Feds Slam Mt. Hope Auction for Denying Vet Care to Dozens of Sick, Emaciated Animals

For Immediate Release:
July 1, 2024

David Perle 202-483-7382

Mount Hope, Ohio

A just-released federal report reveals that the Mt. Hope Auction was cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for denying veterinary care to 42 sick, underweight, and emaciated animals at the Mid Ohio Alternative Animal and Bird Sale in September and November. The move comes after PETA submitted formal complaints to the agency and provided evidence of the extreme neglect. Additional photos are available here, and video footage is available here and here.

According to the report, the violations involve multiple sheep who were underweight and had diarrhea caked on their hindquarters, a coatimundi whose cage and food and water dishes were coated in “brown/orange diarrhea,” two Nilgai antelopes and several cows who were “severely emaciated,” an underweight alpaca who was lethargic and unresponsive, numerous birds with severe feather loss, and several animals—including a goat, a fox, and two sheep—with eye or nasal discharge.

A severely emaciated White Park cow for sale at the Mt. Hope Auction. Credit: PETA

The report also notes that the auction illegally accepted nearly 90 animals for consignment from sellers who didn’t have the required federal license. USDA inspectors observed one unlicensed seller leaving the auction after having been informed that selling their animals would be illegal—only to return after the inspectors were gone and sell the animals anyway.

“Mt. Hope auctions off sick, injured, and neglected animals for scofflaw sellers who can’t be bothered to provide them with basic, needed veterinary care or even adequate food and water,” says PETA Foundation Senior Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler. “PETA is calling on federal authorities to shut down this house of horrors before another suffering animal is sold like a piece of old furniture.”

PETA has documented numerous instances of extreme neglect at the thrice-yearly sale since 2022, including animals with broken legs, open wounds, respiratory infection symptoms, eye and nose discharge, loose stool, hair and feather loss, and overgrown coats and hooves as well as ones who were emaciated, were lethargic, and exhibited abnormal repetitive behavior, including pacing frantically and biting their cages. The Mt. Hope Auction was cited for more than 50 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act during that time.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

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