CHARLESTOWN, Ind. — Following years of controversy, Tim Stark has auctioned off what was left of the self-proclaimed animal refuge Wildlife in Need.
The southern Indiana nonprofit was dissolved earlier this year – animals are long gone and now cages, equipment and facilities left behind were sold to the highest bidder on Saturday.
“This is his whole life – everything. He’s built everything. His house, the buildings, it’s so sad to see this go. He put so much love and effort and thought into everything. His whole life and now – it’s just gone,” Jenn Garrett, a friend, said.
An embattled Tim Stark lost his case in court earlier this year after the Indiana Attorney General's office filed a lawsuit to shut him down for good.
The judge found there was evidence of embezzlement and misuse of non-profit money.
Stark also lost his license through the USDA to show animals after allegations of animal neglect and abuse.
"You could tell he was doing this thing for the right reasons. He got sideways with somebody and how it ended is absolutely horrific", James Garretson, friend of Stark, said.
The auction is seemingly the end of the property once known for exotic animal shows. But for Stark, the battle in court continues.
Prosecutors with the Indiana Attorney General's office filed an emergency motion after learning about the auction, writing, "Stark is blatantly attempting circumvent this court's lawful orders." The state worried Stark would profit off the of sale of items that belong to Wildlife in Need, not Stark.
Stark has a court date set for next month in Indianapolis, where a judge will decide if he will be held in contempt of court. Until then the judge has also ordered all proceeds from Saturday's auction be held in escrow until further notice.
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