MOULTON — Lawrence County Commissioner Bradley Cross told fellow commissioners Friday morning he favors giving the elephant back to her owner “and let them get the hell out of Dodge.”
On Jan. 22, District Judge Angela Terry gave custody of Nosey, a 35-year-old African circus elephant, to the county’s animal control officer, Kimberly Carpenter. On Nov. 9, the county seized the elephant and four ponies from Hugo and Franciszka Liebel, of Davenport, Florida, citing signs of stress and abuse.
“She doesn’t know any more about an elephant’s health than I know about a jet plane,” Cross said about Carpenter. “… I’ve been around long enough to know they’re passing the buck. They’re putting it back on the County Commission. If they sue, there’s not a jury in this county who will charge the Liebels with animal cruelty.
"They’ve owned this elephant 32 years, making a living with it and have been all over the United States. … So what we need to do is give the elephant back to the Liebels and tell them to get the hell out of Dodge. That will save us a lot of money.”
District 4 Commissioner Bobby Burch said giving the elephant back could lead to contempt charges for disobeying the court order.
County Attorney Dave Martin said the order is under appeal and “the order of the judge is not final.” He said with the appeal being filed, it is best not to comment.
On Feb. 2, the Liebels through their attorneys Allen Stoner and Whitney Fisher, filed an appeal in Lawrence County Circuit Court and requested a jury trial.
Animal rights groups have accused the Liebels of abusing Nosey for the past couple of decades. On Dec. 16, a day after a 10½-hour hearing, the Liebels were booked on animal cruelty charges regarding Nosey. At the same time, the county returned the four ponies to the circus owners.
Nosey is housed at the Tennessee Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, 80 miles southwest of Nashville.
In other business, the commission:
• Agreed to pay Changing 42 Rescue money billed from fiscal 2017 and has asked that future bills be accompanied by invoices and documentation.
• Agreed to a five-year franchise agreement with Charter Communications. Company spokesman Taylor Vice said its goal was to get countywide service. “It’s costly to get those rural areas,” he said.
• Approved the advertisement of a bid for an Appalachian Regional Commission Grant for County Road 23 work.
• Approved culvert work for county roads 165 and 377 totaling $630,000, from ATRIP project money. County engineer Winston Sitton said no matching funds are required on the county’s part.
• Approved the county engineer to hire laborers through temporary employment service Southern Staffing.
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Cross the comment you made about "Nosey" are just plain cruel and ignorant. It's not real hard to follow the trail of violations made by Hugo Tomi Liebel since there is substantial documentation. Here's just a tiny excerpt: "The USDA has cited Liebel numerous times for failing to give veterinary care to an African elephant named Nosey (aka “Tiny” or “Peanut”); failing to provide animals in his care with wholesome and uncontaminated food, shelter from the elements, and adequate space".
"Get out of Dodge"? What kind of person would say such a thing much less a county commissioner?
Disappointing and unacceptable....
This is someone's interpretation, please show the actual USDA reports in their words.
Cross do you voice public opinions on citizens getting traffic violations to the media. Do you talk to the media about a judge ordering a low child support.[spam]
Good thing Cross is a county commissioner and not in the legal system. This is a legal matter. Not a county commissioner matter. He is not in any position to make a difference on the case. Nosey isn’t costing tax payers any money in that county. Why is he voicing his personal opinion when he’s not qualified to do so. As a commissioner you should be proud your county workers did their jobs correctly. If they hadn’t the judge wouldn’t have ruled in animal controls favor. If you don’t support the workers doing their jobs correctly what are your opinions when child protective service and adult protective services don’t do their jobs correctly. Citizens will suffer from neglect and abuse. Would iyou be okay with them being in abusive situations also? Back your employees that are doing their jobs correctly. Back the judges legal decision. Your a commissioner what team are you on. If your not with the county and the states legal system get off the board of commissioners.
Cross is very correct, as this should have never happened in the first place. The elephant is now in a situation where she has been exposure to cold she is not acclimated to and to disease that could cause future harm or death. She has now been injured which may have reduced her value and performance while in the counties and this third parties care and there have been reports for failing health and condition. If she is farther traumatized and her emotional state and trust, relationship with her owners, or worst death form this sudden change of her routine and daily individual care of 35 years and can not continue to pursue her intended routine with her owners who is going to pay for their loss? The judge gave the decision making of this elephant to the city counsel, I believe, so they should/could place this elephant back into the care of her owners and make this totally unconstitutional mistake against these owners right.
If you research the Elephant Sanctuary, where Nosey currently is, you will see that all of the elephants have heated barns that can go in and out of at will, so the few cold spells are a non-issue. You mention you're concerned about Nosey's "change of routine". So, instead of being forced to crawl on the floor, forced to have the weight of so many bodies on her back day in day out, forced to be cramped in a tiny trailer, standing shackled in chains when not giving rides to people, forced to perform humiliating and painful tricks, having girls hanging from her tusks or doing acrobatics on her head................instead of all that, she now is roaming free of chains in large pastures, coming and going at her own free will, with no demands of her. She is out in nature, in peace, exploring and foraging. So this "change of routine" is harmful to her? I doubt it. Nosey is finally able to just be what she was born to be: an elephant. Something she has not been able to be or do for the past thirty some odd years. In regards to what you refer to as her "daily individual care". What daily individual care are you talking about? She arrived at the Sanctuary in horrible condition, with issues that were present for much too long, so I'm not sure what kind of daily individual care you are speaking of. Right now at the Sanctuary she is receiving top-notch care, and will continue to do so for as long as she is there. Hopefully it will be for the rest of her life. This poor soul has been through enough suffering. She more than deserves her freedom now.
Absolutely NO WAY should this long-suffering elephant be returned to her abusers.
It isn't exactly a secret that Nosey has suffered over three decades under the "care"
of Hugo Liebel. He has over 200 violations under the Animal Welfare Act. Why do you think that is? He also cannot properly care for her, relying on paying customers to feed her or a stranger to buy her a bale of hay. The condition she was in when she arrived at the Sanctuary was horrendous, due to years of improper care and neglect to her health and being overworked for years despite her aging condition. This man has proven he cannot properly care for her. Nosey is thriving at the Sanctuary and for the first time in a very long time looks peaceful and healthy. She has suffered long enough, let her live the rest of her life with other elephant companions, free from chains and bullhooks and constant traveling in dirty trailers. She deserves to be an elephant for once and live in peace and nature and freedom, something that was stolen from her over thirty years ago.
The so called "violations" are mostly paperwork and no threatening issues concerning the animals. They amount to pretty much 5 per year. Your restaurants, box stores, grocery stores and other companies that are under inspections also have "violations". This does not equate to life threatening, dangerous or in this case abuse. Cobwebs, dust, weeds and not getting paperwork input on time are "Violations". As with everything there will be those individuals that do these inspections that have a need to nit pick over every tiny issue and go beyond an unbiased by the book attitude.
Animals can have life long conditions that are not perfect, but the owners deal with them as best they can, this includes skin conditions. Roundworms are a constant struggle with ant pet owners and simply because their animal has some is not and should not be called "horrendous". Pretty much many mammal females get urinary tract infections, including many humans, this does not mean they are abusive. The broken tusk, the injured leg from being forced by winch away from the only family she knows and the sudden climate, diet, routine change has been more devastating to her.
Thank you sir for seeing the truth- that the Liebels were targeted by outside groups andborople with an agenda- to take away this animal from her handlers using public pressure, not the law. Phone calls from "concerned citizens" and animal rights organizations waiting to pounce at any time obviously spurred Carpenter that day. How is it that the elephant was able to be transported so quickly, one wonders, and how they got the order so fast for a seizure of this magnitude? The activists that got her seized on their own opinions and agenda have no care for the facts that there was no abuse evident of any kind to her and that she is regularly inspected and highly regulated. Surely an animal beaten regularly with a bullhook as they claim would show fear of it or her handlers-or have marks of some kind- but she never has. A dry skin condition is common- and how are they treating her at a sanctuary with no one able to touch her? A bullhook is required by law to guide an elephant any time it is in public. By LAW. An elephant must be tethered with a chain for her safety and the public safety- BY LAW, for short duration only- peta would have people think it animal cruelty and get people upset. Truth is, the animal should be returned to her family- she has lived with them her entire life and had human interaction every day. Throwing her in a cage, and a field with strange animals, and no hands on care, away from all she knows- is something you wouldn't even do to a dog. Let Nosey go home and save the county and the Liebels from a long, costly battle. The other elephants at that sanctuary had nowhere to go- Nosey DOES.
IF you had read the article you would have seen that this redneck has zero concern for the elephant.He obviously thinks that Carpenter has this elephant tied to a chair in her backyard. Nosey deserves to live out her life in a calm environment and not amongst screaming kids at a circus.
Please do some research.
URL of video in Indiana with Liebel hurting her with a bullhook https://www.facebook.com/savenoseynow/videos/197314060798978/
I find it most shameful for anyone to spout off about an issue without first doing some background research.
Cross you are an idiot—that elephant is being well cared for and she is right where she belongs. Sounds like to me you are the one who needs to get out of Dodge.
The "elephant in the room" needs to leave Lawrence County...now!
Cross' priority is saving money. No respect for the judge's opinion or the well-being of the animals.
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