South Carolina Native Shepard Fairey Urges Waccatee Zoo to Free Animals From Roadside Zoo

Creator of Iconic Obama 'Hope/Change' Poster Calls For Change for Animals Held at Decrepit Roadside Zoo

For Immediate Release:
October 2, 2019

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Myrtle Beach, S.C. – Today, visionary artist Shepard Fairey sent a letter on PETA’s behalf to the owner of the Myrtle Beach–based Waccatee Zoo—deemed the worst roadside zoo in the country by PETA experts—urging her to allow the animals imprisoned there to be moved to reputable facilities before it’s too late for them.

“I’ve watched the footage of animals caged in isolation, frantically pacing, and even biting themselves at your zoo. Their distress is disturbing, heartbreaking, and—maddeningly—entirely avoidable,” writes Fairey. “These animals don’t need to be there—and PETA has repeatedly offered to help find safe homes for every single one. I’m writing to ask that you take PETA up on its offer and retire them all to reputable facilities that have the resources to care for them properly.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

Fairey’s letter to Waccatee Zoo owner Kathleen Futrell follows.

Dear Ms. Futrell,

While a genuine love of animals may have led you into the zoo business, the ones trapped at Waccatee Zoo are suffering—and it’s up to you to save them. I’ve watched the footage of animals caged in isolation, frantically pacing, and even biting themselves at your zoo. Their distress is disturbing, heartbreaking, and—maddeningly—entirely avoidable. These animals don’t need to be there—and PETA has repeatedly offered to help find safe homes for every single one. I’m writing to ask that you take PETA up on its offer and retire them all to reputable facilities that have the resources to care for them properly.

No one who cares about animals wants to see them subjected to cramped cages or untreated injuries—especially when their chance at a better life is only a phone call away. For years, PETA lobbied for Chico—a chimpanzee who’d languished in isolation at Waccatee Zoo for nearly 30 years—to be transferred to an accredited sanctuary. You refused, and he died suddenly in 2015, never knowing the companionship of other chimpanzees or relief from his barren confinement, which PETA had offered. It’s too late for Chico, but you can still help the other animals at the zoo.

Please, before the federal Animal Welfare Act violations pile up any further or more deaths occur, allow these animals to receive the space, enrichment, and veterinary care that they so desperately need at reputable facilities. These animals have given you everything that they have—isn’t it time you gave them something back?

Very truly yours,

Shepard Fairey

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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