Animal Legal Defense Fund Calls Out Worst Arkansas Animal Houses of HorrorPosted on October 8, 2014
Severe Animal Neglect at Crossland Zoo, Testing Facilities, and Commercial Breeders Spark Outcry from Legal Advocates
For immediate release:
Lisa Franzetta, ALDF
Megan Backus, ALDF
Crossett, Ark. — After thorough review of inspection records of Crossland Zoo—a municipal zoo south of Little Rock—along with a roadside zoo, three commercial breeding facilities, and two animal research facilities in the state, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) sent a formal letter today to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) demanding the agency enforce the law for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). ALDF’s review shows animal welfare citations have gone unenforced, and 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 license of the facilities for violating the AWA on multiple occasions, including:
- Crossland Zoo, Facility No.71-C-0125; operated by the City of Crossett. The zoo failed to properly drain animal enclosures, letting large mammals stand for hours in water filled with dirt and feces. The zoo allowed wires to poke through flooring in the hybrid-wolf enclosures, endangering the wolves and creating opportunities for escape. The zoo also failed to provide veterinary care for a tiger with a serious injury to his paw, an injury he had been suffering from for more eight years. Other animals lacked clean drinking water, enclosures lacked locked gates, and many enclosures failed to shelter animals from extreme weather conditions.
- Tanni’s Precious Paws, Facility No. 71-A-1287; a commercial breeding facility in Charleston (Franklin County), operated by Tanni Morris, who failed to provide medical care for four dogs.
- Dry Creek Kennel, Facility, No. 71-A-9023; a commercial breeding facility in Maynard (Randolph County) operated by Edward and Wanda Barker. The couple failed to cure a flea infestation in a dog kennel, causing suffering and health problems for dogs.
- Cold Springs Exotic Animal, Facility No. 71-B-0107; a roadside zoo in Little Rock failed to provide care for an aoudad suffering bloody anal glands and sheep, elk, red deer, Oryx, and goats limping from overgrown hooves. Inspections found inadequate shelter from inclement weather.
- Tier 1 Group, LLC, Facility No. 71-R-0111; an animal testing facility in Crawfordsville (Crittenden County) that failed to properly anesthetize pigs during surgery training. Animals were observed showing signs of pain and distress during tests.
- GRR Acres, Facility, No. 71-A-0494; a commercial breeding facility in Springdale (Washington and Benton Counties) operated by Carolyn and Phillip Hadley who failed to provide adequate medical care for a Maltese puppy with a malformed leg and a missing leg.
- Pel Freez Arkansas, Facility No. 71-B-0140; an animal testing facility in Rogers (Benton County), that failed to provide adequate anesthesia for rabbits undergoing cardiac blood draws. The bunnies exhibited signs of considerable pain and distress.
“We urge the USDA to enforce the law against these horrific and chronic cases of neglect throughout the state of Arkansas—which have been thoroughly documented in the USDA’s own records,” said Stephen Wells, ALDF executive director. “These facilities must be held accountable or more animals will suffer.”
ALDF’s letter is available by request.