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Howard County Neighborhood Fights To Get Animal Sanctuary Closed

HOWARD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)– A 12-year-battle to close a Howard County animal rescue comes to an end this week. But the neighbors nearby still want the wildlife sanctuary gone.

Gigi Barnett has more on the controversy.

Since 1999, Colleen Layton-Robbins fought to keep her monkeys. She started with 30 primates and created Frisky’s Wildlife Sanctuary. But over the years, new homes have sprung up around her Howard County rescue.

And those neighbors– especially the ones who share a driveway with Frisky’s– wanted the monkeys gone.

“We were here first,” Layton-Robbins said. “Keep in mind, when we had the sanctuary here, this was all farmland. You had to have three or more acres to live here.”

But this week, a Howard County zoning board unanimously agreed that Layton-Robbins and her monkeys can stay.

“It has lifted such a cloud,” she said. “I’ve been smiling for three days. My husband gets up at 3 o’clock in the morning and he says I’m smiling in my sleep.”

Layton-Robbins said the county has never cited Frisky’s for a violation, or found it unsafe for animals and people.

But neighbors fear that one of the animals will escape and pose a threat to homeowners.

“I don’t know that anyone knows how dangerous monkeys are, or that they can carry disease until you really look into something like this,” said one person.

Attorney Thomas Meachum represents some of the neighbors. He says this week’s ruling may not be the last step for his clients.

“They were disappointed in the decision because it still allows the monkeys to stay, and it still permits other exotic animals to come in,” he said.

Now that the county has agree that Frisky’s can stay on this land, there is one stipulation: No more new monkeys. They can only stay on a temporary seven-day basis.

Layton-Robbins says her facility only cares for small animals and it cannot sustain large creatures like alligators.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Laura says:

    Why on earth would somebody move into a house next to animal sanctuary and then try to close it? It makes no sense driving out out someone who was there first and has been doing this for over 30 years. Man these people who are trying to push her out need to get a life. The sanctuary was there first – you didn’t have to buy a house next to it?!! Man, people are so self centered and make no sense!

    1. LisaB says:

      That’s Howard County…..the land of “Choose Civility” .

      1. KottaMan says:

        Ain’t that the truth! Another enclave of liberals and socialism. People there don’t even talk to their neighbors especially in Columbia. If they have a “neighborhood issue” they just call the County. The folks in the western end are more neighborly and “normal.”

    2. rtg says:

      You’re absolutely right. All I could think of is how ignorant those neighbors must be to buy a home near a sanctuary, then try to close it. Arrogant, selfish people.

    3. Michele Dockery says:

      Because people are rude and inconsiderate. Shame on anyone who bought a house near something that was obvious before they signed on the dotted line. It’s shameful that anyone would complain about anything that existed PRIOR to their buying their property then want to complain to close it.

  2. Mark G says:

    I have known Colleen for a good while now and I can say that if PEOPLE cared about other PEOPLE the way she cares about her critters, this world would be a better place. But alas we must remember Howard County is the land of entitlement and home to some of the most self-centered individuals in the world. I have lived here most of my life and seen it several times with new developments or neighborhoods coming into an area, and those new “neighbors” feel it is there civic duty to rid the town of all that bothers them. I can’t tell you the phone calls I got, “Do you have to blow the siren on the fire truck every morning at 7:00?”…. we have only been doing it every single day for the last 40 years, but no, we’ll stop just for you.

    1. Susan says:

      I’m just wondering why you do that? I don’t live in Howard County, but what’s the purpose of setting of the fire truck siren every morning? Have there been complaints from long-time residents?

  3. RP says:

    What is wrong with people. Leave this wonderful lady alone. This is like moving next to a landfill and demanding they close it, why don’t you move if you have such a problem with it, I would happily live next to this animal sanctuary. This lady seems to really care about her animals, sure things can happen, but you have a better chance of getting mugged than a monkey giving you a disease, get real, and take your head out of your a*****.

  4. HA HA HA says:

    This is payback from the neighbors after loosing the do- do throwing contest

    1. KottaMan says:

      Uh, it’s spelled “losing.”

      1. Kotta-booster says:

        …and “doo-doo”

    2. Guest says:

      What if it ISNT misspelled?

      What if he really meant loose dodos,which would be banging a dead bird thats been stuffed for at least 100 years.

  5. Laurel says:

    betcha these same people would allow the drug dealers to live next door to them…..bunch of idiots. i would rather live next to her than most of my neighbors!

  6. Rich says:

    stupid snotty howard county residents. all they do is complain about everything. YOU moved to the place where you ahve to pay tax on your air, you moved next to the animal sanctuary. U mad bro?

  7. Sanyon says:

    .This has nothing to do with the animals. A developer wants that land for housing and will keep using the “neighbors” to incite legal actions until he gets what he wants. I just wonder how much he is paying the neighbors to keep up this facade. This has been a tactic used by developers in Howard county since James Rouse and Charles Miller Sr raped most of the farmers to get land for Columbia.

  8. Eeyore13 says:

    It is about time they have found in her favor!!! I have lived in Howard County for 8 years and have to agree about neighbors calling the county instead of speaking to you when they have a problem. Two of our neighbors used the county to harass other neighbors until the county told them (the harassed) that they could sue if it happened again. Similar to this lady it was two new neighbors complaining about a neighbor who has lived in the same house for 50 years.

  9. christine dymond says:

    LEAVE IT ALONE !!! STOP BE SELFISH . NOT WANT HEAR TO POLICE COME SHOTS ALL DEAD JUST LIKE IN OHIO WILD CATS,BEAR S ,WOLVES KILLED 49 THAT SHAME THE NEIGHBORS WHO IS SELFISH . THE ANIMALS DOES NOT BOTH THE NEIGHBORS , ONLY BOTHER IS SELFISH NOSY NEIGHBORS . HOW NEIGHBORS FEEL IF THEY HAD MANYS DOGS WILL THE TURN IN HUH ! NO MAKE SENSE . JUST LEAVE IT ALONE . THE MONKEY PERSON WHO CARE THEY GOOD CARE , HEALTH ,CHECK CAGE ELC . THEN DON’T BE BOTHER !! UNDERSTOOD NOSY NEIGHBORS .

  10. tartofdarkness says:

    We board our horses in a horse oriented community in southern CA. This city is widely known for its neighborly horse friendly vibe. Now we are about to face a city council election where people who moved here during to boom to buy property for McMansions with no intention of keeping livestock are demanding “FAIR TREATMENT”. This “FAIR TREATMENT” meaning being able to violate the city’s codes about leaving a 10% chunk of your property to be suitable for maintaining domestic livestock. They want, instead, to build additions to their homes or buildings that violate this code. They claim this is fair when they could go anywhere else and buy land where no one cares what they do. These are the people who complain if horses go potty on the trail in front of their homes. They moved in KNOWING this is a horse community. All I can say to them is GET OUT, but I know they’ll persist until there will be no more horses. It working in the city where we live, it’ll work there, too. Live and let live almost never means allowing people who don’t want suburban monotony to live their own way.

  11. Maria Ladd says:

    Hmm..airports and military bases have a similar problem. They build out in the boondocks only to have people move close in. And then, these folks complain about all the noise.

    But the developer who wants her land? That is interesting…does anyone know more about this? I saw similar tactics in Colorado…except the people who wanted the properties had a couple of family elders killed to convince certain ranchers and business owners to sell. It worked.

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