ALDF Calls For Shut Down of North Carolina’s Horrific Roadside Zoos

Posted on February 3, 2014

Federal Inspection Records Expose Tar-Heel State’s Law-Breaking Animal Exhibitor

For immediate release:


Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund

lazy5-ranch-CC-Brad-Spry-article-image-500pxRALEIGH — After thorough review of inspection records, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) sent a formal letter this week to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), singling out the worst roadside zoos in North Carolina, and demanding the agency enforce the law against violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). ALDF’s review shows animal welfare violations routinely go unpunished at two roadside zoos owned by prolific violator Henry Hampton. In its letter, the group urges the USDA to move suffering animals to reputable shelters where they can receive veterinary attention. Furthermore, ALDF’s letter calls on the USDA to apply civil penalties and revoke the licenses of Henry Hampton for both Lazy 5 Ranch (in Mooresville, Iredell County) and the Farm at Walnut Creek (in Newton, Holmes County) for violations the AWA on multiple occasions.

Together, the Farm at Walnut Creek and Lazy 5 Ranch house more than 700 exotic animals. In the past two years, owner Henry Hampton has been repeatedly cited for severe and illegal neglect of these animals, including baboons, giraffes, llamas, camels, sheep, deer, and goats. Hampton was also cited for failing to meet minimum housing structure, shelter, safety, and husbandry requirements by allowing a 13-month old giraffe to get stuck in the metal poles of his cage and die.

The USDA has gone on record saying they plan to enforce these violations of federal animal welfare laws. The agency’s own inspection report documents disturbing neglect and danger, both for the confined animals and the more than three million visitors that visit the facilities each year. Yet, to date, the USDA has failed to impose penalties for any of the documented violations. This isn’t ALDF’s first experience with lax federal regulators in North Carolina. In fact, ALDF, along with PETA, recently called for the permanent removal of the AWA license of the notorious Fayetteville-based roadside zoo Jambbas Ranch (Cumberland County), after the USDA refused to renew the zoo’s AWA license.

“North Carolina’s animals depend on the USDA to enforce the law,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “Held in such miserable conditions, the animals in these facilities desperately need the USDA to act now.”

ALDF’s letter is available by request.

60 thoughts on “ALDF Calls For Shut Down of North Carolina’s Horrific Roadside Zoos

  1. Patti says:

    Where can we find such records and reports? I have been to the Lazy 5 and never saw anything but the animals in completely good health.

    1. Kelly says:

      Lazy 5 has been cited many times over the years and by going there you are supporting animal abuse! There are a lot of things that go on behind the scenes that you are not aware of. USDA has very low requirements for you to meet their standards, so if a company is not meeting them, then something is seriously wrong!

  2. Connie says:

    I am a strong supporter of this letter.

  3. Annette Overstreet says:

    Just one question: What is wrong with the USDA that they can’t do their job and carry out their responsibilities with respect to the protection and welfare of our nation’s animals?

  4. Sylvia Hatcher says:

    These need to end to stop the mistreatment of these animals!

  5. Cindy Brown says:

    Please help defend the defenseless. These animals are basically neglected and mistreated prisoners. They deserve better lives than this. The humans responsible for these deplorable conditions deserve to be fined and receive jail time.

  6. D Carlsen says:

    Such a display is cruel and heart wrenching to witness.

  7. Peggy Nudo says:

    Please stop roadside zoos. Animals lovers across this nation will applaud you if you do shut drop ‘roadside’ prison zoos. Please help these poor animals. If not it speaks volumes about our cruelty and inhumanity to not help the helpless. Please stop now!

  8. Dawna b says:

    We vacation over there in NC a lot and let me tell you anytime I see anything like a roadside zoo it ruins my vacation some and makes me sad. Sanctuaries for injured animals may be a little different but animals needs to be cared for and treated with respect, just like we want for ourselves and our others. They have feelings too, this I know 110%

  9. Ann Hickox says:

    Please stop roadside zoos, they are cruel and inhumane places for animals to live.

  10. Please be the voice of these animals and stop their suffering. No human has the right to inflict suffering on another being

  11. Michael Yokeley says:

    Please do the right thing and stop these horrible roadside zoos.

  12. Mary Watson says:

    Please top this vile practice of interning these animals in what amounts to prison. They were never meant to live like this. They should be BORN FREE to LIVE FREE!

  13. karri reed says:

    let the voices be heard, this is no way to treat these animals of our great earth, you nor any other being shall have the ability to make such cruel suffering the enjoyment is to no-one!!! please shut it down..

  14. DavidG Fisher says:

    Please stop roadside zoos. Animals lovers across this nation will applaud you if you do shut drop ‘roadside’ prison zoos. Please help these poor animals. If not it speaks volumes about our cruelty and inhumanity to not help the helpless. Please stop now!

  15. Abbey says:

    Go I just hate seeing these beautiful wild animals being trapped in cells, cages, ditches. And for what? For human to be entertained?? God!!! Can’t people like go watch wild animals in there natural habitat??? Oh wait I forgot you ARE TO F-ING LAZY!!! And guess what this is coming out of a 13 year old!

  16. Lee says:

    North Carolina is known by the rest of the country for cruel and inhumane practices regarding animals (whether it is roadside zoos, puppy mills or factory farm animals). I, for one, am getting damn tired of reading about the horrific abuse happening there. It is high time tough laws were created and enforced in that state! What in hell are you waiting for?

  17. Kathy Gale says:

    We are the voice of these animals and we need to stop their suffering and shut down these roadside zoos. There isn’t a human being that has the right to inflict suffering on poor innocent animals. These animals have inadequate shelter, poor nutrition and most important freedom. To live as they are supposed to live, in the “wild.”


  18. Christine Barone says:

    I moved from NY to NC 5 years ago. I hadn’t realized this abuse went on in this state. Not proud to say I reside here. Shut down the roadside zoos, and step up to the plate. No wonder southern towns have a bad reputation. End that now

  19. Jennifer says:

    Kindness and compassion for all living things. Shut down the zoos, you are an embarrassment to this continent. We are educated and compassionate, educate yourself.



  21. Casey G Sherrard says:

    I’m ignorant to the specifics of the USDA, but it’s apparent they are a worthless govt agency. Perhaps I’m thinking with my heart instead of my head, but what’s to stop us from taking these poor animals!! If laws aren’t being enforced on his part of having these animals, why can’t they just be removed from these farms? Apparently laws don’t exist down there.

  22. Patti, if you want to learn how to look up inspection results from the USDA go to my web site. (One word all lower case), Daisy’s Rescue (dot) . You can search USDA and a step by step tutorial will show you how.

  23. Marjorie Hass says:

    Agreed with ALDF. These poor animals need to be confiscated.

  24. Kortney Klein says:

    Please do your job and stop these awful roadside zoos. It is heartbreaking and so sad that we allow this cruel behavior. Protect the animals!!

  25. Violet Cameron says:

    India has stricter laws. This is insain…abuse is abuse in any form.

  26. Athena Nirenstein says:

    Shocking!!! Please stop abusing animals!!

  27. jane livingston says:

    USA lead the way to end animal prisons.

  28. Klara Larsen says:

    These animals are not serial killers. They don’t deserve prison for life. Let them go free.

  29. Suzzanne Troy says:

    Let them go free!!!!

  30. Stop all animal abuse, cruelty, neglect. It’s criminal.

  31. Pamela Geier says:


  32. Gail Daniels says:

    Stop abusing these animals. they do not deserve to be treated like that. this needs to stop and stop NOW. it’s totally wrong on what your all doing to these poor animals.

  33. Donna Ashenfelter says:

    In this day and age we really should know better this is animal abuse & very inhumane…. stop the madness & shut them down …. rescue these animals

  34. Rose Mierbeth says:

    Will the United States Humane Society and the ASPCA step up to save these animalas? This must be stopped. These animals are not cared for and are used to make money. And can we please stop puppy mills. It is just sickening that this is still going on!

  35. Denice Jones says:

    Animals need to be treated kindly and not used for monetary purposes.

  36. Brandywine Kopatich says:

    Really people? Seriously? Like u think this ok? Please let me treat you they way u think its ok to treat animals. Then lets revisit.

  37. Juliette Heath Mendez says:

    It is time to make a change, stop animal suffering and cruelty – they are not our possessions and even if they were we should treat them with love and respect not torment,neglect and cruelty. Please find it in your heart to do the right thing and stop any organization that is cruel or neglectful towards animals.

  38. Anita Coffey says:

    For the love of God, have a heart!

  39. Katrina Shadix says:

    We’ve evolved beyond this blatant display of ignorance and cruelty.
    These animals deserve better! Any person with an ounce of compassion would know this.

  40. glorimar santiago says:

    Abuse is abuse. Earth was created to support life. Not only human. ALL lives. When you have a zoo, you are supposed to be an animal lover, or am I wrong? Well, this is not love. It is anything but. Jesus would never stop throwing up.

  41. Regina Fox says:

    Time to take a stand and get rid of those abusing zoos. If the owner can not or better doesnt want to provide adequate living conditions then it is the job of tthe government to stop this cruelty.
    Get them shut down and safe those poor animals!

  42. Daniele Halle says:

    Please stop the abuse

  43. Julie says:

    I am happy to see this. Relatives took us to the Lazy 5 Ranch a few years ago. Knowing we love animals they thought we would enjoy it, and thought the kids would too. It was clear from the start that the business was all about getting as many people in and making as much money as possible, with little regard for the animals. We saw more than one animal that appeared to be in poor condition and the staff seemed to be far less than qualified to care for any animal properly. Quite frankly, the animals seemed like disposable objects to the staff. At not one point did it seem like any of the animals received the respect they deserve. We left there feeling depressed and disturbed.

  44. sarah says:

    Do the right thing and close these hell holes down and let these beautiful animals gi free . They are innocent they haven’t committed any crime . Close these prisons down for good

  45. Susan Wilson says:

    Allow these animals and all animals to live the life they were meant to live! Shut these roadside zoos down. Stop the cruelty!

  46. Gay lawson says:

    Stop the exploitation of animals. These human cruel practices need to end and we need to evolve into more compassionate people.

  47. Russi Taylor says:

    Please stop the inhumane roadside zoos. Animals dont deserve to be put through this.

  48. Lois Warner says:

    STOP NOW!!!! These places need to be shut down and the people go find jobs that don’t involve animals dependent on them!!!

  49. Megan Burns says:

    Please end this horrific exploit of animals used in zoos!

  50. Paul Carvalho says:

    Please stop this inhumane treatment of animals.

  51. Lorie Obradovich says:

    It seems as though, once again, the USDA is going to have to be forced to do it’s job.

  52. rosemary nadeau says:

    These are horrific and need to be addressed ASAP! Gives your state a BLACK EYE…I sure won’t visit until something is done!!

  53. It’s about time , don’t you think ? USDA .

  54. Wendy Bridges says:

    It would be great if we did right by these poor creatures and stopped their suffering. This is just not right! Thanks~

  55. Daisy Fry-Brumit says:

    In full support of the ALDF’s actions on this! Is there anything supporters can do to help ensure necessary measures are taken at this time?

  56. Brooke Couture says:

    Shut these places down, They want you to think they care about the animals. They don’t its all about $$$.

  57. Valerie Smith says:

    I lived in N. Carolina for 5 yrs. I am from N.Y. State. I have encountered animal abuse from our local shelter in Monroe County. I got involved the next day..honestly! We ended up shutting down that shelter that was run by the health dept ( yes ). There are things an individual person can do. Go to your local A.S.P.C.A and file a complaint with them. HAVE IT DOCU MENTED with the date and time of your complaint. Also, speak with the person who is actually the director, etc. If nothing is done in a week or so.. Go down again and repeat process..You have to be on their asses or nothing will get done. The A.S.P.C.A is for ALL animals, and should then go to their bosses for this one. Believe me, I was so outspoken they couldn’t wait for me to move back north! We also got the National Humane Society involved and had video proof of their abuse, or lack of caring. We told them it would be on every t.v. channel in and around Charlotte, N.C. So… we took over their shelter and got things on the right track! Do EVERYTHING YOU CAN to stop this.. If you want to bad enough, you can do it! SHUT DOWN THESE IGNORNNT MONEY HUNGRY SLUGS THAT CALL THEMSELVES HUMANS…THERES NOTHING HUMANE ABOUT THEM OR THIS SITUATION!!!

  58. Valerie Smith says:

    In regard to the above entry, it was not the National Humane society, it was the American Humane Assoc. Sorry, my brain was going 100 mph. when I was writing that!

  59. Shell says:

    WTF?…why have laws and regulations if the USDA can’t /will not enforce them??..The precious creatures who’s very lives depend on these laws need these agencies to seriously step up to the plate and get their act together!!!! PRONTO!!!!

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