Prince Lorenzo Borghese Was Run Out of Town by Shotgun in Georgia for Rescuing Dogs

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Through his nonprofit, Animal Aid USA, Prince Lorenzo Borghese (a former Bachelor on ABC) has rescued 3,000 dogs from way down South, where people hate Jews, blacks, gays, women, and apparently Italian princes and dogs.
The rescues took place once a month in Long County, Ga., a rural area where dogs are left by the side of roads, chained to trees in the woods and left to die, or used for hunting and then abandoned in locked crates. Prince Borghese rode into town with a caravan of rescuers and the townspeople gushed with gratitude, right?
Wrong. The townspeople went all “Deliverance” on him.
“They threatened us with shotguns,” said Borghese.
Borghese is the grandson of Princess Marcella Borghese, who founded the Borghese cosmetics line. His lineage dates back to Napoleon’s sister, and his royal name is known throughout Italy. Borghese is also founder and president of Royal Treatment Pet Products, a high-end organic bath, body and skin care line for pets that donates 5% of its profits and $2 for every new customer to Lorenzo’s nonprofit.

Prince Lorenzo Borghese
Prince Lorenzo Borghese

Borghese and his partner, Karen Talbot LaSasso, spent the last two years creating an animal shelter they named Miracle Ranch. It was in the back woods of Georgia where they bought five acres of land and built kennels in accordance with building codes.
“It was all legal and preapproved,” said Borghese. “Then the trouble started. A local threatened to ‘kill all the varmints with a machine gun.’ They make their own rules down there. Nothing was in writing and we’d done nothing wrong, but the locals were telling us to get out.”
LaSasso said, “We didn’t receive any formal complaint and nothing in writing, but we saw a newspaper article that said we had until Dec. 31 to leave. We were blindsided. We went to the local authorities and told them we didn’t know what the problem was. Right after we spoke to the authorities an anonymous sign popped up in town. It was large, yellow and handwritten, ‘Public Hearing.’”
Borghese said, “It became clear that even after we won legally, we’d never win the war. Dogs were being poisoned on our property. We heard gunfire all the time and found bullets on our land.”
“Back in 2009,” LaSasso said, “we saw Animal Control’s conveyor belts, a gas chamber and a freezer where the workers put all the dead dog bodies. The manager at Animal Control didn’t make eye contact with me. He grunted. This was a rural community where they saw us as unwanted outsiders even though all we wanted to do was help.”
“We built Miracle Ranch,” said Borghese, “so we could rescue animals from being killed, but also provide free immunization shots and then find homes for them. After seeing the sign, we asked what the public hearing was about. We were afraid that it was going to be a public lynch mob.”
LaSasso added, “We gathered an army of people from New York and New Jersey to come down to Georgia to support us at the public hearing. When local officials began to receive a barrage of calls from our supporters, some even from Italy, a Long County Commissioner said, ‘You’re making me look like an asshole.’ But they were doing that all by themselves.”
“We pulled off the largest rescue in Georgia,” Borghese said. “One weekend in October, with the help of 69 airplanes donated by Pilots n Paws, and volunteers, we drove cargo vans, flew out rescued dogs, gave them free medical attention, and all at our expense. We didn’t need a thank you, but we didn’t expect to be ambushed right after that and told not to come back.”
Many celebs have lined up to support Borghese’s efforts. Georgina Bloomberg, daughter of three-term New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg; Eric Trump, son of billionaire Donald Tump; actors Bernadette Peters, Stephen Baldwin, and Pam Grier; Miss USA Nana Meriwether; Amanda Hearst; and animal activist Beth Ostrosky, Howard Stern’s wife. “They have all been loyal and lent their voices to our cause,” said Borghese.
In November, Borghese and LaSasso finally had to surrender and give up Miracle Ranch in order to protect themselves and the animals. Still, they’ll continue their efforts to save dogs from euthanasia.
On Dec. 7, 2013 Borghese will be an honored guest at Celebrity Catwalk’s Tinsel & Tails, a public fundraiser for dogs in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. You can meet the prince in person. Also in attendance will be Lee Goldberg and Amy Freeze from ABC News and Francesca Maxime from NY1, plus a swarm of animals and animal lovers.