Trial has continued this week for a Manchester roadside zoo.
Four plaintiffs have sued Cricket Hollow Zoo owners Pam and Tom Sellner with assistance with the Animal Legal Defense Fund over concerns about the animals’ care. They have filed a lawsuit to have the zoo’s animals removed and the zoo shut down.
The Telegraph Herald reports that on Monday, inspector Douglas Anderson with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship testified that he did not find any standard of care issues during his multiple visits to the zoo. But attorneys for the plaintiffs questioned his level of expertise. Iowa District Court Judge Monica Wittig noted that his reports identified the presence of dead piglets and a sick dog only “minor” in nature, questioning the inspector why those findings were not severe enough for intervention.
The Sellners’ attorneys brought forth several witnesses on Monday, including neighbors Richard and Mary Brockmeyer, who testified the Sellners were good neighbors.
The plaintiff’s attorneys also brought forth a witness on Monday. Pamela Jones, who has visited the zoo several times over the past six years, says she had noticed dead animals within the enclosures and contacted the USDA and Delaware County Sheriff’s Department with her concerns.
This is not the first time the Sellners have been sued. As a result of past lawsuits, several animals have been removed and multiple fines were assessed due to violations. The Cricket Hollow Zoo lost its exhibitor license in December 2017.