Former '70s rock singer in trouble with Hernando animal welfare officials
Carol Mas was once touted as "the female Bruce Springsteen." But save for a minor hit single, Stillsane, in 1979, Mas, who performed as Carolyne Mas, never established a strong following. And she pretty much gave up on her music career years ago. She preferred to be known as a "woman with good heart," she said.
Such was the idea behind establishing Our Animal Haus, a 12-acre animal sanctuary in Brooksville that is home to some 200 horses, cats, dogs, birds and other animals. A life-long animal lover, Mas, 54, viewed the shelter as a calling, a way to "give animals that no one wants a chance to live long, happy lives.'' She's even put some of her prized instruments up for sale to keep the sanctuary running through tough times. The Huffington Post wrote about the sanctuary in September.
But Hernando County Animal Services says Mas and her husband, Estebahn Agustinho, have failed to provide proper food and sanitary living conditions for the animals under their care. An 18- to 20-year-old chestnut mare named Ginger was removed from the ranch due to malnourishment, and had to be euthanized. Another horse and four cats were removed from the property this week.
At a hearing Friday, photos entered into evidence showed piles of animal feces in several areas of the home’s living quarters. Another set of photos showed several of the 27 dead animals that officers discovered inside a freezer. (Mas said she kept the animals there because she was unsure of laws regarding animal burials on her property.)
A Hernando County judge ruled Friday that Mas and Agustinho be allowed to retain guardianship of the animals, provided they cooperate with Animal Services inspectors. They're due in court again Tuesday.