PETA Calls On Feds to Crack Down on ‘Refuge’ Following Death of Wolf Hybrid

Director's Reported Facebook Post Indicates Escaped Animal Was Deliberately Left to Run at Large

For Immediate Release:
June 10, 2014

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Nicholasville, Ky. – Cheyenne, one of the three wolf-dog hybrids who escaped from Wolf Run Wildlife Refuge, an unaccredited facility located in Nicholasville, in April was found dead in mid-May. That’s why PETA this morning sent a formal complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) asking for a thorough investigation of Wolf Run for any role that it might have played in Cheyenne’s death. Newly released documents show that following a previous PETA complaint, the USDA cited Wolf Run for unsecure enclosures that allowed the three animals to escape in the first place. The other two wolf hybrids were recaptured within 24 hours of their escape.

“If the wolf-dogs’ escape merited USDA citations, then certainly the unexplained death of Cheyenne warrants a closer look,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “Evidence shows that Cheyenne was likely intentionally allowed to remain at large, which almost certainly contributed to her death.”

A whistleblower provided PETA with screenshots of an April 23 Facebook post apparently made by Wolf Run Director Mary Kindred indicating that Cheyenne remained at large, even though Kindred knew “exactly where she [was].” The post also states Kindred’s belief that while at large, Cheyenne “is happier than she’s ever been or will be in her life” and that Cheyenne was “loving her freedom.”

A federal Animal Welfare Act regulation requires that enclosures must be “constructed of such material and of such strength as appropriate for the animals involved” and that indoor and outdoor housing facilities shall be “structurally sound … maintained in good repair to contain the animals.” Because the three wolf-dogs were able to lift the bottom of the fence enough to tunnel under it, Wolf Run was found in violation of this regulation aimed at protecting animals and the public.

For more information and to see PETA’s complaint to the USDA, please visit PETA’s blog.

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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