Reputable sanctuaries are homes to rescued animals where they’re given a new chance at life in a safe, appropriate, and natural setting. Sham sanctuaries are cruel roadside zoos, dealers, or breeders that market themselves as a “sanctuary” in order to attract customers. The Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Foundation—also called the Barry Kirshner Wildlife Sanctuary and Education Center—is the latter.
This roadside zoo regularly acquires big-cat and bear cubs from notorious breeders and forces them into photo ops, yet it has the audacity to call itself a “sanctuary.” The facility’s operator, Roberta Kirshner, has been seen hitting the baby animals used in these encounters, including a lion cub named Samson, who was hit with a broom while he had broken bones.
Animals at this facility are kept in tiny cages, and many of them are overweight and in poor body condition. Numerous animals—including a cougar, a liger, a lion, tigers, a leopard, a coyote, a black bear, and a lynx—have been seen pacing frequently, a sign of psychological distress.
Please e-mail the Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Foundation at [email protected] to tell it to end big-cat and bear-cub photo ops and public handling and to retire all the animals there to reputable sanctuaries.
Please feel free to use our sample letter, but remember that using your own words is always more effective.