Court Orders Roadside Zoo to Pay Thousands to PETA

Tri-State Zoo Owner Robert Candy and Counsel Nevin Young Sanctioned in Endangered Species Lawsuit PETA Won That Had Resulted in Transfer of Big Cats

For Immediate Release:
October 30, 2020

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Cumberland, Md. – On October 29, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland ordered Tri-State Zoological Park of Western Maryland, Inc.; Animal Park, Care & Rescue, Inc.; their owner, Robert Candy; and their counsel, Nevin Young, to pay $56,655.77 in fees and costs to PETA within 180 days.

The award is connected to a motion for sanctions that PETA filed after defendant Candy, with assistance from his lawyer, tried unsuccessfully to silence PETA’s critical fact witnesses days before the group’s Endangered Species Act lawsuit against Tri-State went to trial. PETA won that lawsuit, resulting in the transfer of three big cats to an accredited sanctuary in Colorado and a ruling prohibiting the roadside zoo from owning or possessing endangered or threatened species. Tri-State’s appeal remains pending.

“This award is another example of the court’s clamping down on Robert Candy’s brazen disregard for the law and for animals’ welfare,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA looks forward to securing the release of all the animals still held at this shoddy roadside zoo.”

PETA and concerned citizen Constance Collins are now involved in a new lawsuit against Tri-State alleging that the roadside zoo frequently denies the more than 100 animals currently in its custody timely veterinary treatment, daily care from qualified staff, sufficient enrichment, proper food and clean water, and even adequate shelter. The facility also fails to house animals—including Dodger, a monkey confined alone who was observed picking skin off his tail until it started to bleed—in social groups that meet their species-specific needs.

The suit contends that such neglect and mistreatment of animals violates state law and constitutes a public nuisance, and it asks the court to order that the remaining animals be transferred to reputable facilities immediately.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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“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