THE WEEK OF AUGUST 22nd,2016  EARS WAS ON THREE TELEVISION NETWORKS AS A SHELTER TAKING IN  ANIMALS.

EARS Is Zoned For A Pet & Pet Supply Store at 145 W Dearborn Street, Englewood , Florida.

Not An Animal Shelter
EARS Zoning Is:

* CG - COMMERCIAL, GENERAL 

Click On The Box To Play The Newscast.

* Sarasota County Property Appraiser Zoning Details for

145 W Dearborn Street Englewood, Florida.

On November 22nd ,2015 Marion Lutz Was Arrested  On a Battery Charge For Striking A Retried Law Enforcement Office. Which She Was Of Convicted Of. Her Offenses With Animal Services are piling up.

  “A pet store is different than a pet-adoption refuge,” Ayres said. “Their options are to cease as an animal rescue and return to a pet store. They can offer pet supplies for sale to meet the definition of a pet store, rather than strictly offering adoptions.

According to a May 28, 2015 letter from

Sarasota County Code Enforcement Investigator Harvey Ayres

  “A pet store is different than a pet-adoption refuge,” Ayres said. “Their options are to cease as an animal rescue and return to a pet store. They can offer pet supplies for sale to meet the definition of a pet store, rather than strictly offering adoptions.

According to a May 28, 2015 letter from

Sarasota County Code Enforcement Investigator Harvey Ayres

Yet knowing this, EARS continues to operate as an Animal Shelter & a full blown animal rescue and brands itself as, EARS is the only "No Kill" No Cage shelter aiding animals in the area.


" Officer Pitman, who inspected EARS for two hours in November of 2015, said she did not find evidence of any crime. She stated in her report, however, that there was evidence the organization was operating as an animal shelter: “The retail component of the pet supplies appears to have been a way to circumvent the zoning guidelines for land use.”
Pitman passed on the information to the county zoning administration.



THAN ON DECEMBER 30th, 2015
EARS WAS BACK IN THE NEWS

EARS retrieve dogs from as far away as Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Broward and Collier County shelters and now animals affected by natural disasters .

We at EARS Animal Rescue want to thank all of the wonderful people that showed up at the shelter last evening to help with the incoming dogs and cats from the Louisiana Flood area. We had 3 vehicles transporting from the airport after they were airlifted in. It was amazing to see all of the compassion and love for these scared animals when we pulled in.


They were hugged, bathed, medicated, and attended to immediately. Just what they needed. One dog had an open wound that was treated and dressed right away but other than that they seemed to be in good health. Marion and Stacey were right on target and had operation running pretty smoothly.


Janet did a great job of sorting out animals with fosters, not an easy job since the paperwork was left in Louisiana!!


Even food and drinks were supplied there for the helpers.


It was dark when we finished but all of the animals were taken care of.


Thank you EARS family for showing once again what our true sprit is and how we as a rescue, work together.


Bobbi Austin

EARS fields a new anonymous complaint

By ELAINE ALLEN-EMRICH
November 9th,2015

COMMUNITY NEWS EDITOR
Englewood Sun Herald

ENGLEWOOD — Just months after EARS Animal Rescue Sanctuary complied with Sarasota County’s requirements to become a pet store, another anonymous zoning complaint has been made against the facility.

A previous county investigation in April also had been sparked by an anonymous complaint.

The county investigated and found the sanctuary was supposed to operate more as a pet store and less as a shelter, according to the commercial zoning code for the facility at 145 W. Dearborn St. They had 30 days to adopt or find housing for 45 cats, and they did it.

Now, EARS must correct an alleged violation that adoption fees derived by the store from the sale of pets exceed the revenue from the sale of pet supplies.

“We maintain that the sale of pets at EARS, albeit at a discount price, constitutes a retail use, just as the sale of pet supplies constitutes a retail use and that the sheltered animals are no different than the inventory maintained in a typical for-profit pet store such as


Click On The Box To Play The Newscast.


If and when a Sarasota County Code Enforcement Officer comes out to ,Ears Englewood Animal Rescue Sanctuary, it will take his sole discretion, in evaluating if EARS is out of compliance.

Yet if it looks like a duck,quacks like a duck...well !!!!

The sad thing is, if EARS is found out, with code , to be out of compliance.

The Officer, must do what the law states, who can fault a public servant for doing his job, to safeguard our Community, in order to insure they are in compliance 

If any ruling is not favorable to EARS, they will act as the unknowing victims, as they have done in the past.

EARS will use their powerfull local media spin machine, in order to save face from an unsuspecting community, by blaming every one else for their insubordination in the name of the animals
.

EARS will once again use this as another golden fundraising opportunity.


Click On The Box To Play The Newscast.

EARS KNEW WHAT THEY HAD TO DO
BACK IN  2015



PetSmart,” wrote EARS attorney Dan Bailey to Sarasota County zoning officials. “The fact that EARS does not pay a wholesaler for the animals placed in its custody does not transform the facility into an animal shelter. It still charges customers a price for the animals it takes in, just as for-profit pet stores do.”

EARS director Marion Lutz says she’s distressed over receiving anonymous complaints because she knows who it is and it’s creating trouble for the facility.

“We worked diligently with the county on the zoning issue, now we are being compared to a pet store like Pet Smart,” she said. “These aren’t real concerns. This is just a major distraction that takes me away from the animals. We have had surprise inspections after I received a text message from a man saying he was going to have EARS shut down.”

Lutz claimed longtime resident and local business owner Dick Cormier sent her a text in March saying he was “closing you people down” and that she had upset the “wrong person.”

“Now it seems every couple of months there’s a new complaint,” she said. “The zoning inspectors explain it’s anonymous, but Mr. Cormier’s name is in a Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office incident report saying he wants to have the facility shut down.”

According to the Sheriff’s Office, on Oct. 5, sheriff’s deputy Kathleen Pitman, an animal control officer, went to EARS after an anonymous concern of “fraudulent/ illegal activity was occurring there.”

In her report, Pitman wrote she found a SCSO report from April saying Richard Cormier, the former boyfriend of Dawn Layne, the assistant EARS director, “intended to discredit EARS and have the facility shut down.”

Pitman, who inspected EARS for two hours, said she did not find evidence of any crime. She stated in her report, however, that there was evidence the organization was operating as an animal shelter: “The retail component of the pet supplies appears to have been a way to circumvent the zoning guidelines for land use.”

Pitman passed on the information to the county zoning administration.

When contacted by the Sun, Cormier said he “absolutely” did not call law enforcement or the county zoning office on EARS.

“I don’t want anything to do with EARS,” he said. “I let them use my facility for the EARS Thrift Store. I told them they had to vacate from it and they did. I haven’t done anything more. I did not tell the Sheriff’s Office that I wanted to shut down EARS. They got it all wrong. I don’t want anything to do with those people at EARS.”

Sarasota County officials say they don’t deal with landlord/tenant disputes.

“When we receive anonymous complaints, we handle them the same way we do when someone gives us their name,” said county spokesman Jason Bartolone. “We did investigate and there is an open case with EARS. They are cooperating. Their attorney is handling the issue along with the staff.”

Lutz says EARS is doing what’s right to keep cats and dogs off the streets in the region.

“The money we have to pay for every anonymous complaint takes away from spaying and neutering animals or their vet visits,” she said. “I just feel harassed and I would like for it to stop, no matter who is doing it.”

Email: eallen@sun-herald.com

County: Cats must go
Englewood Sun June 12, 2015


ENGLEWOOD — An anonymous complaint sparked a zoning nightmare for EARS Animal Rescue Sanctuary, forcing volunteers to quickly relocate 45 cats through adoptions or foster care by June 28.


Although EARS, on Dearborn Street, has been operating as a pet store and pet adoption center since 2009, Sarasota County inspectors recently cited the nonprofit with a zoning code violation.


According to a May 28 letter from Sarasota County Code Enforcement Investigator Harvey Ayres, EARS has until June 28 to remedy the situation or face a $250-per-day fine. EARS has been desperately trying to place all 45 cats in qualified adoptive or foster homes.


“We are not closing,” longtime EARS volunteer Paula Hines said. “On our tax bill we are listed as a pet store and (with) limited pets (on the premises). We want people to know we are doing all we can to work with the county.”

The property, previously owned by Peggy Hauptman, now deceased, was passed on to her daughter, Jaxzann Riggs-Berkowitz of Colorado. It is zoned for commercial general and not for a pet shelter, according to the county. The business-use permit lists EARS as a pet store.


“A pet store is different than a pet-adoption refuge,” Ayres said. “Their options are to cease as an animal rescue and return to a pet store. They can offer pet supplies for sale to meet the definition of a pet store, rather than strictly offering adoptions.


They can initiate a zoning amendment to change the code and allow for such a use. That process would take several months, and (would) require three public hearings — one before the planning commission and two before the (Sarasota County) commissioners.”



























Ayres said the county’s main goal is to gain compliance. However officials understand it could take a little longer than 30 days to safely place all the kittens and cats. EARS already has dogs up for adoption in foster care. No dogs live on the premises — just cats and one bird.


“If we see they are making an extraordinary effort to comply, we will cross every bridge with them. We want to work with them. If they need an extension beyond the 30 days, they can ask,” Ayres said.


Sarasota County Commissioner Christine Robinson said she understands it could take several months to correct the situation. EARS board members say they have an attorney and want to begin the process of rezoning through the county’s planning board. It could take a couple of months before the case is heard by that board.


“I’ve been told they are concerned about coming up with the money for a rezone, which I believe is about $2,000,” Robinson said. “I am not allowed to get involved with the process because the commission may be making decisions on it in a quasi-judicial hearing if EARS seeks a rezone. I have been briefed several times.”


EARS volunteers believe the complaint came from a former employee. In any case, they say they will work to place the cats and comply with the county.


“We are adopting cats that are 2 years (old) and older to qualified homes for just $10,” EARS volunteer Bobbi Austin said.


“The cats are vaccinated and have a microchip. We have done so much for this community. We are a food pantry for homeless residents with pets. We help residents who live paycheck-to-paycheck. We are going to pull together and make it through.”


EARS still needs pet food and donations, as well as volunteers to come in and pet the cats — but, most of all, adoptive homes.


For more information, call 941-475-0636.
Email: eallen@sun-herald.com

" Some small adoption groups choose to act as brokers, by taking small adoptable dogs, often purebred from shelters in other areas of the state or even the entire country,and actually selling or adopting them for exorbitant fees."

Phil Snyder, Executive Director: Suncoast Humane Society

FOX 13 August 23rd, 2016

Click The Box To View EARS 2015 990. Do not Forget To Put In Their Name

FULL STORY BELOW: FROM THE ENGLEWOOD SUN HERALD

FULL STORY BELOW: FROM THE ENGLEWOOD SUN HERALD

Meet Marion Lutz. She Was EARS Animal Rescue Sanctuary’s Shelter Director

AS OF AUGUST 2016

EARS IS STILL OPERATING AS SHELTER IN VIOLATION OF SARASOTA COUNTY CODE.

Click Picture For Code Enforcement Web Site

Englewood Review on February 5th, 2016

SOLUTION: COMPLIANCE

" Now, EARS must correct an alleged violation that adoption fees derived by the store from the sale of pets exceed the revenue from the sale of pet supplies."

EARS 2015 TAXES. REVENUE $173,707.00

EARS ANIMAL RESCUE SANCTUARY HAS BEEN GIVEN MANY CHANCES TO COME INTO COMPLIANCE


NBC2 August 24th,2016

FULL STORY BELOW: FROM THE ENGLEWOOD SUN HERALD

abc7 August 24th, 2016

  “A pet store is different than a pet-adoption refuge,” Ayres said. “Their options are to cease as an animal rescue and return to a pet store. They can offer pet supplies for sale to meet the definition of a pet store, rather than strictly offering adoptions.

According to a May 28 letter from

Sarasota County Code Enforcement Investigator Harvey Ayres



IN 2015 EARS REPORTED TO THE IRS NO REVENUE FROM
THE RETAIL COMPONENTS, FOOD & PET SUPPLIES, FROM THEIR PET STORE

In 2015 EARS Reported To The IRS
They Took in $173,707


$76,124.00 For Pet Adoptions.

$56,519 From Their Thrift Shop

Miscellaneous Income: $823

Contributions:$41,906

In 2015
Their Was No Revenue Reported From

The Sales Of Supplies From The Pet Store






AS OF AUGUST 2016
EARS IS STILL OPERATING AS SHELTER IN VIOLATION OF SARASOTA COUNTY CODE.
AS OF SEPTEMBER 1st,2016

Their Is An On Going Investigation By Code.




It is the responsibility of EARS to be always in compliance with the Zoning Laws of Sarasota County and to operate as such, at all times.
It is not morally right to put the animals in jeopardy.

facebook post from Bobbi Austin, Chairman of the Board

August 24th,2016

WELCOME TO
DIRTY EARS

Wake Up. Stop Drinking The Kool- Aid.

Click Box For Web Site

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SNN NEWS: June 12th, 2015

Click The Box Above For The Full Interview

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"We are actually not zoned to be a full blown animal rescue," said  Mary Curtis, Board Member, in a ABC7 News Interview on June 18th, 2015