Wells Fargo hits “Image Self-Destruct Button”

Wells Fargo hits “Image Self-Destruct Button”

What happens to a company’s image, brand and stock price when the news gets out that it foreclosed on a farm, evicted the owner, and made no provisions for taking care of the animals?

That’s what Wells Fargo did in Rhode Island, according to the the Providence (RI) Journal (via Consumerist, who incorrectly reported that it was an animal shelter rather than a farm).

Wells Fargo claims it arranged for the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals take care of the 130+ cats, dogs, chickens, pigs, horses, sheep, goats. Not so, says RISPCA. According to its president Ernest Finocchio, the bank said it didn’t want RISPCA’s help.

An inspection yesterday revealed that some animals had no food or water. Others had been carted off by strangers – hopefully for humanitarian reasons.

“Two llamas are gone. A turkey is gone. Some waterfowl have left, as well as a number of pot-bellied pigs. I don’t know where the animals went, or who took them. I saw people walking around the farm yesterday and have no idea who they were,” said Finocchio.

But wait a minute. The bank isn’t the only bad guy here. Foreclosure laws require multiple eviction notices, so the farmer himself knew a long time ago that trouble was brewing, yet made no plans for taking care of his animals. Mucho bad karma for him.

UPDATE: Wells Fargo says hey, it wasn’t us who foreclosed– it was them, that mortgage company. But we’ll do the right thing and take care of the animals. Actually, it’s the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that’s assuming care, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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