Feds Fine Animal Haven Zoo Over Cub Use, Escapes

For Immediate Release:
April 4, 2022

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Weyauwega, Wis. – Allowing four prairie dogs to escape, failing to provide an ailing lamb with adequate veterinary care, and allowing vulnerable school children to handle a tiger cub are just a few of the issues that prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to fine local outfit Animal Haven Zoo $6,450. According to records just obtained by PETA, the USDA cited the notorious roadside zoo for eight federal Animal Welfare Act violations that allegedly occurred over a one-year span, many of which were prompted by formal complaints to the agency from PETA.

The violations included the following (those stemming from PETA complaints appear in bold):

  • Failing to handle animals as carefully as necessary after an employee took a 3-week-old tiger cub to a school for petting and photo opportunities and for exposing a young tiger cub to a dog
  • Failing to provide a rabbit “in poor condition” who had discharge on the ear and around the eyes as well as hair loss on one foot with adequate veterinary care
  • Failing to provide nine rabbits with adequate shade “when sunlight was likely to cause overheating or discomfort”
  • Failing to provide a liger who had an empty water receptacle with a hole in it that had not been filled in about 20 hours with water (When the receptacle was filled, the liger drank for over four minutes straight.)
  • Repeatedly failing to maintain facilities that “protect animals from injury” after inspectors observed damaged fencing from a fallen tree in the Barbary sheep enclosure, a wire panel with sharp points between pens in the camel enclosure, and other issues
  • Failing to maintain enclosures in good repair, resulting in the escape of prairie dogs—three of whom remained unaccounted for at the time of the inspection and may never have been found

“USDA penalties like this are issued only to the worst of the worst, and Animal Haven’s shocking history of neglecting animals’ well-being fits that bill,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director for Captive Animal Law Enforcement Debbie Metzler. “PETA asks the public to shun this cruel roadside zoo, which fails to prevent the animals on its premises from suffering.”

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

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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