Animal Legal Defense Fund Calls Out Worst Arkansas Animal Houses of Horror

Posted 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

tiger-cc-miss-shari-article-image-230px 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.

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26 thoughts on “Animal Legal Defense Fund Calls Out Worst Arkansas Animal Houses of Horror

  1. peri says:


  2. Kellie says:

    DO something! This is horrible! SHUT THEM DOWN!!!

  3. Nancy Bosch says:

    How do I volunteer for you? I live in Petaluma, have my own business, but would like to put in at least several hours a week on behalf of animals rights.
    You can click on my website under About Us and click on Professional Profile to see I am a responsible person, etc.


  4. This is pure negligence. They should be hung. If you are in the care of animals take proper care of them. If you don’t want to so.your job leave

    This is sad where are the inspectors????

  5. Patricia Goodson says:

    This must be stopped, how can a human being be so cruel to an animal. Well i guess there not really human, more sub human scum!

  6. Cindy Christians says:

    I think it’s time for the USDA to do their job and shut them down, this is shameful!!

  7. Tameka says:

    This is disgusting and must be stopped immediately!!!!!!

  8. pam ratcliff says:

    Stop this tragedy. These babies have emotions just like humans!

  9. Jean-Marie Jones says:

    It is time for the USDA to stop this inhumane treatment. Now.

  10. Rob Smith says:

    I’m curious, instead of sending a letter “demanding the agency enforce the law for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act” would it be possible or appropriate to file for a Writ of Mandamus to compel the government agency to do it’s job?

    1. Thanks for this question, Rob! A writ of mandamus wouldn’t be appropriate because the agency has the discretion to act in this instance. ALDF strongly urges the USDA to act.

  11. RAMONA PAOLINI says:


  12. Sharon Howard says:

    Animal cruelty has to stop!

  13. kerry christy says:

    absolutely horrific.. bring these criminals to justice and save these poor animals from a life of hell..

  14. Gina says:

    these are great strides. a puppy mill charged over one dog. and what happens to the hoarder lady with over 40 dogs that have never seen a vet and have mange and fleas and ticks so bad? We are told the judge may not think its abuse because they aren’t skinny and they do get fed.

  15. Erin C. Kennedy says:

    Is this the job of torturing animals that we can expect from the USDA , Mr. President? Your rogue agencies either lead everything to slaughter or torture!Who the Hell made your agencies play God with our beloved animals?!?

  16. Erin C. Kennedy says:

    Do Something about Arkansas!!!

  17. Kelly Averell says:

    this has to be stopped!!!!

  18. It’s no surprise, Arkansas gets away with a lot. So sad.

  19. Dina says:


  20. Antoinette Brown says:

    Please please do something please these poor animals they’re suffering. I can’t believe what people are doing they also need jail time and punishment. Too. I’m here for you if you need anything signed.

  21. EYG says:

    The OIG report on the USDA damning their failure to be worth a damn hasn’t even made the agency pretend to give a rat’s ass. They are pissing away our tax dollars on record-keeping, statistics and press releases. Other than that, I can’t think of anything worthwhile this bloated taxpayer funded BigAg protectionist front group has done.

  22. Myrna Morrow says:

    Anyone responsible for animals suffering,must be punished, no matter what their “title” may be. Jail time does come to mind.

  23. Penny Johnson says:

    Isn’t there something we can do especially about the monkeys? I hate to think of those little baby monkeys being scared by snakes and those poor moms not being able to hold their babies. What is going on at that place any way? What are they learning about?

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