Don’t Be Fooled by the Name—Why ‘Animal Haven’ Zoo Is a Hellhole

Published by Danny Prater.

After receiving a complaint from PETA and conducting an inspection on August 26, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cited Animal Haven Zooa roadside zoo in Weyauwega, Wisconsin—for several violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.

sick porcupine at animal haven zoo

Porcupine with cloudy right eye

Just how bad is Animal Haven Zoo?  The feds cited it for a number of troubling animal welfare concerns, including its glaring failures to do the following:

  • Provide adequate veterinary care to numerous sick or injured animals, including a rabbit with eye and ear discharge and missing hair on the back left foot, a rabbit with a scab and missing hair on the nose, a pig whose tusk was growing into his cheek, a porcupine with eye discharge and cloudy eyes, a goat with an abnormally growing rear hoof, and an alpaca with overgrown front nails
Pig suffering at Animal Haven Zoo in Wisconsin

Pig with right tusk growing into cheek

  • Provide a liger with water for about 20 hours (When given water during the inspection, this animal drank for over four minutes.)
  • Provide a group of nine rabbits who lacked sufficient shade and shelter from the elements with adequate shelter
  • Remove waste from two rabbit enclosures, which the licensee admitted had not been cleaned in “at least a week,” resulting in “an excessive accumulation of rotten food and soiled waste that was covered in flies”
shoddy rabbit enclosure at a Wisconsin roadside zoo

Rabbits with piles of rotten food and soiled waste in their enclosure

  • Maintain rabbit enclosures in good repair (One pen was found to have loose wire mesh with points sticking out, and a hutch had protruding screws—both of which posed a risk of injury to the rabbits.)
  • Maintain other enclosures in good repair, including bent or broken wire fencing with sharp points in the camel and muntjac enclosures; fencing damaged by fallen branches in a sheep enclosure; a large hole with loose wires in a deer enclosure gate; bent, leaning, and disconnected fencing in another deer enclosure; and a leaning support post between the bison and wolf enclosures
Camel bent and pokey fencing at Animal Haven Zoo

Bent and broken fencing with sharp points in camel enclosure

Animal Haven Zoo’s Poor Track Record

Animal Haven Zoo was previously cited for transporting and exhibiting a newborn tiger cub at a local school, where children were allowed to interact with him. According to the USDA, “[p]ublic exhibition of young tigers less than 4 weeks old puts them at risk for getting sick.”

In addition, the facility has acquired big cats from shady dealers such as “Joe Exotic” and confines them and other animals to paltry, dilapidated cages with no enrichment and where they’ve been observed pacing—a sign of psychological distress.

tiger trapped in roadside zoo

What You Can Do for Rabbits, Tigers, Pigs, and Others at Animal Haven Zoo

Never buy a ticket to Animal Haven Zoo or any other roadside zoo where animals languish in miserable conditions. Then, share this post to let your friends, family members, and social media followers know why they should do the same.

Want to do more?

Please urge Animal Haven Zoo to send the animals it exploits to reputable facilities where they can finally get the care that they desperately need.

Take Action Now!

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind