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An Atlantic City doctor is suing the president of the Atlantic County SPCA, alleging she targeted him and his wife because they are Muslim, citing Facebook posts.

Daud and Minah Panah filed a five-count civil rights lawsuit against Nancy Beall on March 28.

“The whole thing is ridiculous, to tell you the truth,” Beall said Thursday, adding there was an ongoing investigation for years and the conditions at the Panahs’ Galloway Township farm were horrible for the pets. “The whole thing is bogus, just bogus.”

County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner also is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, “because he has a legal duty to train, supervise and discipline law-enforcement officers and agencies such as the Atlantic County Humane Society,” the lawsuit states.

The Prosecutor’s Office did not immediately return a request for comment.

According to the suit, Beall arrived at the farm on South Berlin Avenue in December 2017 to investigate an injured dog there, which the Panahs say was a stray.

Beall threatened to issue animal cruelty complaints for the dog if they didn’t donate $1,550 to the Atlantic County Humane Society, the Panahs say. Beall said that never happened.

After making the "donation," Daud Panah said he was issued the tickets for animal cruelty regardless and Beall took their dog and her puppies.

Beall said that it was agreed that pending criminal charges would be downgraded to civil if Panah paid restitution of $1155 for the veterinarian bills for the Rottweiler mix.

"(I) fostered this hurt dog for months," she said, "eventually finding "Mikey" a loving home."

Beall said she had no idea a lawsuit was going to be filed and hasn’t spoken with Panah in at least a year.

“We had charges against (Panah) in 2011,” she said. In December 2017, “We got calls from the neighbors because the animals weren’t being cared for, like they never are ... cow, goats, horse, dogs.”

Panah's attorney said the charges were dismissed in November, when Beall refused to appear in court.

Beall said the opposite is true, that Panah failed to show for seven court appearances and that his attorney claimed his client "busy, sick or out of the country."

Panah alleges Beall’s Facebook page has Islamophobic memes and a “thinly veiled threat suggesting the Panahs’ home should be burned down vigilante-style.”

Beall said the original complaint came from a patient of his that bought a puppy at the farm and was shocked by the living conditions of the animals there.

"Cruelty is cruelty and will be dealt with the same for any abuser," Beall said in an email.

Contact: 609-272-7260 cshaw@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressColtShaw

Staff Writer

I cover breaking news on the digital desk. I graduated from Temple University in Dec. 2017 and joined the Press in the fall of 2018. Previously, I freelanced, covering Pennsylvania state politics and criminal justice reform.

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