Watch for Updates
Originally Posted February 15, 2021
by Robert Baty
It has come to my attention that my old adversary, Laurel Burchell, and her daughter, Halina Morley, have made themselves newsworthy out of Weld County (Greeley), CO based on allegations that Halina Morley is letting her various animals freeze to death, after other animals, over the course of months, suffered from abuse and/or neglect to the point of death before the severe cold weather moved in.
Reportedly, local law enforcement has been unwilling or unable to take remedial action apart from monitoring the situation.
There has been some media attention given to the story, but none has affected a remedy.
On February 15, 2021, Meko Haze, broadcast live his interview with Floss Blackburn of Denkai Animal Sanctuary and Andrea Davis of Broken Shovels Farm Sanctuary; two women who have been working to try and rescue the remaining animals without success.
Link to Meko Haze Broadcast
Links to Denkai Animal Sanctuary
Links to Broken Shovels Farm Sanctuary
Narrative (excerpts) from Denkai Animal Sanctuary
Dated February 14, 2021 7:40 AM MT
When the Law Can Not Protect Animals, Where Do We Turn?
A group of more than twenty farm animals has become the focus of nationwide concern and outcry over the past ten days. These innocent animals are currently enduring subzero temperatures without the means to keep them alive much longer. They do not have proper bedding, food, or water and will surely perish. Pot bellied pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, a rabbit and a dog are all victims of animal hoarding located in Weld County, CO.
On February 3, 2021, Floss Blackburn, President for Denkai Animal Sanctuary visited property off of F street just outside of Greeley, CO city limits in Weld County, Colorado after a desperate call for help from the current property owner in regard to multiple dead and live farm animals and one dog suffering from neglect.
The background on this situation involves the property owner having in good faith leased a small area of her land to this tenant, Halina Morley to house her farm animals in October of 2018 for a period of one year. That lease was never renewed after October of 2019, that lease was never renewed in writing, therefore becoming a month-to-month lease of $1.00 per day to Halina for having her animals on this property.
The owner of the property is eighty years old, she has been bullied and taken advantage of by Halina Morley and her mother, Laurel Burchell to the point in which she is literally afraid to walk around on her own property. In June of 2020, the landlord began the eviction process with Ms. Morley. It escalated into lawyers and court. Mary, the landlord will be heading back to a status conference on March 11, 2021. Ms. Morley continues to bully the landlord, neighbors, the Weld County Sheriff’s department and to date has been successful in getting away with such actions.
Upon entering the property and viewing the pen housing these unfortunate animals, Ms. Blackburn observed at least eight dead animals consisting of goats, possibly one calf and a duck. All dead animals are in the pen that confines the live animals. There were at least two dead animals in a feces filled camper trailer believed to be a goat and possibly a calf, another four dead goats piled together in the loafing shed/shelter. One decomposing goat just outside the loafing shed, and one dead duck outside of the pen.
The live animals are walking over these dead constantly, they crowd into the shelters to escape the current below zero temperatures for warmth with no bedding to keep them protected, warm and comfortable. A few even find solace in the feces filled camper where at minimum, two dead animals, a goat and possibly the calf lay stiff and lifeless. Tiny baby pot bellied pigs huddle together on a piece of black plastic to try to keep from freezing to death in the current below zero temperatures.
It is not enough. More animals will die.
The sheriff is unable to obtain permission to perform a necropsy to determine the cause of death on any of the animals in this pen and on the property. Therefore, it is impossible to determine what their cause of death was. Starvation and infectious disease would be the most likely cause, but again, nobody will know.
We have video and photographs to back all of this up.
Denkai initially reached out to the sheriff’s department for Weld County and spoke with Sargent Vaughn. He relayed that they have been working this particular case for the past twelve months and that Ms. Morley is keeping the care for these animals at just barely the minimum allowed per the statutes, therefore there was nothing that the sheriff’s department could do other than continue to monitor the situation.
Since our initial conversation, the Weld County Sheriff’s office has been flooded with calls and e-mails from individuals and rescuers trying to help.
They continue to stand by the fact that the law has their hands tied in reference to seizing and providing safe care for the animals who continue to go without food and water for more than 24 hours at a time and when they are fed – we have video footage of them being fed bird food – ALL of the animals – sheep, goats, pigs, the dog and birds. We do believe that the dog has been living off of and eating on one of the dead goat carcasses to survive.
The Weld County Sheriff’s office has made it clear that individuals trying to help these animals by bringing food, providing water, posting about going onto the property, and calling in “false reports” in regard to the wellbeing of these animals will receive citations and can be arrested.
What we know from working previous cases is that it is better not to try to feed or water animals in need – that interferes with the investigation and the authorities will not be able to properly process their case. We are asking people to stand down, though it is very difficult.
The facts: Ms. Morley will go between 24-48 hours without feeding or providing water to this group of animals. The statute states that if they are without food and water for 72 hours or more, the Sheriff can then step in to seize the animals for neglect.
What is even more concerning is the information obtained from a news story out of Arkansas on January 28, 2021 that Halina Morley aka Halina Burchell plans to move to Arkansas to start her own farm for food animals in the next few weeks through a program with the Milo J. Shult Agricultural Research & Extension Center.
That story can be viewed here:
The bottom line with this situation is that laws do not sufficiently exist to protect farmed animals from situations such as this. The minimum standard is not enough to keep these animals alive and will ultimately fail them, allowing a repeat offender to get away with continued neglect and abuse.
Mental illness plays a leading role in animal hoarding cases without a doubt every single case we have worked. That not only has affected animals but also other people and children living in the home. We need a heavier focus on changing existing laws in a way that will allow law enforcement the ability to do their job as well as provide help for mental illness, with a deeper look into the link that occurs between people and animals when this does occur.
We need to contact legislators and work together hand in hand with those who can make a difference for all victims involved in cases such as this one.
It has now also been reported that Laurel Burchell offered to let rescuers have the animals in exchange for $125,000.00 and a free pass for a her daughter to get out of Colorado.
See below for details!
It appears Laurel and her daughter have a long history of such antics involving various criminal activities and frivolous lawsuits. However, they may have had some successes at such “golddigging” over the years, and this is just part of their latest “con”.
It was also reported that Halina’s intention was to kill off the animals because she couldn’t afford to keep them. She may have mental issues contributing to her latest antics and refusal to simply let the animals be rescued.
Weld County Hoarder Update
Posted February 15, 2021 at 12:54 PM MT
WELD COUNTY HOARDER UPDATE!
Folks, we are being extorted in order for these women to continue to buy and abuse animals. This is a scam if I’ve ever seen one, and the victims are the animals they use as bait.
If this doesn’t make your blood boil… Today, Laurel Burchell literally stated to an anonymous supporter that she wants to sell these poor farm animals for $125,000.
That’s right, $50,000 today and $75,000 tomorrow to get them away from her daughter. She wants this so that her daughter Halina Morley can leave the state.
Not only are they using these animals as leverage, they are preying on the hearts of animal welfare advocates who actually care about their animals!
These women have zero intent to turn over these animals. This is a fun game for them. Do not let them benefit!
This gets Halina off totally free of any possible charges for neglect and cruelty and empties bank accounts of caring individuals. This is not the answer and Denkai will not ever agree to enabling con artists and hoarders.
Keep pushing this in a legal way. Read our last press release and keep pressure on all authorities involved. We will not stand for this!
From The Governor’s “First Gentleman”
Posted February 14, 2021 at 3:23 PM MT
Good Day, Friends,
I am currently working to figure out what, if anything, can be done for the backyard animals in Weld County. I can’t make any promises, but I’m trying.
I know everyone is upset, and so am I, but Executive Orders are not issued to address isolated cases. And, sadly, even if they were, Sheriffs are autonomous and empowered to decide whether or not to enforce Executive Orders.
The Statewide mask mandate is an example of an Executive Order that is intended to be enforced in all corners of the State, but which certain counties have nevertheless decided not to enforce.
I know this is confusing, because many people believe the Governor must have overriding jurisdiction, but he doesn’t. I’m looking into what it would take to protect backyard animals in situations like this, and I will be reporting back most likely on Tuesday this week.
But as so many here have said, changing the law won’t happen quickly enough to save these animals. The only short-term solution is to plead with the Sheriff to intervene on the animals’ behalf.
The original press release from the Weld County Sheriff is dated 2/5, so perhaps he would agree to reassess the situation now that several more animals are rumored to have died and temperatures have been below freezing for three days in a row. I recommend calling the Sheriff and asking him to please do something. This is what I am doing, myself.
The number to call for the Weld County Sherriff is
In the long term, the laws need to be updated, and I am hopeful that we can make change happen by bringing everyone together around the common cause of sparing animals undue suffering.
Update February 16, 2021
Laurel Burchell has now, unsolicted, contacted me about these matters. Her factual claims are disputed by Nicole, the child’s aunt, and that discussion can be found in various threads in my FaceBook group at the following link:
Link to thread in my FaceBook group where one of Nicole’s responses (screenshot below) was made:
The location and welfare of the child remains unknown!
Go to link above for narrative!
The following link contains the file reporting the results of a federal case involving Halina Morley’s failure to properly care for 2 “wild horses”; from 2011.
The Weld County, CO child welfare organization removed Halina’s child from her custody after considering report(s) of child neglect/abuse. Late in 2019 Halina began her attempts to sue all of those involved for millions of dollars, in federal court. After filing 3 Complaints, none of which were sufficient to advance the case, the case was DISMISSED. Following are the docket history, links to the 3 Complaints, Report & Recommendations, and Dismissal Order.
Update February 17, 2021 – 3:20 PM MT
Wannabe Shara Michelle has now made her appearance and is claiming she and Laurel will save the day and rescue the animals!
For the full texts of my exchange with Laurell Burchell, see article on this site at the following link:
Shara Michelle has now added this shameful bit of self-promotion to her resume!
Update February 18, 2021
On-line exchange between Broken Shovels and Shara Michelle at:
Shara and Laurel have their get together in a FaceBook live that lasts about 20 minutes, after which they decide to call Halina, the animals’ owner, about the prospects of her giving up the animals in question.
I don’t believe any objective observer can review Laurel Burchell’s activity on the “First Gentleman Marlon Reis” FaceBook page, shortly before her show with Shara today, referenced above, and believe that there was any intention by Laurel and/or her daughter to make any concessions or allow the animals to be rescued.
Andrea Davis is one of the administrators for Broken Shovels Farm Sanctuary.
Drama queen Shara Michelle now adds the following to her page at:
Meko Haze YouTube Update
Update February 19, 2021
The above reported death is contested!
The thread at the link above, reporting the pig death, appears to have now been removed. It appears to have not been an accurate report, or the death could not be adequately substantiated. The people involved maintain that the death occurred despite the denials by the other side. Such things do not help!
Meanwhile, Shara Michelle, being Shara Michelle, claims to have answers but prefers to keep her secrets as she continues to exploit the story in order to make the story more about her than animal abuse in Weld County (Greeley), CO.
Go to thread referenced above for extensive exchange between Shara and Meko!
Link to Denkai Animal Sanctuary notice of fund-raiser story in the Greeley Tribune February 18, 2021:
Halina appeared on an Arkansas television broadcast in January 2021, in a promotion for a farm school program of which she is a student. I have added the “Morley” reference to the graphic below. I wonder if she disguised her identity in apply to the school in order to keep her criminal and related histories from being made know to the school in evaluating her application as a student.
Now this from Shara regarding Halina!
Now it appears Shara may be trying some damage control, but her previous comments and actions are not consistent with the current claim. We will what the future holds. Stay tuned.
On the other hand, maybe that’s nothing new.
Shara just believes the animals should be “relinquished” AFTER the community comes together in love, pays off Halina (amount not yet specified), cleans up the place, and makes the landlord whole on the lease.
In other words, it’s still all about Shara as far as her involvement in the matter.
“Change my mind!”
Update February 20, 2021
It’s still all about Shara!
That’s what is important to Shara!
If it’s not about Shara, it’s not important!
Shame on Shara!
Some Positive Movement Today!
Go to link above for video in following graphic:
Regarding the above, there is also this:
Statement from Weld County Sheriff’s Office
In addition to trying to claim credit for today’s positive action by the Dept. of Agriculture and Sheriff’s Department, Shara Michelle is threatening that the remaining animals will have increased suffering if those critical of her, Laurel Burchell and Halina Morley don’t shut up about what is going on.
The following has now been reported as being a response by the University of Arkansas to an inquiry from someone regarding its position on Halina Burchell Morley being in one of its programs.
Followup from Weld Count (Greeley), CO Sheriff:
YouTube Update From Meko Haze at:
Derek Peabody also reports that he spoke with the University of Arkansas and was told Halina Morley would not be returning to studies there; subject to confirmation or rebuttal.
KDVR Denver Channle 31 also has a followup at:
Something appears to have ticked off Laurel Burchell’s and Halina Morley’s advocate, Shara Michelle, and she’s taking it out on Ellen Kessler as reported at:
My Colorado State Rep. responds as shown below:
Update February 21, 2021
Shara Michelle has removed from her FaceBook page the telephone call she had with Laurel Burchell, Halina Morley’s mother. However, it has been preserved and archived at the following link:
The Denver Gazette published today what may be the most accurate account of the matter at:
The investigation is ongoing by the Weld County Sheriff’s Office and Colorado Department of Agriculture.
Morley has denied all allegations, telling FOX31 reporter Deborah Takahara earlier this month, “the animals are all doing fine per multiple ACO’s and Weld County Sheriff’s Deputies/employees … No action is being taken against myself or my animals, as there is none to take.”
Morley has a history of arrests in Weld County, having been arrested three times from 2013 to 2015 for assault, failure to appear in court and flight to avoid prosecution, according to the Weld County Sheriff’s Office arrest reports.
More news coverage tonight at 10:00 PM MT!
Link to live Denver News7 broadcast:
I didn’t catch anything new in the above report, but I did see a quick clip that I think was prefaced with the claim it shows the News7 reporter trying to talk to Halina Morley, but it doesn’t appear to me that the woman answering the door was Halina. I do not recognize the woman.
Laurel Burchell contacted me, Robert Baty, via FaceBook Messenger to advise that that person is not her or Halina Morley, but a neighbor of Halina’s trying to mind her own business.
There was also, this afternoon, a story from Denver’s Channel 4 at the following link:
WCSO’s (Weld County Sheriff’s Office) Joseph Moylan told CBS4 that no regulations exist that mandate the removal of dead animals from the presence of live ones.
“We are getting called there almost every day, sometimes multiple times a day,” Moylan said. “Right now, we just haven’t found a criminal charge that we think can stick.”
Public concern grew to the point that deputies had to warn citizens not to take matters into their own hands. One person was investigated for criminal trespassing on the property.
The property at 5406 F Street is owned by Mary C. Stevens, according to public assessor’s records.
A search of online court cases indicates Stevens and Morley, the owner of the animals who is renting the property, have filed several civil actions against one another, including restraining orders.
Update February 22, 2021
Laurel Burchell has made her appearance in the “Kent Hovind’s Worst Nightmare” FaceBook group and has offered to answer questions. We’ll see how that might go.
There was considerable amount of banter with Laurel by other members of the above referenced group. Laurel and I had additional private, Messenger, exchanges as noted below.
Update February 23, 2021
Update from “First Gentleman Marlon Reis”:
Because the case is currently an open investigation, advocates have no choice but to wait while officials determine if there are laws currently on the books that would allow for helping the remaining live animals.
This is a case worthy of being angry about, but please direct your desire for justice at the real issue. What happened at this Weld County property is symptomatic of a much larger problem that plays out every day in our State and Country: inconsistencies in the way animals are classified and protected.
More FaceBook Messenger chat between Laurel & me:
Denver 7News Update
Links to related articles on this website:
Update February 24, 2021
(Go to above link for video from which images below were taken.)
Venita Burchell has joined my “Kent Hovind’s Worst Nightmare” FaceBook group today. She has yet to introduce herself and/or post any comments. It may be the same Venita Burchell as indicated in the case at the following link:
Link to post below from the “Kent Hovind’s Worst Nightmare” FaceBook group:
Link to broadcast referenced in post below:
Halina Morley’s upcoming court dates shown below. The first one relates to a restraining order and the second one, I believe, relates to the eviction proceedings.