At the center of the property lay a grisly butcher’s table, and a tub to drain the blood into from each slaughter. Chickens and ducks squawked in cages strewn about; dozens more darted through trash and broken fencing, or hid beneath floorboards to evade the chopping block. Elsewhere, fly-coated pigs lay in their own waste. They all scrounged on rotten fruit and sludge-filled water to survive.
This was not your typical slaughterhouse. Nestled into an unassuming residential neighborhood in Fort Myers, Florida, this illegal backyard butcher was hiding in plain sight. Customers came and went, and the stench of neglect, decay and slaughter filled the air.
On behalf of a compassionate neighbor, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) won a court order to seize the animals. On April 22, Farm Sanctuary led five Florida-based Sanctuaries—Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary, Kindred Spirits Sanctuary, Peacefield, Shelter Farm Sanctuary, and Yesahcan Sanctuary, Inc.—to free over 100 animals and bring them to Sanctuary.