals are being neglected by a rescue group in Oswego County.

“This is our rabbit pen," Mary Lorini said.

Mary Lorini calls it a labor of love.

“Our rabbits have fans on them and all of them have toys," Lorini said.

But some are concerned the animals in her sanctuary are being neglected.

“It’s very hurtful because this is my whole life and these animals are like my children,” Lorini said.

The Humane Society of the United State claims the conditions are unfit for animals.

Rats scavenging for food, filthy drinking water and cramped pens.

“His enclosure does look messy on that side but on this side it’s not that bad," Lorini said.

Neighbors said Mary is not around much to care for the animals.

However, Mary disagrees.

She said the animals are well-fed and see a veterinarian.

She said she has a pile of receipts to prove it.

“They’re the extension of my family and to see me up here every day for hours and to say that I’m not here and that I don’t care of them and they’re malnourished, and what not, is absolutely absurd,” Lorini said.

Both Mary and others who help her said they spend hours on the property, even spending vacation time caring for the animals.

But neighbors and the SPCA said, by the looks of it, whatever they are doing is not enough.

“I agree that there’s a lot of things that could look better, but I am not rich and I do the best I can and the animals are definitely fed, they’re definitely watered and they’re definitely loved," Lorini said.

Mary said she has nothing to hide and the SPCA is welcome to come out and take a look at her property.

The SPCA officials said they will get out to the property as soon as possible with a veterinarian to examine the animals.

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