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The word sanctuary quite literally means “a place of refuge or safety.” So you can imagine the outrage after a Colorado animal sanctuary, Lion’s Gate Sanctuary, killed all of their animals! The owners claimed that they did so because they were forced by the government….however, as we look deeper into the situation, that does not seem to be the case at all.

The owners claimed that they had to humanely euthanize all eleven animals, which included: three lions, three tigers, and five bears. Their reasoning? They requested to move to a new location after the property received flood damage, and the Elbert County Board of Commissioners denied the request.

The gesture to move to the new 45-acre property was great on behalf of Dr. Joan Laub and Peter Winney. However, when they were ultimately denied, they killed all the animals and blamed it on the government.

Laub stated that they felt like they did not have any other option to “protect” the animals if they could not move, The Colorodoan reported.

However, according to three county commissioners,  another sanctuary, Keenesburg Wild Animal Sanctuary, “publicly offered to care for the animals at their facility if Lion’s Gate was unable to do so.” They stated this in a response to the situation, stating that they were saddened to hear about it, but that there was another option that was not considered.

Fox News also reports:

The commissioners also said that they were promised the sanctuary would continue its operations as normal, regardless of the county’s ultimate ruling. “Given these facts, the news that Lion’s Gate euthanized all 11 animals at the same time and so shortly after the decision to deny the move comes as a shock,” they said.

But the owners of Lion’s Gate have fought back and argued that they did not receive a fair hearing.

“Due process was not achieved at this hearing,” they said in their own statement obtained by KCNC. “The Elbert County Commissioners did not take our application or the plight of our animals seriously. They did not take the safety of Elbert County residents seriously. We told them it was no longer safe to keep the animals at that location and we needed to move.”

It sounds like Lion’s Gate really dropped the ball here, and this will not be easily swept under the rug. It sounds like there was a perfectly reasonable option for the animals to go to be cared for, but they chose to throw a tantrum instead. Like one of those, “If I can’t have it, then nobody can!” moments.

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