|Published:||Jul 10, 2012 4:59 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Jul 10, 2012 6:38 PM EDT|
COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- A Collier County animal refuge is now closed to visitors. Code Enforcement ordered Shy Wolf Sanctuary to stop all tours of their extensive East Naples compound on Tuesday morning.
Fifty-five rescue animals ranging from wolves to full-grown Florida panthers call Shy Wolf Sanctuary home. Nancy Smith's been overseeing the 2.5-acre compound for nineteen years.
"We've never had any complaints," Smith said.
But Tuesday morning, Smith says she got the shock of a lifetime. She says Collier County Code Enforcement's shutting the non-profit down to visitors.
"It's like somebody has reached in and grabbed my heart and smooshed it. That's how I feel," she said.
Collier County Code Enforcement wouldn't go on camera, but they say the Sancutary's location isn't zoned for a commercial enterprise.
The same violation was stuck on Golden Gate's Kowiachobee Preserve earlier this year, after ten years in business.
"What was deemed acceptable in the past is no longer acceptable. So my contention is, I've stayed the same, why are you changing?" Kowiachobee's John Slaby told WINK News back in May.
Shy Wolf Sanctuary relies entirely on donations to stay afloat. With dozens of over-sized jaws to feed, Smith says the pressure of closing it's doors is crippling.
"We're just going to have to keep on trucking, do the best that we can," Smith said.
Code Enforcement says Shy Wolf Sanctuary can still operate if they bring the cats to visitors to an off-site premises, with proper permitting.
Organizers from Shy Wolf plan to meet with Code Enforcement about the violation later this week.