Pahrump Rejects Bid for Permit to Keep Two Chimpanzees

Planning Commission Rejects Request After Locals’ Outcry, PETA Points Out Applicant’s Past Connection to Illegal Activities

For Immediate Release:
September 12, 2013

David Perle 202-483-7382 

Pahrump, Nev. —  Last night, the Pahrump Regional Planning Commission denied a conditional use permit for Andrew Sawyer to keep two chimpanzees, including one named Joey, on a property in Pahrump. PETA had sent a letter to the commission earlier in the day pointing out that Sawyer had recently allowed infamous exhibitor James “Mike” Casey to keep Joey in Pahrump—without the requisite permit—even though Casey was also recently denied a permit and, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture records and sworn eyewitness testimony, has beaten, punched, and thrown hot water on chimpanzees. Furthermore, based on his application materials, it appears that Sawyer intends to keep Joey with Kristy Pruett, who previously illegally imported and illegally possessed Joey in Arizona while living with Sawyer.

PETA had sent an action alert to its members in the area encouraging them to write to the commission and attend yesterday’s meeting to voice their opposition to the issuance of the permit.

“Andrew Sawyer’s possession of chimpanzees has been marked by his association with people who disregard the law,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “The commissioners’ ruling puts Sawyer and others on notice that requests to harbor wild animals won’t simply be rubber-stamped if the safety of those animals and the public is at risk.” 

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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