Video Shows Animals Who Appear to Be Sick, Distressed at Deer Haven

PETA Calls On Feds, Local Officials to Investigate Evidence of Pig With Overgrown Hooves, Pacing Bobcat, and More

For Immediate Release:
May 25, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Keymar, Md. – Armed with damning eyewitness video footage, PETA sent complaints today requesting that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Frederick County Animal Control investigate the notorious Deer Haven Mini Zoo for numerous apparent animal-welfare violations.

In the letters, PETA points to a bobcat who paced continuously in the rafters of an enclosure, a behavior that indicates severe psychological distress, and a pig with overgrown hooves who appeared reluctant to walk and in need of care. A white Arctic fox with a history of an itchy skin condition repeatedly bit himself, two lemurs had redness at the base of their tails, and a coatimundi had patchy hair loss—all signs of possible parasites or infection. Visitor interaction with the animals was also unmonitored, posing a danger to the public and the animals.

“Over and over, Deer Haven has proved that it either can’t or won’t provide animals with appropriate enclosures, clean drinking water, safe supervision, or other basics,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on the authorities to inspect this squalid roadside zoo and ensure that these suffering animals receive the care that they desperately need.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—points out that last fall, PETA helped secure the rescue of a morbidly obese bear named Lily from a tiny, waste-filled concrete pen at Deer Haven to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado, and since the move, she has lost 200 pounds. PETA has offered to help place the animals remaining at Deer Haven into reputable sanctuaries, but the roadside zoo has refused.

Last October, the USDA issued a multipage inspection report citing Deer Haven for failing to supply adequate veterinary care for a fox with a too-thin winter coat—an indication of illness or a skin condition that PETA originally reported to authorities in September—and a pacing bobcat, among many other serious and apparently longstanding animal-welfare issues.

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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