South Huntingdon resident Barbara Flanigan was arrested again after another confrontation with the animal rescue organization she founded, days before the organization was set to take her life.
Flanigan, 71, allegedly entered the Pet Adoption League headquarters and punched the league director Sarah Jo Smith, according to court documents filed by state police.
The league had a 99-year lease allowing it to lease its Spring Street location for $ 1 a year to Flanigan, who founded the shelter about 30 years ago. His house is next to the refuge and the two buildings share a driveway.
The league’s board of directors fired Flanigan in 2013, leading to an ongoing bitter feud.
The Pet Adoption League recently agreed to leave the shelter and find a new home. Volunteers were preparing for the move on Saturday when Flangian arrived, according to Smith
“She was out there that day, walking back and forth, shouting ‘losers, losers’,” Smith said.
Eventually, Flanigan entered the building, according to Smith.
She was ordered by the court not to enter the building except to carry out inspections, which can take place at most once every 45 days. Flanigan must issue a written notice a week in advance before proceeding with an inspection, which she did not do on Saturday, police said.
“I told her to go out, she refused to go,” Smith said. “She started rocking me. I had about 10 people there to witness it.
Flanigan reportedly blocked the door as Smith attempted to shut it. Smith said she blew a horn in Flanigan’s ear during the fight.
Flanigan said staff and volunteers were taking items that did not belong to them. She did not give details of what was taken.
“I’m not going to go into that,” Flanigan said. “This is a legal question, and I have no comment.”
Smith denied the accusation.
“We only take what belongs to the association – blankets, cages, stuff like that,” she said.
State Police arrived and arrested Flanigan, charging him with burglary, criminal trespass and two counts of harassment. It is free on an unsecured bond of $ 75,000.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 22 before District Judge Charles Moore.
Flanigan and the Pet Adoption League have been involved in dueling lawsuits for years.
Westmoreland County Judge Richard McCormick ordered Flanigan not to enter the kennel property after being accused of entering it and harassing its staff and volunteers. Flanigan was sentenced to 10 days in prison in 2017 after repeated violations of this order.
The league plans to build a new 10-acre shelter it recently purchased on Bells Mills Road in Wyano. In the meantime, he will set up a temporary office in a trailer on a 3-acre lot he owns on Spring Street.
The league is mostly moved from its old home, Smith said. On Wednesday, the organization will hand over the keys to its lawyer, who will return them to Flanigan.
“It’s sad that it ends this way,” Smith said.