Feds Slap ‘Refuge’ With Official Warning for Escapes of Ram, Wolf-Dog Hybrids

PETA Complaints Prompt Rare Action Against Facility Where Animals Sustained Broken Bones, Died After Escaping From Insecure Enclosures

For Immediate Release:
November 17, 2014

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Nicholasville, Ky – Following PETA complaints regarding the death of Cheyenne—one of three wolf-dog hybrids who escaped from the so-called Wolf Run Wildlife Refuge earlier this year—and the suffering of Cupcake the ram, who reportedly sustained multiple fractures while escaping from his enclosure, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) took the rare action of issuing Wolf Run an Official Warning for the animals’ escapes. Facilities that are issued Official Warnings are more likely to face enforcement action in the future, including fines and suspension or even revocation of exhibitor’s licenses.

“Animals have escaped, suffered, and died because of Wolf Run’s apparent negligence and ignorance,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA will continue to keep a close eye on this ramshackle roadside zoo and all the laws that it might continue to break.”

The Official Warning, which was issued on October 20 and just became publicly available, comes in the wake of Wolf Run’s multiple citations for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. The USDA previously discovered that Cheyenne was shot and hit by immobilizing darts 14 times and that Wolf Run used two types of traps to try to catch her but to no avail—efforts that the USDA summed up as a “failure to handle the animal properly and in a timely manner … [that] evolved into the death of the animal.” And although a veterinarian reportedly recommended euthanizing Cupcake the ram because of the severity of his injuries, Wolf Run founder Mary Kindred—who is not a veterinarian—set the animal’s legs herself and later transferred him to what appears to be an unlicensed animal exhibitor in Tennessee.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—can provide copies of USDA documentation as well as its correspondence with the USDA upon request.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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Media Response Team.

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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