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Judge rules animals must be removed from Wildlife in Need

All animals, excluding big cats, must be removed by Sept. 18.

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana judge has granted the state's motion to remove all animals, excluding big cats, from Wildlife in Need by Sept. 18.

The order says the state provided evidence to support taking possession of the animals to ensure their health and welfare. Animals can go to either temporary or permanent custodians.

Judge David Dreyer also said owner Tim Stark must continue to care for all animals pending their removal and cannot threaten or intimidate those who try to implement the order.

The state excluded big cats from the motion because those animals are involved in a separate federal lawsuit filed by PETA. Last month, a judge granted PETA permission to identify reputable facilities to re-home the big cats.

Stark's USDA license was revoked earlier this year after the agency said he violated the animal welfare act more than 100 times. Court documents described animals left without food and water or adequate care.

Most recently, Stark was escorted out of a courtroom before the judge came in after witnesses said he verbally harassed former employees and volunteers who were there to watch the hearing.

RELATED: WATCH: Tim Stark verbally attacks former volunteers outside courtroom

RELATED: 'These animals are going to continue to die': Former staff expose abuse at Indiana wildlife refuge

►Contact reporter Shay McAlister at smcalister@whas11.com. Follow her on Twitter (@WHAS11Shay) and Facebook.

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