Challenging the Treatment of Captive Animals at Deer Haven Mini Zoo
Letter of Intent to Sue Filed
The Animal Legal Defense Fund announced its intent to sue Deer Haven Mini Zoo in Keymar, Maryland, for violations of the federal Endangered Species Act and state animal cruelty laws.
Rescued 14 animals - transferred to sanctuaries
In April 2018, the Animal Legal Defense Fund announced its intent to sue Deer Haven Mini Zoo in Keymar, Maryland, for violations of the federal Endangered Species Act and state animal cruelty laws. As a result, the owners agreed to voluntarily relinquish 14 of its animals on the property to reputable sanctuaries.
In addition to a long history of Animal Welfare Act violations identified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Animal Legal Defense Fund documented illegal conditions at Deer Haven Mini Zoo including very ill animals, poor sanitation, and safety hazards. According to USDA inspection reports, several people have been bitten and/or injured by animals.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund facilitated the transfer of 14 animals — two ring tailed lemurs, a bobcat, six arctic foxes, four cavies, and a coatimundi — to reputable sanctuaries across the country, including Endangered Primate Foundation, Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation, and Foster Parrots in Rhode Island.
Who is being sued, why, and under what law? Deer Haven Mini Zoo in Keymar, Maryland, for violations of the federal Endangered Species Act and state animal cruelty laws.
Why this case is important: Roadside zoos across the country are able to operate while harming animals, including those protected by the Endangered Species Act, due to a patchwork of state and federal laws administered by several agencies that lack the resources or political will to adequately enforce those laws. At the Animal Legal Defense Fund, we use all the legal tools at our disposal to ensure legal protections are applied to animals at roadside zoos.
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ALDF v National Foundation for Rescued Animals
Regulation enacted on April 30, 2020
Regulation enacted on December 18, 2019