Greedy sellers at auctions try to maximize profits from wild and exotic animals by spending as little money as possible on providing for their well-being. The result is days of the most traumatic conditions for animals imaginable.
Three such auctions across the U.S. include the Mt. Hope Auction, Triple W Exotic Animal Auction, and Lolli Bros. Livestock Market, which consistently are cited for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) but continue with business as usual so they can have massive paydays at the expense of animals’ lives. Some of the most notorious roadside zoos, breeders, and dealers frequent these auctions to acquire or offload animals who spend their lives in barren enclosures being treated like sideshow objects for entertainment—a clear example of speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.
These auctions put the roadside zoo and pet industries’ evil dealings on full display. Exotic-animal auctions are hellholes for the sentient beings who are confined to cramped cages, traumatized by loud crowds, and denied adequate veterinary care. And the sheer scope of the suffering is unquantifiable: These cruel events peddle thousands of individuals from hundreds of different species.
Take action below to urge Mt. Hope, Triple W, and Lolli Bros. to stop auctioning off wild and exotic animals.
The Mid Ohio Alternative Animal and Bird Sale in Mount Hope, Ohio, auctions off thousands of wild and exotic animals three times per year. During the September 2023 event, animals were observed in desperate need of veterinary care, such as a red fox and a chukar with fractured legs as well as multiple skeletal nilgai, sheep, and alpacas.
In January 2023, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued the nightmarish auction an official warning for failing to provide adequate veterinary care to a ram who was discovered dead by a USDA inspector, failing to provide adequate enclosures (which caused an inspector to have to dislodge a distressed white-tailed deer’s leg that had become ensnared in a gap of her enclosure), and knowingly allowing individuals without licenses to sell regulated animals illegally. Since September 2022, USDA inspectors have cited the Mt. Hope Auction 36 times for violating the AWA over just the previous three auctions—15 of those since the official warning. These citations include ones issued as a result of inadequate veterinary care and inadequate, filthy, unsafe enclosures that left the distressed animals at constant risk of harm.
Triple W Exotic Animal Auction at the Wilson Horse & Mule Sale stockyard in Cookeville, Tennessee, sells animals while forcing them to endure hellish conditions. Since 2013, it has been issued more than 100 USDA citations, including for failing to provide animals with adequate shelter during auctions held during inclement weather, keeping animals in cages with soiled bedding, failing to provide animals with drinkable water, and failing to provide injured animals with adequate veterinary care, causing some to die.
Unlicensed dealers were also cited during the auction for unlawfully selling animals. Workers have been seen physically abusing animals on the auction block and backstage.
Lolli Bros. is one of the country’s largest animal auctions. The staff have been seen roughly pulling and shoving several emus in the auction ring, dangling a 2-year-old wallaby by the tail, and repeatedly hitting a camel in the head with a paddle at the end of a broomstick.
Many of the animals at the auction are confined to cramped, often filthy makeshift cages, show signs of severe psychological distress, and are emaciated and in apparent need of veterinary care.