Feds Urged to Pull the Plug on Notorious Animal Exhibitor

PETA Says Authorities Can't Legally Renew Laughing Valley Ranch's Animal Welfare Act License

For Immediate Release:
December 6, 2018

David Perle 202-483-7382

Idaho Springs, Colo. – This morning, PETA filed a request urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) not to renew the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) license for Idaho Springs–based animal exhibitor Laughing Valley Ranch when it expires on December 20.

In the letter, PETA points out that the USDA inspected Laughing Valley Ranch only once this year—but it received five citations for AWA violations during that visit, including a repeat citation for failing to provide multiple alpacas who had badly overgrown hooves that were painfully curling sideways with adequate veterinary care. Other violations included a buildup of feces in an enclosure holding nine animals and enclosures in disrepair (posing a safety risk to the animals).

“For years, Laughing Valley Ranch has shown that it either can’t or won’t provide the animals there with even basic care, let alone the quality of life that they deserve,” says PETA Foundation Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on the USDA not to sign off on 12 more months of animal neglect and endangerment by this notorious animal exhibitor.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that state officials seized over 100 animals from Laughing Valley Ranch in 2012 because of concerns about their living conditions. The facility’s owner was charged with 32 counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals. Through a plea deal, he agreed to plead guilty to one count of cruelty to animals and received two years of probation. The USDA also filed a complaint (which is still pending) against him in 2013 for over 100 alleged violations of the AWA.

In May, PETA sued the USDA over the agency’s decision to renew Laughing Valley Ranch’s AWA license in 2017, a case that’s ongoing.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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