Repeat Offender: Farm at Walnut Creek Racks Up More Animal Welfare Violations

After PETA Complaint, Inspectors Find Animals Suffering Without Veterinary Care, Visitors Allowed Unsafe Direct Contact With Animals

For Immediate Release:
July 8, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Sugarcreek, Ohio – A newly released U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection report reveals that Henry Hampton—owner of the Farm at Walnut Creek roadside zoo in Sugarcreek—was cited for seven repeat violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act after a June 4 inspection, which followed a PETA complaint about conditions at the facility. These violations include failing to supply adequate veterinary care to seven animals who suffered from cloudy and oozing eyes, overgrown hooves, and swollen feet and an elk who was so thin that her spine and ribs were clearly visible; allowing visitors to come into direct, unsupervised contact with animals; allowing animals to ingest potentially toxic plants; and placing a spring trap—intended to trap muskrats—in a kangaroo enclosure.

“Yet again, Henry Hampton has been caught leaving animals to suffer from painful conditions,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA’s message to families is that nobody who cares about animals should buy a ticket to this shamefully cruel roadside zoo.”

These are not Hampton’s first repeat citations. For at least 17 months, he was repeatedly cited for failing to provide a baboon, who was suffering from a swollen and often oozing eye, with adequate veterinary care. A giraffe had been left to suffer from severely and painfully overgrown hooves for at least 14 months—only after criminal cruelty charges were filed against Hampton did he arrange for her hooves to be trimmed.

The June 2014 report also notes that animals were grazing in a mound of animal waste and that there was no clean drinking water provided for animals in parts of the facility. A Walnut Creek representative reportedly made several statements apparently intended to intimidate the USDA inspector, resulting in a violation for interfering with a USDA inspection.

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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