The animals discovered missing from the Cricket Hollow Zoo near Manchester earlier this week still have not been located.
Amanda Howell, lead attorney for this case with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, tells KMCH that they have not been able to track down the missing animals.
On Monday, rescuers with the Animal Legal Defense Fund and eleven other agencies arrived at the zoo west of town to follow a recent court order and remove all exotic animals from the zoo property due to what Judge Monica Wittig called “deplorable” conditions. But they say many of the animals that were ordered to be removed were missing from the property.
The owners of Cricket Hollow Zoo, Pam and Tom Sellner, have provided a comment to KMCH on this week’s happenings. They say the raid on their park is part of an animal rights agenda that is happening across the country. They also say farm animals were exempt from the judge’s original ruling, but the ALDF took all of their farm-type animals, including ponies, llamas and fancy chickens. The Sellners say they may not have been a fancy facility, but their animals were well-cared for – warning that this can happen to anyone who owns animals.
In response to the “stealing” of their farm animals, the Animal Legal Defense Fund says on Tuesday they received an order from the judge that ruled against the Sellners. They say in her order, Judge Wittig clarified that the only farmed animals that could not be removed were the milking cows, the bulls, the horses and the family dog.
You can find the Sellners’ complete statement below:
“The ALDF is an animal rights TERRORIST group whose agenda is to close down all animal enterprise, including all animal agriculture that we here in Iowa hold especially dear.Our animals are well cared for. Last year we had a devastating loss of almost half of our heritage sheep and goats due to mycotoxins in some forage. This was present in a lot of forage and grains due to abnormally wet fall harvests. It was not deliberate or because of poor care. It had been a big problem for many farms. Our veterinarians do provide good care for all animals in our Park and farm. ALDF hired a veterinarian from Colorado to come through and she was hired to bash all of our animals and our vets. She made claims that the bears were emaciated and would never live through the winter. Ironically she works with the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg Colorado who is actually a class C licensed zoo just as we are. He receives large cats and bears from across the country then spays and neuters them as warehouses them until their death as part of an animal rights extinction plan. He threatened to euthanize all his animals when he wasn’t receiving enough donations. He makes $100,000 salary that is part of a 13 million dollar budget that is derived from his many followers who believe he is really a sanctuary and not a zoo. ALDF had him testify against us in the ESA trial in hopes he would receive all our tigers. He did get our lionesses.
All of our animals had been inspected by USDA and USDA inspection vet on November5, which was just after the trial conducted by Judge Monica Witteg who was friends with the ALDF and the plaintiffs. USDA found all animals and especially the bears to be in good body condition and good health and weight. If USDA inspectors find any animal neglect or abuse during an inspection they can send a notice of confiscation and remove animals. We have never had this happen. This raid on our Park is part of an animal rights agenda that is happening across the country. I have many friends across the country that are going through the same thing as I am. Yesterday our Park was completely emptied of everything right down to our fish aquariums.The judge had exempted our farm type animals in her original ruling. ALDF took all of our farm type animals including ponies, mule donkeys and even raided the farm’s breeding llama herd. They were out in the farm’s pastures and fields and gathered every animal they could find to line their own pockets with. they even stole our miniature hereford breeding bull. All our fancy chickens, geese , turkeys and ducks are gone. Over 30 years of hard work and hundreds of thousands of $$ were stolen from us never to be seen again.We may not have been a fancy facility but our animals were well cared for. Do your homework on animal rights groups. Its a billion dollar industry globally and growing. This can happen to anyone who owns animals.”