An elephant whose owner is facing an animal cruelty charge in Lawrence County will stay in the county's care, a judge ruled Monday morning.
Lawrence County District Court Judge Angela Terry ruled that Nosey will stay in the custody of county animal control officer Kimberly Carpenter, who will make decisions about Nosey's placement and treatment.
Officials tell WAAY 31 they received several reports about Nosey's condition back in November, but Carpenter was the one who filed a complaint for the writ of seizure of the animal.
Nosey is being held at The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tenn., where she was taken after being seized in December. Her owner, circus owner Hugo Liebel, is charged with animal cruelty.
Lawrence County authorities seized Nosey and four miniature ponies from Liebel after his vehicle broke down in Lawrence County in November. Authorities said the elephant had been chained by the legs, was unable to move and was standing in her own feces without adequate food, water or shelter.
Animal Control Officer Kim Carpenter tells WAAY 31 she's happy with the judge's ruling, and would like for Nosey to stay at the elephant sanctuary because, she says, the animal is finally getting the care and treatment she deserves.
WAAY 31 reached out to the sanctuary for a comment on Monday's decision, but we haven't heard back from them yet.
However, according to District Attorney Errek Jett, no final or permanent plans for Nosey can be made for two weeks because, according to the attorney representing the owners, they plan to appeal the order.
PETA released the following statement on Monday regarding the judge's decision:
"Compassionate people the world over can breathe a sigh of relief with today's ruling that Nosey the elephant will not return to the people who left her chained and swaying back and forth in her own waste with urinary tract, skin, and roundworm infections as well as painful osteoarthritis and signs of dehydration and malnutrition. PETA thanks local authorities for initiating this course of events and everyone who worked to keep Nosey away from the man who used chains and intimidation in order to force her to give rides for decades. As she finally experiences the benefits of a sanctuary, beleaguered Hugo Liebel is facing cruelty charges and the realization that there's no room for animal abusers in a civilized society."