Animals Reportedly Living in Feces at Defunct Roadside Zoo Deserve Justice

Target: Craig Kellogg, Director of USDA Animal and Plant Inspection Service, Michigan
Goal: Rescue animals from defunct zoo where they reportedly live in their own feces and filth.

Animals were reportedly living in horrible conditions at a defunct roadside zoo. This zoo, formerly known as Sunrise Side Nature Trail and Exotic Park, was apparently in such poor state that they had to have their bear confiscated due to its health conditions. According to reports, the bear had a swollen wound on the face, resulting in ulcers. Each animal had apparently not been attended by a veterinarian for over a year. Despite shutting down their services because of the pandemic, owners James and Barbara Svoboda upheld a license through the United States Department of Agriculture, which ultimately was why an inspector came to their site.

In the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's report, six issues were apparently noted. One bobcat was reportedly obese with matted fur and there was a seemingly malnourished lion with bones protruding. In the bobcat's enclosure feces reportedly covered the litter box and it seemed like the animal could not walk normally. In the lion's exhibit, mold was apparently around the food in addition to feces covering the enclosure. The bear's exhibit was similarly seemingly unattended and unkempt. The caretakers were given a week to fix all the cited issues.

To the inspector’s dismay, the violations were apparently not addressed, and a vet was not even administered to assist any of the animals. The bear's wounds were only getting worse, per reports, with dead tissue around the eye starting to form. This was what resulted in the confiscation of the animal ultimately, however this apparent lack of overall care means the owners should have all animals taken. The animals deserve proper care, treatment, and enclosures.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Kellogg,

A United States Department of Agriculture employee reported violations of a defunct zoo. Lack of compliance from the owners, James and Barbara Svoboda, apparently resulted in one of their bears being confiscated due to terrible health conditions. Enclosures were reportedly deemed unsafe for animals and humans alike, even if the zoo is no longer having visitors. The animals were seemingly not given medical care as well. We ask that you make certain each animal on the facility in Iosco County be properly treated and transferred to safer facilities.

It is quite vile that something like this could allegedly happen. With a reportedly morbidly obese bobcat and malnourished lion roaming in their own feces, these violations must not be disregarded. Please verify that they comply with federal law, and provide justice to these animals.

Sincerely,
[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Wulf Willis
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72 Comments

  1. Lock these fuckers up with no food or water and let them rot!!!

    • agree so much!!! I hope I don’t sound racist, but the last name of the couple who runs this hellhole, sounds Armenian, or from that part of the world — I specifically give to International Animal Rescue that rescues Armenian bears who are locked in cages and tormented for the “public’s” entertainment.
      We have NO RIGHT to take animals and torture them for human’s pleasure. Get rid of all these abominable roadside zoos, etc. — not a place to have wild animals. The look in that bear’s eyes makes me cry. Let the bear eat this couple.

      • G Featherston says:

        No. You don’t sound racist, just ignorant. Maybe do a few seconds of research before you wrongly condemn a nationality. The name Svoboda is
        Slavic. Not Armenian.

  2. I am beging to think that the states that allow this to keep happening are just as ignorant as the countries that eat dogs and cats.. who are the ignorant people who keep paying to go to roadside zoos???STOP IT.!!!!

  3. Pamela Chattergoon says:

    No time should be given to fix the situation. They need removed the minute they are found. Extra time will be too late.

  4. Animals deserve our help and our protection, not our contempt and abuse and neglect.

  5. Pamela Chattergoon says:

    The USDA is never going to do its job for animals or people. There inspections are a joke. We need a group of individuals to go around and check on these issues and follow up. Need to start a group for this in any area of the country we can

    • Pamela, a great note. I am in to form such a group. The USDA does not do its job, as any of those other so called animal welfare groups out there to “help” them.

    • Patricia Lamonica says:

      ABSOLUTELY CORRECT PAMELA FOR THIS WOULD NOT BE GOING ON SHUT THEM ALL DOWN!!!! WISH I COULD GET PAID FOR DOING NOTHING!!!!

  6. CLOSE THAT ZOO IMMEDIATELY. DEPORT THOSE POOR ANIMALS TO A POPRE PLACE WHERE THEY CAN LIVE IN GOOD CONITIONS.

  7. You can be judged by how you treat animals. Please just simply do the right thing.

  8. Pamela Smith says:

    I don’t understand why such “zoos” are even legal!!! They should be banned all over the world!!! These owners should be prosecuted and forced to spend their jail time in the filth that these poor animals are living in!!

  9. Vivian Vetere says:

    Help these poor animals. Prosecute and imprison the owners of that zoo!

  10. Raymond Stevens says:

    The scum should be locked up in a shit filled tank with no water and food. These evil roadside atrocities should be banned.

  11. One would think as a species we’d have evolved not to consider animals suffering in zoos and circuses as entertainment. Utterly disgusting.

  12. Rose Coffey says:

    These animals need to be taken away from these people immediately. In addition these people need to be kept away from any other animals in the future. They have common sense and knew the right thing to do; they just didn’t do it. Crack the law down on them so they have no choice.

  13. ANY human being cruel to animals has NO PLACE IN SOCIETY!!!!! Take them all to an island they cannot get off of and leave them to fend for themselves!

  14. Anita Yott says:

    If anyone is in the area-MAKE NOISE in front of that hell hole. Make their lives a living hell as they are for the animals!
    ATTACK ON ALL SOCIAL MEDIA UNTIL THIS PLACE IS CLOSED and they serve justice!

  15. CLOSE THUS CRUEL ABUSIVE ROADSIDE ZOO, & THEN SEND ALL THESE ANINALS TO ANIMAL SANCTUARIES!!!!!

  16. Animal abuse is a federal felony. Stop letting these criminals get by and do your freaking job! Throw these SOBS in jail, shut this travesty down immmediately and get those animals to safety! There are plenty of legitimate zoos who will care for these animals properly. In fact, the Nashville Zoo has no lions at all, so contact them or other zoos to get them placed. This must be stopped immediately.

  17. The USDA is AGAIN, refusing to do their job. All animals were found in distress and ONLY one was removed. USDA DO YOUR JOB AND GET THESE ANIMALS OUT BEFORE THEY ALL DIE FROM LACK OF CARE OR ATTENTION. The assets of these owners must also be seized so they can pay for the rehab and vet services these innocent animals deserve. USDA – Stop letting abusers off the hook. The USDA is a joke as they REFUSE to enforce laws already in place for the safety of the animals.

  18. Becky Beck says:

    Why aren’t these animals being taken from this Hell hole!!! What proof do you need! One dead ? Go and save these poor animals from the assholes that do t give one shit about their welfare!! This is an absolutely disgusting disgrace!! Go and get them out all of them!!!

  19. Maria Bertrand says:

    James and Barbara Svoboda need to be incarcerated. Maximum charges and so much more. There are never again to come near another animal. REVOKE THEIR LICENSE!!!!!

    They are EVIL GREEDY people to allow their animals such horrific suffering. Their animals had nothing to live or hope for. SONS OF BITCHES. MAKE THEM PAY ASAP!!!!! SHUT DOWN ALL THESE TYPES OF ZOOS. I BLAME ALSO THE PEOPLE WHO APPROVE THESE ZOOS TO OPEN!!

    THE PUBIC NEEDS TO STOP GOING TO VISIT THESE ZOOS WHICH DON’T GIVE A TINY RATS ASS ABOUT THEIR ANIMALS!!

  20. Cheryl Miller says:

    Please please save these innocent amazing animals from these idiots!!!! Thank you for your help!

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