PUTNEY (AP) - A holiday-themed park in Vermont is opening to visitors and protesters this weekend, a month after the owner and caretaker pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges.
Lillian Billewicz and Brian Deistler, the owner and caretaker of Santa's Land, respectively, were arraigned on one misdemeanor count each and were released on court-ordered conditions. Authorities said they found about a dozen dead deer and 10 dead reindeer on the property.
Sue Frazer-Stebbins of Saxtons River said people are concerned about the animals' health and have organized a protest and boycott at the Putney park Saturday morning.
Billewicz says on the business' Facebook page the animals have always had hay, grain and water, as well as routine vet care. She said she looked forward to a great season.